Sunday, December 27, 2009

Howard T Murley DFC AFC* 1923-

Howard Murley D.F.C., A.F.C., was a Squadron leader and Flight Commander of Aerodynamics
Flight at the Royal Aircraft Establishment. He flew the Avro 707A during the 1953 SBAC Farnborough airshow. Previously he was with S.M.E. Flight.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

W/Cdr Michael R. Ingle-Finch DFC AFC 1920-2002

Michael Roscoe Ingle-Finch commenced his operational RAF career flying Hurricanes during and after the Battle of Britain. He then joined 56 Squadron based at Duxford and was amongst the first squadron pilots to fly a Typhoon when the first operational Typhoons came into service on that significant day, 11th September 1941. In September 1942, by now promoted to Flight Commander, Ingle-Finch achieved another first - 56 Squadrons first air victory in a Typhoon when he shot down a Junkers Ju88 off the east coast. Having been involved with Typhoons since they became operational, Ingle-Finch went on to fly them throughout their operational life. On 31st December 1943, he was promoted to command 175 Squadron during the decisive campaign in Normandy. In that same year he was awarded the DFC. His distinguished wartime service in the RAF culminated in promotion to Wing Commander Flying of 124 Wing.
On leaving the RAF he joined Marshalls of Cambridge as a test pilot. He joined Joined Short Bros as a test pilot in 1952. He displayed the Shorts Seamew at Farnborough in 1955 and the Belfast in 1964.

A/Cdre F.R.D. Swain CB AFC 1903-1989

Air Commodore (Francis) Ronald Downs Swain.

Joined the RAF in 1922,initial training with 5FTS. On gaining his wings joined No2 Sqn as a pilot. Transferred to No11 Sqn in 1923. He became a QFI with No2 FTS in 1926. Posted to No 23Sqn as a Flight Commander in 1929 and then to No 6 Sqn at the same rank.
During 1933 he commanded the Cairo-Rhodesia Flight. In 1935 became a test pilot in the Experimental section at the RAE,during his time there, he was involved in high altitude experiments and on 28th September 1936 he set a new World Altitude Record of 49,967 feet in the Bristol 138A (Serial K4879).
In 1938 he attended RAF Staff College and during the war and the course of his remaining career was posted to various Staff positions. His last appointment was SASO/Deputy Head of the Air Staff,British Joint Services Mission,Washington D.C. He retired from the RAF in 1954 with the rank of AIr Commodore.

Friday, December 04, 2009

S/Ldr Ronald “Taffy” Ecclestone DFC AFC 1923-1954

Squadron Leader Ronald Vivian (“Taffy”) Ecclestone DFC was Handley Page deputy chief test pilot.
He flew Stirlings and Lancasters in Bomber Command, and also Hurricanes and Spitfires in the Bomber Defence Tactical Unit. Later he was engaged in development flying, successively at Marham, Boscombe Down and Farnborough; he had completed the Empire Test Pilots School course and had served for a year in the Directorate of Operational Requirements at the Air Ministry. He had joined Handley Page, Ltd., less than three months before the crash of the Victor Prototype WB771 in which he was killed along with Mr E. N. Kenneth Bennett, 29, the company's chief flight observer (he joined them in 1946); and two other H.P. observers, Mr. Bruce Heithersay, 28 (ex-R.A.A.F.), and Mr. A. B. Cook, 24 (formerly with Aero Research, Ltd., and Glosters).

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Edward (Ed) Strongman 1949-2016

Ed Strongman, Eric Isorce, Didier Roncerary, Ignacio Lombo, Gerard Leskerpit, and Jean-Philippe Cottet - First Flight Crew of the A400M

Maiden Flight of A400M from Seville, 1th December 2009

Edward "Ed" Strongman is Chief Test Pilot Military with responsibility for the development of the A400M and Airbus military derivative aircraft. He captained the aircraft's maiden flight alongside his colleague Ignacio "Nacho" Lombo. Having joined Airbus in 1995, he was initially Project Pilot for the A330/A340 family and was particularly closely involved with the development of the A340-600 which he piloted on its maiden flight in April 2001. Subsequently he worked on all Airbus aircraft and participated extensively in the A380 flight test development programme.
Mr Strongman is today a veteran test pilot who was selected to attend the United States Air Force Test Pilot School (USAFTPS) at Edwards AFB, California in 1979 after five years of operations flying the Lockheed C-130 Hercules for the UK's Royal Air Force.
After graduating from USAFTPS Mr Strongman served for six years at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Bedford, UK flying a wide range of transports, fighters and helicopters. In 1986 he left Bedford as Commanding Officer of the Test Squadron to join the UK CAA as a certification test pilot involved in the regulatory approval of numerous jet and turboprop aircraft.
Mr Strongman has some 11,000 flight hours of which more than 7,000 have been in flight test.
Born in Cornwall, UK in 1949 Ed Strongman has an engineering degree from Bristol University .