Sunday, April 13, 2008

Desmond Gerald 'Dizzy' Addicot 1922-2005

Desmond "Dizzy" Addicott was nicknamed "Dismal Desmond" at school but this became "Dizzy" when he joined the RAF in 1942 and trained in Canada in Tiger Moths and Harvards. In 1945 he flew Mosquito to Burma and joined 110 Hyderabad Squadron which was advancing to Rangoon and Singapore, He took the first Mosquito to Java. Between 1945 and 1946 he was promoted to Squadron Leader and joined 84 Squadron on operations in Java. Between 1946 and 1947 he instructed on Mosquitos at 13 OTU. Between 1947 and 1948 he was a test pilot on Wellingtons and other types at 201 AFS Swinderby.
Between 1950 and 1951 he was a civilian flying instructor to Royal Navy pilots on Mosquitos and was with the Civilian Anti-Aircraft Cooperation Unit flying Beaufighters Spitfires and Vampires. Between 1951 and 1955 he was with Short Brothers and Harland as a Civilian naval ferry pilot. Between 1955 and 1961 he was with Vickers-Armstrong Ltd at Wisley as a test pilot where he flew Rapides, Doves and Herons on comms duties and Valetta, Varsity, Viking and Canberra on guided weapons duties. He was involved in production test flying Valiants and development of airborne re-fuelling. He was a tanker pilot on the first V-bomber to V-bomber refuelling
Between 1961 and 1965 he was seconded to Hunting Aircraft as Senior Test pilot on Jet Provosts. He was involved in the spinning trials and developing the tail parachutes He continued the test flying and demonstration of H126 at Paris air Show in 1965. Between 1965 and 1971 he returned to Wisley which was now part of BAC flying Vanguards, BAC1-11s and VC-10s.
Between 1971 and 1979 he was posted to Filton to fly comms duties on HS125, DC3, President, Heron and Dove. He flew the Junkers Ju 52 in "The Dirty Dozen", Mosquitos in "Mosquito Squadron", various WW1 replica aircraft in "The Blue Max" and the B-25 camera aircraft in the "Memphis Belle" remake in 1990. He was also in the 1986 release, "Biggles: Adventures in Time". He flew a wide variety of aircraft and became well known on the air show circuit.

Addicott was a keen racing driver, and in the early 60s he raced an Elva-DKW alongside such names as Jim Clark, Mike Spence, Hugh Dibley (another pilot), Peter Arundell, Frank Gardner and Tony Maggs. He even had plans for a go at Craig Breedlove's 407mph land speed record using a vehicle based on a Swift fighter!