Friday, February 29, 2008

Taylor Scott 1947-1987

Taylor Scott joined the Royal Navy in 1964. After training he flew Sea Vixens before a tour with the US Navy,including the Fighter Weapons School (Top Gun) at NAS Mirimar.

From 1974 to 1977 Taylor was an Air Weapons Instructor flying F-4 Phantoms from Ark Royal before being appointed the Royal Navy's Sea Harrier Project Liaison Officer at Dunsfold.
In 1979 he left the Royl Navy to join British Aerospace as a Sea Harrier test pilot. In 1982 Taylor Scott was instrumental in clearing the AIM-9L Sidewinder for use in the Falklands War and volunteered for active service. On temporary recall he helped form and train 809Sqn before returning to BAe. In 1983 he was appointed Sea Harrier Project Test Pilot and in October 1987 he was appointed Deputy Chief Test Pilot at Dunsfold.

He was killed on October 22nd 1987 while test flying a Harrier Gr5 aircraft.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Ronald.T.Shepherd 1896-1955

"Shep's" career began with Vickers-Armstrongs in the gun manufacturing industry, and on the outbreak of the 1914-18 war he joined the Honourable Artillery Company, transferring to the R.F.C. in 1916. Among the squadrons with which he served were No. 102 (F.E.2bs) and No. 37 (Camels), and he flew on night operations against Zeppelins. He left the Service in 1918 but
rejoined it in 1921, serving in England and in Egypt until 1929, when he was placed on the Reserve. Thereafter, he was C.F.I, to Phillips and Powis, Reading, and was subsequently with National Flying Services and managed the Nottingham Flying Club. In October 1931, Capt. Shepherd made his first flight for Rolls-Royce, testing a Fairey IIIF with a Kestrel engine. During the next three years he flew regularly for the company, and when they started their own flight establishment at Hucknall in 1934, Shepherd was appointed chief test pilot, a post which he held continuously until 1951.
During the post-war years he was, of course, mainly concerned with gas-turbine flying. He was the first man to fly on Nene and Avon engines—in the Lancastrian flying test-bed; he flew this aircraft at the 1946 S.B.A.C. Show. In 1951—in which year he had a serious illness and two
major operations—he relinquished full-time test flying and was appointed flying consultant to the Rolls-Royce management. The old urge remained, however, and when the most unconventional aircraft ever produced—the Rolls-Royce "Flying Bedstead"— was ready for testing, he made a special request that he should be allowed to conduct the initial work. "Shep" made the first flight on August 3rd 1954.
In 35 years of flying, he handled 77 different types of aircraft and logged over 8,000 hours. Official appreciation of his outstanding work as a test pilot, and in particular of his flight development work on the Merlin engine, came in 1946, when he was appointed O.B.E.

Harvey Heyworth 1910-1959

John Harvey Heyworth was expected to follow his father into medicine, but followed his heart instead to become a war hero and record-breaker.  
Canberra photo signed by Harvey Heyworth and Harry Bailey

A former Battle of Britain pilot, he became the first man in the world to record 1,000 hours in a jet aircraft.
Heyworth was born in 1910 in Belper and educated during the 1920s at Rugby School, where he excelled at sport, particularly rugby and hockey. He was also good academically and went on to obtain a place at Edinburgh University to study medicine.
It was generally expected by his family that, on graduating, he would follow in his father's footsteps and enter the medical profession.Instead, he made the decision to apply for a short service commission in the Royal Air Force, and train as a pilot.It was later seen as his destiny.

 Heyworth made his decision to join the RAF at a time when the service was undergoing a period of profound change. The four years of World War One had marked history's greatest technological leap forward in terms of military hardware.Yet, almost before the guns been silenced, Britain began dismantling her military assets without much thought for the needs of tomorrow.
Few so-called experts could see the influence on war that air power was to have, and it took a strident lobby led by Chief of Air Staff Sir Hugh Trenchard to prevent the Royal Air Force from falling into the clutches of the Army and Royal Navy.
With the RAF's independence preserved, it began to scour the country for young men with the potential to become pilots.
Heyworth, who had followed his short RAF stint by joining Rolls-Royce as a test pilot, was the perfect material and proved to be a natural at the controls of a wide variety of aircraft.
In the years leading up to the outbreak of war in 1939, he clocked thousands of hours in twin and single-engine planes including the new R-R-powered fighter the Hawker Hurricane.
Within days of war with Germany being declared, Heyworth had been recalled to the RAF and over the next two years became a notable participant in the Battle of Britain, rising to take command of 79 Squadron, equipped with those Hurricanes he knew so well.

In 1942 Heyworth was placed on the special reserve list and returned to Rolls-Royce to continue his life testing engines and new models of aircraft. Along with his younger brother Jim, another ex-RAF war veteran with Bomber Command, he was part of the birth and development of the jet engine.
He racked up the hours until, in December 1948 Heyworth took off in a Derwent-engined Meteor jet fighter bomber to carry out speed trials. He landed at Church Broughton one hour five minutes later having become the first man in the world to complete 1,000 hours' flying time in jet aircraft.
He was part of the Thrust Measuring Rig project at Hucknall, more affectionately known as "the Flying Bedstead".
He suffered a severe cerebral haemorrhage in the mid 1950s and a further stroke led to his death in September 1959.

Herbert Clifford Rogers OBE DFC 1923-2003

Cliff Rogers,Harry Bailey,Harvey Heyworth, Jim Heyworth, Andy McDowell and Roy Barnard

Herbert Clifford Rogers OBE DFC Joined R.A.F. in 1938 as aircraft apprentice. Trained as pilot in 1941 and flew Lancasters on operations. Served also with Transport Command before leaving the Service. Was awarded D.F.C. Appointed C.F.I, at Tollerton Airport until joining Rolls-Royce in 1948.Cliff Rogers was the Chief Test Pilot at Hucknall until 1971. 

Lt Cdr Jack R.S Overbury 1925-1960

Lieut-Cdr J.R.S.Overbury served in the Royal Navy from 1943.,being granted a permanent commission in 1950.. He served with No 816 and 810 Squadrons (HMS Ocean and Theseus). He took the CFS course in 1950 and was a graduate of No.12 Course ETPS at Farnborough 1953. He was on Naval Test Squadron A and AEE between 1954-1956. He set several record, as listed below.
Flying a Sea Hawk F.B.3 from Bovingdon to Schiphol he set a new point-to-point record in Class C.1 from London to Amsterdam. He flew the 224miles in 23min 39.7sec at a speed of 571.5mph. on the 29th July 1954. Another point-to-point record was set on the 2nd July 1955 between Ciampino, Rome and Luqa, Malta. Lieut-Cdr J.R.S.Overbury with Lieut-Cdr G Kable as navigator flew a Royal Australian Navy Sea Venom F(A.W).53 the 422 miles in 47min 24sec at a speed of 538mph.

He joined Saunders Roe as a test pilot in 1957 and joined Hunting Aircraft at Luton as a test pilot in 1959. On 16th November 1960 he was killed whilst flying Jet Provost T.2 G-AOUS. The aircraft disintegrated over Langford, 3 miles south of Biggleswade, Beds.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Wg Cdr Edward John 'Jimpy'Shaw AFC 1926-2018

He joined the RAF in 1944 with Edinburgh University Air Squadron. Between 1945 and 1946 he trained as a pilot with 19 Flying Training School Cranwell. After Operational Conversion Unit training on Spitfire Mk 16 he joined No 16 Squadron at RAF Fassberg as Fighter Ground Attack pilot on Tempest 2.
He moved to Gutersloh in 1948 and Squadron converted to Vampire 5. He became a pilot attack instructor after training on Spitfire 16 at RAF Leconfield. Between 1950 and 1952 he was a pilot on Air Fighting Development Squadron at Central Fighter Establishment at RAF Raynham flying the Vampire, Meteor, Venom and F-86A Sabre. In 1953 he was on the Empire Test Pilots School course.
Between 1954 and 1957 he was a test pilot on Instrumental and Photographic flight and on Armament Flight at Royal Aircraft Establishment Farnborough. The main aircraft flown included the firefly, Vampire, Meteor, Hunter, Canberra, Valetta, Lancaster, Lincoln, Valiant Sperrin and Ashton.
Between 1957 and 1959 he was Staff Officer at Directorate of Flight Safety.
Between 1959 and 1962 he was Flight Commander No 1 Guided Weapons Trial Squadron at RAF Valley conducting Service trials on the javelin/ Firestreak weapons system.
1962 he was OC on Fighter Commmand Missile Practice Camp at RAF Valley. Between 1963 and 1965 he was Staff Officer on operational requirements at HQ Fighter Command RAF Bentley Priory. He retired from the RAF 1990-91 and became air trials coordinating officer at RAF Farnborough.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Trevor Egginton 1932-2014

Trevor Egginton joined the RAF in 1951, and following a short grading course flying the Percival Prentice in the UK,he was sent to the USA for flight training and combat training.
On his return to the UK he flew Sabres and Hunters with 67Sqn,222Sqn and 43Sqn. Following a ground tour in Aden,he transferred to helicopters in 1961,eventually flying whirlwinds with 22Sqn SAR at Chivenor.

He completed the ETPS course at Farnborough,graduating from No3 Rotary Wing Course. He then went to 'D' (Helicopter) Squadron at Boscombe Down testing helicopter before becoming a Rotary Wing Tutor at the ETPS for the next 4 1/2 years.

He left the RAF in 1973 to join Westlands and spent 15years there until retiring a Chief Test Pilot in 1988,though continued to fly for them for the next 2 years. During his time at Westlands, he set a new World Speed Record on the Lynx in 1986 (which still stands),and was recognised by the Royal Aero Club of Great Britain,winning the Britannia Trophy. He flew the maiden flight of the EH-101.

James 'Harry' Pollitt 1924-

James 'Harry' Pollitt was appointed a test pilot at the Armstrong Siddeley Motors Engine flight development unit at Bitteswell, near Rugby in 1956. He joined the R.A.F. at 17 and became
the youngest pilot ever to be accepted for a Central Flying School Course; a year later he became the youngest staff instructor at the C.F.S. itself. With Armstrong Siddeley he flies many different types of aircraft as test-bed and research aircraft including Hunters, Javelins, Gannets, Canberra,Lancaster, Jet Provost,Seamew and a Mamba-powered Dakota.