Saturday, June 03, 2006

'Dick' Richard B Stratton CEng FRAeS 1923-2007

Chief Development Engineer Saunders Roe SR53 Project 1954-1960

Dick Stratton joined SARO from the RAF in 1948, as a Flight Engineer qualified on the Mk V Sunderland, HIS first task was to “activate” the powered Flying Control Test-bed Sunderland on loan to SARO. The learning curve was steep since they were pioneering an extremely new concept of flying control surfaces based on a WWII gun turret developed by Boulton-Paul Ltd.

He then flew as Chief Flight Engineer on the SARO “Princess” ten-propeller turbine Flying Boat. Test flying ceased on 5th May 1954 – after 46 flights – 100 hours.
In 1954 he became Chief Development Engineer SR53 rocket interceptor project. Between 1956 and 1960 he moved to Boscombe Down on A&AEE for the SR53 Flight Trials. Between 1960 and 1961 he was Chief Development Engineer at Eastleigh on Skeeter and Scout projects until the Eastleigh site was closed following a rationalisation by Westlands.In 1961 he joined Beagle Aircraft Company at Shoreham as Flying Test Engineer and between 1962 and 1966 he was British Executive Air Services Kidlington with Brantly Helicopters.