Friday, March 31, 2006

Michael 'Mike' John Lithgow 1920-1963

Mike Lithgow joined the Royal Navy in 1938 during WW2 he served with . He was posted to A&AEE at Boscombe Down in 1943 and attended the ETPS course there in 1944. He was with the British Air Commission in the USA from 1944-1945. He joined Supermarine as a test pilot in 1945 and succeeded Jeffrey Quill as Chief Test Pilot in 1948.
He set up the 100km closed-circuit record in an Attacker, and held the London-Paris and Paris-London records in the Supermarine Swift. He set a world speed record in 1953 with the Swift F.4 at Castel Idris in Libya,with a speed of 735.7mph.
He was responsible for much of the Vickers Vanguard development flying before moving onto the BAC 1-11 test programme. He was killed in 1963 when the BAC-111 he was testing went into a deep stall and crashed at Cricklade,Wilstshire