Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hedley Joseph 'Snooks' Everard DFC 1919-1999

Hedley Joseph Everard DFC was born at Timmins, Ontario. In 1939 he had served in the Algonquin Rifles and in September 1940, he enlisted in the RCAF in Toronto. He received air crew instruction at various training schools in Canada and on 15 July 1941 graduated, as a pilot, from No. 32 Service Flying Training School. After being posted overseas, he served in England, the Far East and the Middle East with Squadron No. 417.
Prior to the end of WW2, Flight Lieutenant Everard was shot down and taken prisoner. However, he managed to escape and was liberated by the Russians as they advanced their forces into Germany.
Everard was back in England in time to take part in the celebrations for the Allied victory in Europe. After the end of WW2, Everard joined Canadair Aircraft company and in 1949 was a test pilot with the company. He later became Director, Tactical Aircraft, with Canadair, dealing with military relations. He remained in the RCAF Auxiliary and from 1951 to 1955 and from 1961 to 1964, commanded No. 401 Squadron

G.T. 'Scotty' McLean 1920 -2001

G. T. ("Scotty") McLean served with R.C.A.F during the war as a pilot with Training Command and subsequently flew Mosquitoes with No 102 Sqn. After demobilization he was a KLM instrument instructor and, later, a civil aviation inspector in the Canadian Department of Transport. He joined Canadair in 1953 and was concerned with the flight-test programmes of the CL-28, CL-66 and CL-44. In 1964 he joined Canadair Management team heading the Ottawa office. he was involved in the succesful markeing of the Challenger series jet.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Enrico Scarabotto

The first Italian-built production Eurofighter, IT001, made its maiden flight from Alenia Aeronautica/Caselle on February 14th 2003 at 13:30 GMT. The flight lasted 50 minutes. At the controls were Cpt. Marco Venanzetti, Alenia Aeronautica Test Pilot and Cpt. Enrico Scarabotto, Alenia Aeronautica Test Pilot

Maurizio Cheli 1959-

After graduation from the Italian Air Force Academy, Cheli underwent pilot training at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma, in 1982-1983. Following fighter lead-in training at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico and initial training in the F-104G in Italy, he joined the 28th Squadron, 3rd Recce Wing in 1984. In 1987, he attended the Italian Air Force War College and in 1988 he graduated from the Empire Test Pilot's School, Boscombe Down, United Kingdom. While assigned to the Italian Air Force Flight Test Center in Pratica di Mare, Rome, he served as a Tornado and B-707 Tanker project pilot on a variety of test programs and as display pilot. His flight experience includes more than 3000 flying hours in over 50 different types of fixed wing aircraft and helicopters. In June 1992, he was selected by the European Space Agency as a member of the second group of European astronauts.

Cheli reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1992 and completed one year of training in August 1993. He is qualified for assignment as a mission specialist on future Space Shuttle flight crews. His technical assignments to date include: flight software verification in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL); remote manipulator system/robotics; crew equipment. He flew on STS-75 in 1996 and has logged over 377 hours in space.

Agostino Frediani

Marco Venanzetti 1962-

Marco Venanzetti was born in Rome, Italy on 31 August 1962.He joined the Italian Air Force (ItAF) in September 1982. He attended the Italian Air Force Academy from which he graduated in March 1986.In March 1986 he joined the Undergraduate Pilot Training at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas,USA and graduated in June 1987.
He was then assigned to the Operational Conversion Unit at Grosseto Air Force Base, Italy, flying the TF-104 and after the completion of the course he joined the 9th Fighter Interceptor Squadron flying the F-104S Starfighter.
After four years of operational flying, Marco was selected from the Italian Air Force Flight Test enter and, on May 1992, was assigned to the US Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB,California, from where he graduated Experimental Test Pilot in June 1993. Returning to Italy, Marco was assigned to the Eurofighter Test Team of the Italian Air Force where he worked till September 1997 participating at various Working Groups. He flew the Eurofighter as military Test Pilot twice (October 1996 and April 1997).In September 1997 Marco was recalled to the operational world as Squadron Commander of the 101st Operational Conversion Unit flying the AMX and AMX-T. During this period he participated to the Bosnia campaign flying the AMX in the Close Air Support role. Marco left the active service in September 1998 to join Alenia Aeronautica as Experimental Test Pilot where, beside the Eurofighter, he was involved in all Company fighter programs like TORNADO and AMX. In November 2006 he was appointed Chief Test Pilot and since December 2008 is the Director of Flight Operations.Marco has flown more than 4500 hours and has been pilot in command in 76 different aircraft and helicopters.

Gianluca Evangelisti

Gianluca Evangelisti was born and raised in Florence, Italy, Gianluca received a Master’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Italian Military Air Force Academy in 1967.He entered the Italian Air Force as a fighter pilot and in 1974 graduated from the United Kingdom’s Empire Test Pilot School. After a successful nineteen year career with the Italian Air Force, Gianluca continued flying as a test pilot for Alenia Aeronautica until 2006.
Gianluca accumulated more than 16,000 hours as a test pilot and has been involved in the test and evaluation of large, medium, tactical, and training aircraft. Programs that he has been involved in include the Boeing 707 Tanker; G222, C-27A and C-27J Medium Transport Aircraft Programs; the Tornado GR4 Ground Attack Aircraft; and the successful MB-339A Advanced Jet Trainer Program.
Mr. Evangelisti oversees all business development activities in Alenia North America and continues to fly for Alenia Aeronautica as a flight instructor for the C-27J. He maintains flight proficiency in the Eurofighter and Ameracchi’s M346 Advanced Jet Trainer.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Jack A. Bade 1920-1963

Jack A. Bade was born on October 9, 1920, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was the only child of Charles and Gladys Bade. He moved to Elk River, Minnesota when his father accepted a job with a bank there.He attended Elk River High School where he played both football and basketball. He graduated in 1938 and attended the University of Minnesota for one and one-half years before accepting employment with Minneapolis Honeywell.He enlisted in January 1942 and volunteered for the Aviation Cadet program. He completed the course and graduated on June 25, 1942 at Luke Field, Arizona. He received both his pilots wings and a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant. He was then assigned to advanced combat training in the P-40 aircraft.In December 1942, he was assigned to the 44th Fighter Squadron of the 18th Fighter Group, flying out of Munda in the Solomon Islands. He flew 85 missions, a total of 210 combat hours against the Japanese forces. During this time, he was credited with 5 aerial victories plus one probable.But his biggest achievement came on February 13, 1943. While escorting a flight of Navy bombers, his unit was attacked by a large force of enemy aircraft. In the ensuing fight, Bade's aircraft was severely damaged, rendering his guns useless. He was severely wounded from a head wound, but saw the Navy bombers under attack by a large force of enemy fighters. He dove straight into the melee, penetrating the enemy formation although his guns were jammed and succeeded in scattering the attackers, and allowing the Navy bombers to escape. For this action, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross as well as the Purple Heart.The exploits of Captain Bade (later Major) were used in comic strips and books such as "True Comics" and "Heroic Comics." He also appeared in a cameo role in the 1943 movie "Thunderbirds." In 1956, he appeared in an ad for Camel cigarettes, and in 1962, he was featured in an ad for Chase Manhattan Bank.In late 1943, Bade was assigned by the Air Corps to Republic Aviation where he acted as chief inspector on the emerging P-47 program. After being discharged in 1946, he returned to Republic and eventually became a test pilot, serving in many on-going test programs. Unfortunately, he was killed on May 2, 1963 in a mid-air collision with test pilot Don Seaver, both flying F-105 aircraft at Mach 2, over the Catskill Mountains in New York.Jack A. Bade is buried in Long Island National Cemetery in Farmington, New York.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Ian Edward MacTavish 1916-1971

Ian Edward MacTavish was born in Ontario in 1916. He enlisted in the RCAF at London, Ontario on 25 June 1940. He trained at No.1 ITS. He was sent England and was a posted to No 410 Sqn RCAF. He flew twin engine Mosquito’s as a night fighter, low level bombing and photo reconnaissance. He flew support for D-day and The Battle of The Bulge. He was credited with three kills, a FW.190 destroyed (1/2 September 1944), Ju.87 destroyed (24/25 December 1944), and a Ju.88G destroyed (24/25 March 1945). Hewas mentioned in dispatches.

After the war he became an airline Captain with KLM ,settling in Amsterdam. Ian flew Super Constellations on various routes including Amsterdam to Gander and onwards to New York .After 5 years with KLM,he moved to Montreal Canada where he was hired as an experimental test pilot for Canadair, the Canadian division of General Dynamics. He loved being a test pilot and became a self taught aeronautical engineer. He made the maiden flight of the Canadair Tutor on January 13, 1961. Mandatory retirement from test flight was at 55 years of age, so he left Canadair and was hired to work for IATA in Montreal. He died at the age of 56 in 1971.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Maurice Longbottom DFC 1916-1945

Maurice Longbottom DFC flew 90 different planes in his career including a Spitfire that was painted pink so it couldn't be seen during photo-reconnaissance missions on cloudy days.
He learned to fly at the Bristol Flying School in 1935 and his expertise led to him becoming involved in many areas of our aerial efforts during the war.
And it was while he was test flying a Vickers Warwick GR Mk V that he died aged 29.
The plane suffered severe rudder overbalance and spun into ground making its approach to Brooklands at Weybridge, Surrey, in January 1945.
In an unfortunate twist, Longbottom's elder brother Philip was also killed in the war while flying.
He was training in America in July 1942 when he and seven other RAF flying cadets and a US instructor encountered bad weather and crashed. All were killed
He was involved in all manner of combat and did test flying, photo-reconnaissance and of course worked closely with Barnes Wallis on the bouncing bomb.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Douglas 'Duggie' J.P. Broomfield DFM 19xx-1951

'Duggie' Broomfield flew Hampdens with Bomber Command, No 49 Squadron, and from 1943 onwards was engaged on experimental work. Before leaving the R.A.F. in October, 1948, he was
testing heavy aircraft at the A. and A.E.E., Boscombe Down, having graduated from the Empire Test Pilots' School. While on loan to Handley Page's in 1947, Broomfield flew as second pilot of the H.P Hastings on its tour of Australia and New Zealand.
He was killed on 26th August 1951 at Stansted, Essex, in the crash of the Handley Page H.P.88 crescent-wing research aircraft.

Llewellyn Oliver Moss MM 1895-1946

Llewellyn Oliver Moss was chief production test pilot of the Gloster Aircraft Company.

Llewellyn Oliver Moss was born in Harriestham Kent in 1895.
After serving in the Dorsetshire Yeomanry in WW1, he transferred to the R.F.C. and remained in the R.A.F. Reserve. Flying Officer  Moss relinquished his commission in the RAF on the 21 July 1933. At the outbreak of the second European war he was considered too old to fly with the R.A.F., and therefore joined the A.T.A. Later, he was in charge of the A.T.A. Brockworth pool, and, in view of his good work, was employed in 1942 by Glosters as production test pilot on the Typhoon contract. He also carried out production tests on Meteors and had also helped with development work on this type. He was killed in a test flying accident on 9th May 1946.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Douglas Dennison Weightman 1912-1948

L-R Tony Martindale, Jimmy Nelson, Eric Winkle Brown, Doug Weightman on a Spitfire
Douglas Weightman joined the R.A.F. in 1938 with a short service commission; he had held an A licence since 1933. He completed two tours of operations with Coastal Command and in 1943 took the Empire Test Pilot's course. Later he was attached to the Structural and Mechanical Engineering Flight at the R.A.E., Farnborough, as a test pilot and was demobilized in 1946.
After a period of charter flying he joined the A.R.B. in July,1947 and became chief test pilot, associated with all test flying of prototypes and particularly with tropical testing. With 3,500 hours' experience of flying about 80 different types Mr. Weightman had been loaned to Bristol's, whose staff was depleted by holidays and sickness, by permission of the M.o.S.
He was killed on 14th October 1948 when a Bristol Brigand in which he was flight testing crashed.

Friday, January 06, 2012

J. Lynn Helms 1925-2011

J. Lynn Helms was born in 1925 in DeQueen, Arkansas. Helms began his aviation career when he joined the U.S. Navy Aviation Cadet training program while at the University of Oklahoma, early in 1942. On completion of the program he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, remaining in the service as a regular officer after the end of WW-II. Subsequent service included postings to Japan, China, Korea, various aircraft carriers and other Military Assignments. He became a U.S. Navy test pilot on graduation from the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School, test flying the earliest American jet aircraft. He was awarded the U. S. Marine Corps Air Medal and the USAF Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster for Combat and Exceptional Service during the Korean War. He was the first man to fly 1000 miles an hour, accomplishing this in the Navy’s F8U Crusader on June 24, 1955. He subsequently retired from the Marine Corps with the rank of Lt. Col.

He served as Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, as an appointee of President Ronald Reagan. During his tenure as FAA Administrator Helms originated and oversaw development of the 1982 National Airspace System (NAS) Plan; He headed the US delegation to the United Nations emergency session following the Soviet Union’s shooting down of Korean Air Flight 007 and played a key role in the August 3, 1981 Air traffic Control Strike.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Jack Waddell 1923-1999

Jack Waddell (left) with Brien Wygle and Jesse Wallick

Jack Waddell was raised in Joliet where he graduated from high school. He gained a degree in engineering physics at Montana State University. During WW2 he served four years as a US Navy pilot in the South Pacific.
After the war, he joined Boeing Aircraft Company as an engineering test pilot. He flight tested many of Boeing's aircraft types and eventually became Chief Test Pilot and director of flight training. He will be best remembered as the test pilot on the maiden flight of the Boeing 747.

Phillip W. Houghton 1919-2007

Phillip W. Houghton was born in Texas, the son of an Army Air Corps General. He was a P 51 pilot in Okinawa very late in the war, escorting B-29’s and attacking ground targets. He noted that the only time he was ever shot at was a soldier shooting a pistol at him as he was straffing a dockyard!

After the war he moved to St Louis and flew the P51 for the Missouri National Guard and was part of a two man demonstration team that competed against other pilots after the war. He flew out of Lambert field in St Louis which is also the home of McDonnell aircraft. He graduated with an aeronautical engineering degree from the University Of Minnesota. He was hired by McDonnell Douglas in 1946 as an assistant aerodynamicist and thereafter as a test pilot.

He was one of many test pilots for McDonnell on the Phantom 1, Banshee, Demon, and F101 Voodoo. He was responsible for developing the photo reconnaissance version of the F101, the RF 101, and did several trans-american flights testing the photo equipped aircraft, as was the policy for manufactures, McDonnell allowed an Air Force pilot to set the record for the reconnaissance flight. When the F4 Phantom 2 was developed, he moved from being an experimental test pilot to being a production test pilot in order to stay closer to home instead of travelling a lot to Edwards and other airbases. He made final check out test flights before delivery of the F4, and was responsible for delivering F4's to the RAF, Israeli Air Force, Japan, and Germany.

He sued McDonnell in a age discrimination case that went all the way to the US Supreme Court. McDonnell had a mandatory retirement from flying at about the age of 53. And although he could continue to work for McDonnell, pay was substantially reduced, forcing most pilots to quit. Phil argued successfully that it was a way for McDonnell to avoid retirement costs, and retirement based on age was arbitrary, and not a true indicator of pilots performance. In fact Chuck Yeager testified in his defence at his trial. Unfortunately, it was a Pyrrhic victory. He won the case after about 7 years. A bit naive, he thought if he won he would be back in a cockpit. He never flew or worked again.

He suffered 2 crashes in his career, once a midair collision in his Mo Air guard P51 with a Grumman Bearcat over Southern Illinois flying out of Lambert Field. Neither pilot apparently saw the other as they were practicing aerobatics and had no radio communication. Unfortunately the Navy reservist pilot was killed when he climbed up under the P51and got the propeller through the cockpit. The second crash was in the single engine Demon for the Navy in which he had a flame out on take off, resulting in the aircraft crashing on the runway.