Friday, December 30, 2005

John H.Glenn 1921-2016

John H.Glenn entered the Naval Aviation Cadet Program in March 1942 and was graduated from this program and commissioned in the Marine Corps in 1943. After advanced training, he joined Marine Fighter Squadron 155 and spent a year flying F-4U fighters in the Marshall Islands.During his World War II service, he flew 59 combat missions. After the war, he was a member of Marine Fighter Squadron 218 on the North China patrol and served on Guam. From June 1948 to December 1950 Glenn was an instructor in advanced flight training at Corpus Christi, Texas. He then attended Amphibious Warfare Training at Quantico, Virginia. In Korea he flew 63 missions with Marine Fighter Squadron 311. As an exchange pilot with the Air Force Glenn flew 27 missions in the in F-86 Sabrejet. In the last nine days of fighting in Korea Glenn downed three MIG's in combat along the Yalu River.After Korea, Glenn attended Test Pilot School at the Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, Maryland. After graduation, he was project officer on a number of aircraft. He was assigned to the Fighter Design Branch of the Navy Bureau of Aeronautics (now Bureau of Naval Weapons) in Washington from November 1956 to April 1959, during which time he also attended the University of Maryland.In July 1957, while project officer of the F8U Crusader, he set a transcontinental speed record from Los Angeles to New York, spanning the country in 3 hours and 23 minutes. This was the first transcontinental flight to average supersonic speed. Glenn has nearly 9,000 hours of flying time, with approximately 3,000 hours in jet aircraft.
On February 20, 1962, Glenn piloted the Mercury-Atlas 6 "Friendship 7" spacecraft on the first manned orbital mission of the United States. Launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, he completed a successful three-orbit mission around the earth, reaching a maximum altitude (apogee) of approximately 162 statute miles and an orbital velocity of approximately 17,500 miles per hour. Glenn's "Friendship 7" Mercury spacecraft landed approximately 800 miles southeast of KSC in the vicinity of Grand Turk Island. Mission duration from launch to impact was 4 hours, 55 minutes, and 23 seconds.STS-95 Discovery (October 29 to November 7, 1998) was a 9-day mission during which the crew supported a variety of research payloads including deployment of the Spartan solar-observing spacecraft, the Hubble Space Telescope Orbital Systems Test Platform, and investigations on space flight and the aging process. The mission was accomplished in 134 Earth orbits, traveling 3.6 million miles in 213 hours and 44 minutes.

BGen Frank K. 'Pete' Everest 1920-2004

Brigadier General Frank K. Everest, Jr. became hooked on flying after paying 50 cents for a ride in a Ford Trimotor as a boy, and has since flown 163 different types of aircraft.
Frank Kendall Everest, Jr. was born in Fairmont, West Virginia on August 10th, 1920. After graduating from high school he attended Fairmont State College for a short time and later studied engineering at West Virginia University. He graduated from the Armed Forces Staff College in 1956. In July 1942, Everest graduated and received a commission with the U.S. Army Air Force. After P-40 aircraft training, he received orders to North Africa and flew 94 combat missions in Africa, Sicily and Italy. During that tour of duty, Everest shot down two German aircraft and damaged another.
After asking for combat duty in 1944, he was assigned to the China-Burma-India Theater of operations where he commanded the 17th Fighter Squadron of the 5th Fighter Group at Chinkiang, China. He completed 67 combat missions and destroyed four Japanese aircraft before his plane was shot down by ground fire in May 1945. He was captured and remained a Japanese prisoner of war until the end of the hostilities.
The good news of General Everest's release reached Mrs. Everest on August 20th, 1945 and following a leave period, the General was assigned to the Flight Test Division at Wright Patterson Air Force Base as a test pilot. He took part in many experimental tests of the Bell X-1 and established an unofficial world altitude record of 73,000 feet.
Frank Everest became the chief Air Force test pilot as the head of the Flight Test Operations Division at Edwards Air Force Base in 1951. During his stay at Edwards, he tested the X-1, X-2, X-3, X-4, X-5, XF-92 and YB-52. He also participated in test programs for the F-100, 101,102, 104 and 105 along with the B-52, B-57 and B-66. On October 29th, 1953, he established a world speed record of 755.149 miles per hour in a YF-100. General Everest test flew the Bell X-lB to a speed of Mach 2.3 in December 1954, making him the second fastest man in the world. Later flights in the Bell X-2 rocket plane established him as "the fastest man alive" when he attained a new unofficial speed record of 1,957 miles per hour or Mach 2.9.
From 1957 to 1961, Everest commanded various squadrons in Germany, North Africa, and the United States. He next commanded the 4453rd Combat Crew Training Wing at MacDill AFB, Florida and then became commander of the 4520th Combat Crew Training Wing at Nellis AFB, Nevada.
General Everest became Director of Aerospace Safety in the office of the Deputy Inspector for Inspection and Safety, Norton Air Force Base, California in 1967. He was transferred to the Pentagon in January 1969 as Assistant Director, Office of the Director of Defense Research and Engineering. Everest assumed command of Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service of the Military Airlift Command, at Scott AFB, Illinois in April 1970.
General Everest retired from the Air Force in 1973 after 29 years of service. His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Medal with seven oak leaf clusters, and the Purple Heart. In addition, General Everest has been recognized repeatedly for his contributions to aviation. He was chosen as one of 1955's "ten outstanding young men" by the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce. In 1956, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce named him one of the nation's "greatest living Americans." The following year he was awarded both the Harmon Trophy and the Octave Chanute Trophy.
Frank Everest died on October 1st, 2004.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Capt Bernard 'Bernie' John Dvorscak 1927-2013

Bernard John Dvorscak grew up in Hazleton, PA, where he attended St. Gabriel’s Catholic School and following graduation from Hazleton High School in 1945, Dvorscak enlisted with the US Navy where he was accepted into the V-5 Flight Training Program in 1946. Upon completion of his initial training, he was stationed aboard the USS Franklin Delano Roosevelt flying the A-1 in a peace-keeping mission over the Mediterranean.  During his commission, Dvorscak organized a basketball league for the enlisted men and learned to play contract bridge. He received his Wings of Gold in January 1950 while flying the F4U-4 stationed aboard the USS Cabot.
Returning Stateside to fly the Banshee Fighter with VF-171 NAS Jacksonville, he went on to serve aboard the USS Midway, the USS Coral Sea and the USS Leyte. Following his return from active duty in the Pacific, Dvorscak enrolled at the Georgia Institute of Technology where he graduated in the top 2% of his class with a BS in Aerospace Engineering in 1955. He was a member of the first US Navy Operational Jet Fighter Squadron, The Society of Experimental Test Pilots and the Georgia Tech Flight Club.
Dvorscak joined Lockheed Aircraft Corporation as an Engineering Test Pilot where he was a pioneer in his industry. Testing most every aircraft that came off the line at Lockheed during his career, he worked together with flight engineers and design engineers to perfect the Lockheed products and pave the way for the United States to lead the aviation industry in the development and production of cutting-edge safe aircraft. Dvorscak was the first pilot to Fly-By-Wire in the Lockheed C130 Hercules and was member of the first team to perfect in-air flight refueling. He qualified to fly more than 35 aircraft during his career including the Hummingbird I and II: a jet-powered VTOL aircraft; the C-130, C-141, C-5A and B, Jetstar.
Graduating from the US Navy Test Pilot School Class XXI 1959, Dvorscak flew the Douglas F4D-1 in the Mach One Era in December 1958 at Patuxent River. He took command over Squadron VR-54 NAS Atlanta and NAS New Orleans in the mid-seventies before retiring from the Navy Reserve in July 1976 as a Captain with a commendation from then sitting President Jimmy Carter; and retired from Lockheed in 1990. Dvorscak co-authored "The C-5 Galaxy History" with Roger Lanius, published in 2001. He maintained his pilot and flight instructor licenses following retirement instructing flight ground school and in order to promote aviation and the United States Navy he continued to work with small groups such as the Civil Air Patrol and the Fraternal Order of Silver Wings of which he was an active member.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Cpt (RN) Eric 'Winkle' M.Brown CBE,DSC,AFC 1919-2016

Capt Eric M. Brown
On December 3, 1945, Brown made the world's first landing of a jet aircraft on an aircraft carrier. He landed a de Havilland Sea Vampire on the Royal Navy carrier HMS Ocean.
ME-163 Komet as flown by Eric Brown
RAE Farnborough at the end of the war, with German captured and evaluated aircraft on display

DeHavilland Sea Hornet,one of Eric's favourite aircraft to fly.
DeHavilland DH-108

Captain Eric "Winkle" Brown, CBE, DSC, AFC, FRAeS, RN is a former Royal Navy officer and test pilot who has flown more types of aircraft than anyone else in history. He is also the Fleet Air Arm’s most decorated pilot. He graduated from carrier-based fighter operations and deck-landing trials to test-flying at the Aeroplane & Armament Experimental Establishment at Boscombe Down in 1943, and became Aero Flight CO and Chief Naval Pilot at Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) Farnborough until 1949.

After World War II‚ Brown commanded Enemy Aircraft Flight, an elite group of pilots who test-flew captured German aircraft. That experience makes Brown one of the few men qualified to compare both Allied and Axis "warbirds" as they actually flew during the war. In late 1945 he led a British technical commission, which entailed evaluating and ferrying 55 types of German aircraft. Apart from new jet fighters and bombers such as the Arado Ar 234, Heinkel He 162, Messerschmitt Me 262 and Me 163, they included even more exotic aircraft, like the tandem-twin Dornier Do 335 and the prone-pilot Berlin B9 and Horten Ho IV tailless research glider. He helped interview many German scientists after World War II, including Werner Von Braun.

On December 3, 1945, Brown made the world's first landing of a jet aircraft on an aircraft carrier. He landed a de Havilland Sea Vampire on the Royal Navy carrier HMS Ocean. He holds the world record for the most carrier landings, 2,407.
In 1947, he was required to repeat the same flight profile in the second prototype D.H.108 tailless transonic research aircraft as that which caused Geoffrey de Havilland's death in the first prototype in September 1946. He survived after experiencing similar condition to that which caused the crash of the first prototype, succesfulling diagnosing what the problem was.

He was the designated pilot to fly the Miles M.52 aircraft, which when cancelled, was 92% ready to attempt to break the sound barrier.

He flew aircraft from Britain, America, Germany, Italy and Japan, and is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as holding the record for flying the greatest number of different aircraft.
The official record is 487, but only includes basic types. For example Captain Brown flew several versions of the Spitfire and Seafire, and although these versions are very different they only appear once in the list.

He finally gave up his wings at 70 years old.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Lifting Bodies Multi-Signed

The X-24A was later modified into the X-24B. The bulbous shape of the X-24A was converted into a "flying flatiron" shape with a rounded top, flat bottom, and double delta platform that ended in a pointed nose. The X-24B demonstrated that accurate unpowered reentry vehicle landings were operationally feasible. Top speed achieved by the X-24B was 1,164 mph and the highest altitude it reached was 74,130 feet. The vehicle is on display at the Air Force Museum, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The pilot on the last powered flight of the X-24B was Bill Dana, who also flew the last X-15 flight about seven years earlier.

Top speed reached with the X-24B was 1,164 mph (Mach 1.75) by Love on October 25, 1974. The highest altitude reached was 74,100 feet, by Manke on May 22, 1975.

The X-24B is on public display at the Air Force Museum, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.
The prototype of a 21st Century spacecraft required the fabrication of hundreds of small wooden parts meticulously nailed and glued together. It was a product of craftsmanship that was nearly obsolete in the 1940s.

On April 5, 1963 Milt Thompson lifted the M2-F1's nose off of the ground for the first time on-tow. Speed was 86 miles per hour. The little craft seemed to bounce uncontrollably back and forth on the main landing gear, and stopped when he lowered the nose to the ground. He tried again, but each time with the same results. He felt it was a landing gear problem that could have caused the aircraft to roll on its back if he had lifting the main gear off of the ground.

More than 400 ground tows and over 100 aircraft tow flights were carried out with the M2-F1. The success of Dryden's M2-F1 program led to NASA's development and construction of two heavyweight lifting bodies based on studies at NASA's Ames and Langley research centers -- the M2-F2 and the HL-10, both built by the Northrop Corporation, and the X-24 program. The Lifting Body program also heavily influenced the Space Shuttle program.

The success of Dryden's M2-F1 program led to NASA's development and construction of two heavyweight lifting bodies based on studies at NASA's Ames and Langley research centers -- the M2-F2 and the HL-10, both built by the Northrop Corporation. The "M" refers to "manned" and "F" refers to "flight" version. "HL" comes from "horizontal landing" and 10 is for the tenth lifting body model to be investigated by Langley.

The first flight of the M2-F2 -- which looked much like the "F1" -- was on July 12, 1966. Milt Thompson was the pilot. By then, the same B-52 used to air launch the famed X-15 rocket research aircraft was modified to also carry the lifting bodies. Thompson was dropped from the B-52's wing pylon mount at an altitude of 45,000 feet on that maiden glide flight.

The M2-F2 weighed 4,620 pounds, was 22 feet long, and had a width of about 10 feet.

On May 10, 1967, during the sixteenth glide flight leading up to powered flight, a landing accident severely damaged the vehicle and seriously injured the NASA pilot, Bruce Peterson.
NASA pilots and researchers realized the M2-F2 had lateral control problems, even though it had a stability augmentation control system. When the M2-F2 was rebuilt at Dryden and redesignated the M2-F3, it was modified with an additional third vertical fin -- centered between the tip fins -- to improve control characteristics.

The M2-F2/F3 was the first of the heavy-weight, entry-configuration lifting bodies. Its successful development as a research test vehicle answered many of the generic questions about these vehicles.

NASA donated the M2-F3 vehicle to the Smithsonian Institute in December 1973. It is currently hanging in the Air and Space Museum along with the X-15 aircraft number 1, which was its hangar partner at Dryden from 1965 to 1969.
First flight of the HL-10 was on Dec. 22, 1966. The first 11 drop flights from the B-52 launch aircraft were powerless glide flights to assess handling qualities, stability, and control.

The HL-10 (tail #804) was flown 37 times during the Lifting Body Research Program and logged the highest altitude and fastest speed in the program. First flight was Dec. 22 1966. On Feb. 18, 1970, Air Force test pilot Peter Hoag piloted the HL-10 to Mach 1.86 (1,228 mph). Nine days later, NASA pilot Bill Dana flew the vehicle to 90,030 feet, which became the highest altitude reached in the program.

The HL-10 helped develop energy management and landing techniques used presently with the space shuttle orbiters.
Built by Martin Aircraft Company, Maryland, for the U.S. Air Force, the X-24A was a bulbous vehicle shaped like a teardrop with three vertical fins at the rear for directional control. It weighed 6,270 pounds, was 24.5 feet long and 11.5 feet wide (measuring just the fuselage, not the distance between the tips of the outboard fins). Its first unpowered glide flight was on April 17, 1969, with Air Force Maj. Jerauld Gentry at the controls. Gentry also piloted its first powered flight on March 19, 1970.

The X-24A was flown 28 times in the program that, like the HL-10, validated the concept that a Space Shuttle vehicle could be landed unpowered. The fastest speed achieved by the X-24A was 1,036 miles per hour (mph--Mach 1.6). Its maximum altitude was 71,400 feet. It was powered by an XLR-11 rocket engine with a maximum theoretical vacuum thrust of 8,480 pounds.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Robert C.Little 1925-2018

Bob Little was a P-51 pilot in WWII,flying 68 combat missions. He was awarded the DFC and Air Medal with 13 Oak Leaf Clusters. After the war, Bob joined the McDonnell Douglas Corporation with whom he worked with until retirement in 1989.
During the Test Flying portion of his career with McDonnell Douglas, Bob flew the first flights on four of the company's well known fighter aircraft:-
F3H-1 Demon on 24 December 1953
F-101A Voodoo on 29 September 1954
F-101B Voodoo on 27 March 1957
F-4H-1 Phantom on 27 May 1958.
He is a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and was awarded the J.H.Doolittle Award for outstanding professional accomplishment in aerospace technical management and engineering.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Robert F. Fuschino 1961-

First Flight of the ATG Javelin on September 30th 2005

Robert Fuschino is a highly experienced test pilot and engineer. He previously served as a flight and ground Instructor at the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB, California. He instructed all phases of aircraft performance, flying qualities, aircraft systems, flight test management and safety planning.
As Systems Branch Chief he was responsible for modern avionics systems, integration, and human factors. He recently served as a Flight Technical Manager and Boeing 737 Captain with a major airline,responsible for near term and strategic planning of voice and data link communications. Mr. Fuschino is a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He is a graduate of the USAFA with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, and holds an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of South Florida.

Richard G. Ewers 1946-

Richard G. (Dick) Ewers became a pilot in the Flight Crew Branch of NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif., in May 1998. His research flying duties focus on piloting highly modified F/A-18 aircraft. He also maintains qualification in the King Air and was qualified in the Airborne Science DC-8 aircraft before it was transferred to the University of North Dakota. He has more than 37 years and almost 10,000 hours of military and civilian flight experience in all types of aircraft from jet fighters to blimps.
Ewers came to NASA Dryden from a position as an engineering test pilot with Northrop Grumman's Electronic Sensors and Systems Division (formerly Westinghouse’s Electronic Systems Group). He spent eight and a half years with Westinghouse flight testing emerging radar and forward looking infrared systems under development for military and civilian use.
Before going to work for Westinghouse, Ewers served for more than 21 years as a U.S. Marine Corps fighter and test pilot, flying F-4, A-4, and F/A-18 aircraft. He underwent flight training at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., in 1969-70. He was subsequently assigned to both fighter/attack and reconnaissance squadrons before ultimately commanding an F-4S squadron for two years. His military flying included combat service in Vietnam and operational exchange tours with both U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force squadrons flying F-4s around the world, including off aircraft carriers.
Ewers graduated from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in 1981 and subsequently served two tours as a test pilot at the Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, Md. Most of his flight test experience was with the F-4S Phantom II and F/A-18 Hornet aircraft. He retired from the Marine Corps in 1989 with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Ewers graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1968 with a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering mechanics. He earned a Master of Science degree in aeronautical systems from the University of West Florida in 1970.

Craig R. Bomben 1962-

Craig R. Bomben became a pilot in the Flight Crew Branch of NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif., in June 2001. His flying duties include a variety of research and support activities while piloting the F/A-18, F-15, F-15 Active, T-38, DC-8, T-34C, King Air and Predator aircraft. He has more than 21 years and 4,800 hours of military and civilian flight experience in over 50 different aircraft types.
Bomben came to NASA Dryden from a U.S. Navy assignment to the Personnel Exchange Program, Canada. He served as a test pilot in the Canadian Armed Forces located in Cold Lake, Alberta. He participated in numerous developmental programs to include CT-133 airborne ejection seat testing, F/A-18 weapons flutter testing and F/A-18 night vision goggles integration.
Bomben performed U.S. Navy fleet service in 1995 as a strike-fighter department head. He completed two overseas deployments onboard the USS George Washington and USS Stennis. As a combat strike leader, he headed numerous multi-national missions over Iraq in support of Operation Southern Watch.
Bomben graduated from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in 1992 and was subsequently assigned to the Naval Weapons Test Squadron at Pt. Mugu, Calif. During this tour he developed the F-14D bombsight and worked on various other F-14D and F/A-18 weapon systems developmental programs.
Bomben is a 1985 graduate of Washington State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering. He graduated from naval flight training in 1987 and was recognized as a Commodore List graduate. His first assignment was to Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., where he was an instructor in the T-2B Buckeye. When selected to fly the F/A-18 in 1989, he joined a fleet squadron and deployed aboard the USS Forrestal.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Multi-Signed photographs

Development Jaguar in-flight signed by BAC Test Pilots John Cockburn,Peter Ginger,Reg Stock and Jerry Lee
Canberra in-flight signed by English Electric Test Pilots Roland Beamont,Dennis Watson,Peter Hillwood,Johnny Squier,Don Knight,Dick Whittington and Jock Still
North American XB-70 Valkykrie

The XB-70 Valkyrie was a large two seat Mach 3+ 6 engine plane built by North American. Originally conceived as a long range intercontinental bomber, the program evolved into a high speed flight test platform.

Two vehicles were built. The second ship, AV/2, was an improved version based on the experiences learned from bulding the first plane, AV/1.

First Flight AV/1 serial # 62-0001 September 21st, 1964
First Flight AV/2 serial # 62-0207 July 17, 1965
First Mach 3 flight October 14, 1965 with AV/1
Last flight of AV/2 June 8, 1966, lost due to mid-air collision
Last flight of AV/1 February 4, 1969

Total flights AV/1 - 82
Total flights AV/2 - 46

Total flying time both aircraft: 252 hours, 48 minutes
Total flying time Mach 1 - Mach 1.9: 55 hours, 50 minutes
Total flying time Mach 2 - Mach 2.9: 49 hours, 32 minutes
Total flying time Mach 3: 1 hour, 48 minutes

This is one of my favourite photographs, which has been signed by
4 of the XB-70 Pilots, Al White, Joe Cotton, Don Mallick and Fitz Fulton
X-22A in flight picture, kindly sent to me and signed by Jack Beilman (1920-2013) (X-22A Project Manager). Also signed by X-22A pilots Nello Infanti (1921-2010) and Rogers Smith.
These photographs of the LTV XC-142A have been signed by 6 of the Test Pilots who evaluated the aircraft for the military, they are : Jesse Jacobs, Bob Chubboy (1931-2009), Roger Rich, Sam Barratt,Gay Jones(1926-2010) and Billy Odneal (1925-2006)

Nice colour photograph of the X-4 which has been signed by Chuck Tucker and Fred Ascani
Inflight image of the X-4 Bantam signed by 4 of its pilots, Scott Crossfield, Fred Ascani, George Cooper and John Griffith.

Northrop X-4 Bantam
The X-4, a single-place, swept-wing, and semi-tailless airplane designed and built by Northrop Aircraft, Inc. Two X-4s were built to investigate the value of this configuration at transonic speeds. The Ship 1 (46-676) maiden flight was on Dec. 16, 1948, and proved to be a mechanically unsound airplane, but Ship 2 (46-677) was very reliable. While being tested from 1950 to 1953, the semi-tailless configuration exhibited inherent longitudinal stability problems (porpoising) as it approached the speed of sound, but the data derived from this research aircraft was important in the development of other high-performance designs such as the X-15.

Friday, December 02, 2005

David Lockspeiser 1927-2014

LDA Boxer aircraft,designed and built by David Lockspeiser

David Lockspeiser studied aircraft design at Miles Aeronautical Technical School and Hawker Siddeley between 1945-9. He joined the RAF and flew on 118 Fighter Ground Attack and 245 Fighter Squadrons. He Qualified as a Pilot Attack Instructor and Instrument Rating Examiner 1949-55.
He left the RAF as a Flt. Lt to join Hawker Aircraft Ltd as a test pilot, flying various aircraft and programmes but mostly on the Hunter Production development, weapons development and demonstrations between 1955-68. He Joined the Civil Aircraft Division of British Aircraft Corporation, where his Commercial Pilot License was endorsed for half a dozen types between 1968-76.

He became a Test pilot with Lockheed Aircraft Services Singapore, where a comprehensive new weapons and reconnaissance installations update was undertaken with the Singapore Air Force Hunters. After redesigning the instrument panel, he carried out all aspects of the flight test programme including reports and compilation of operating notes.

As a full spare time private venture, David designed and built, with help, the LDA Boxer, a single engined tandem wing proof of concept utility aircraft. He formed Lockspeiser Aircraft Ltd. and had developed the project to the anticipated production configuration. However before these modifications could be flown the aircraft was totally destroyed by an arson attack on the hangar where it was kept.

He has flown over 7000 hrs on around 100 different types, 160 including variants.