Wednesday, May 07, 2008

John M Nicholson

John M Nicholson flew Beaufighters during the war in the Middle East and served as an instructor in Rhodesia. He then joined Transport Command flying Dakotas. In 1946 he was demobilised,but ejoined the RAF 3 years later, obtaining an A.1 Instructor's category at CFS and serving in the examining wing before being posted to A&AEE at Boscombe Down.

He joined the de Havilland Engine company as a test pilot in 1954 and became Chief Test Pilot on the retirement of C.D.Beaumont. He was responsible for the development testing of the Gyron and the flight testing of the Gyron Junior and Spectre engines. On the 31st January 1961, he flew the maiden flight of the Gloster Javelin converted with de Havilland Gyron Junior DGJ.10R Turbojets,the first British Aircraft powerplants designed for flight at Mach numbers above 2.5 These were to be used on the Bristol T.188 research aircraft.

In June 1961 he joined the Beagle Group as Flight Operations Manager,displaying the Beagle 206 at the 1961 SBAC show. He has flown in excess of 4,000hrs on more than 50 types.