Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Stanley Blackbourne 'Olly' Oliver 1924-2003

Cover produced to commemorate the First Flight of the Hunting H126 on 26th March 1963.

Stanley Blackbourne 'Olly' Oliver joined the RAFVR in 1943 and trained in South African under the Empire Air Training Scheme flying Tiger Moths and Harvards. In 1945 he was awarded his wings and commissioned. He transferred to the Fleet Air Arm and following fighter qualifications became an Instrument Flying Instructor with the Naval Advanced Instrument Flying School. In 1946 he undertook the flying instructors course at RAF Little Rissington and in 1948 he joined 801 Squadron flying Sea Hornets both from carriers and land bases. In 1950 he undertook 9 Course at the Empire Test pilots' School at Farnborough. Between 1951 and 1953 he was a test pilot with the Royal Navy Test Squadron at A&AEE Boscombe Down where he carried out deck trials with the Sea Hawk F1 and Firefly AS7 as well as Service Acceptance flying on Wyvern S2, Attacker, Gannet and other contemporary naval aircraft. In 1953 he was appointed to the Naval Air Fighter Development Unit at RAF West Raynham followed by being appointed to RAF Leeming for nigh fighter course on Meteors.

In 1954 he resigned his Royal Navy commission and became an experimental test pilot with Hunting Aircraft. He shared the development of all marks of Jet Provost including undertaking three inverted spinning investigations. In 1957 he was appointed Chief Test Pilot. In 1963 he made the first flight of the Hunting H126 jet-flap research aircraft and the initial development flights. In 1964 he was seconded to the British Aircraft Corporation at Weybridge for development flying for the BAC one-eleven airliner. In 1965 he was appointed Chief Test Pilot with BAC Weybridge and later became Assistant Manager Flight Operations. Between 1971 and 1974 he was Chief Test Pilot for Trader Airways based at Gatwick.