Wednesday, October 29, 2008

G/Capt Christopher Clarkson AFC 1902-1994

Chris Clarkson with George Errington (left) after flying the prototype Airspeed Ambassador
Chris Clarkson ready to test another Canadian built Mosquito

Christopher Clarkson was educated at Lancing College in Sussex and had a long career in aviation. He joined the Royal Air Force in 1924 as an instructor at its Central Flying School, returned to civilian life as a test pilot and won trophies for aerobatics and cross-Channel air races.

In World War II, he rejoined the Central Flying School but the R.A.F. sent him to the United States to test the warplanes being sent to Britain on Lend-Lease. He became chief of the test branch of the British Air Commission in this country in 1943, rose to the rank of group captain and received the Air Force Cross.

After the war he served as civil-aviation attache in the British Embassy in Washington until 1952. That year he became United States representative of Vickers-Armstrong Ltd., then one of Britain's leading aircaft and arms manufacturers. That led to his position in 1961 as head of British Aircraft Corporation U.S.A., now British Aerospace. He retired four years later.