Saturday, May 10, 2008

John Grierson 1909-1977

John Grierson was a long-distance flier,test pilot and writer.

As an RAF pilot officer Grierson began a series of notable long distnace flights in 1931 with a 41/2 day journey by Moth from Karachi,where he was sationed to Lympne. An admirer of Lindbergh,he made a succesful west-bound Atlantic crossing via Iceland in 1934 in his de Havilland Fox Moth 'Robert Bruce'.
Following a short spell with the Air Ministry's Civil Operations Directorate, Grierson transferred to the Hawker Aircraft Company as a test pilot. At Gloster he was one of four pilots to fly Britain's first jet aircraft, the Gloster Whittle E.28/39 Pioneer, and its power jets W.1 engine. The first flight of the second, single-engined Gloster E.28/39, W4046/G, fitted with a Rover W2B/#110 turbo-jet, was made from Edgehill airfield by John Grierson on March 1, 1943.Meteor Mk1 EE210 was sent to the United States in exchange for a General Electric J31-GE-powered Bell YP-59 Airacomet, RG362/G. The Meteor was first flown at Muroc AFB by John Grierson on April 15 1943.
His experiences with these aircraft and with the follow on F.9/40 were the basis of a succesful book 'Jet Flight'.

As a wing commander after the war, he was deputy director of civil aviation in the British Zone of Germany. Much later he continued his love of exploration as a member of the Royal Geographical Society and he was Britain's representative on the Antarctic Operation Deep Freeze in 1966.