Wednesday, April 29, 2015

W/Cdr Anthony 'Tony' F. Martindale AFC* 19xx-1959

Aero Flight 1944 L-R, Martindale, Nelson,Brown and Weightman
Tony Martindale, chief development engineer of the Motor Car Division of Rolls-Royce Ltd died on july 14th 1959. After five pre-war years with the company he joined the R.A.F., in which he had a distinguished career, particularly as a pilot of high-speed aircraft and captured German machines. After the war he was a Rolls-Royce test pilot for five years before resuming his car-development work.

The highest accurately recorded dive speed in a piston-engined fighter was Mach 0.91 (620 mph at 27,000 ft), recorded in Spitfire Mk.XI EN 409 by Squadron Leader A.F. "Tony" Martindale during a high-speed dive test from 40,000 feet at Farnborough on April 27, 1944. The aircraft lost its propeller and reduction gear, but in an extraordinary display of airmanship, Martindale managed to glide the aircraft back to base and land safely!