Wednesday, February 10, 2016

W/Cdr Andrew McDowall DFM* DSO* AFC 1913-1981

Andrew McDowall was born in 1913 at Kirkinner, Wigtownshire, Scotland. McDowall was working as an engineer on Clydeside before the war.

He joined 602 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force before the war as an Aircraft hand. He later re-mustered as an Airman u/t Pilot and did some flying training before being called to full-time service on 24th August 1939.
McDowall completed his training and rejoined 602 Squadron around May 1940. During a night patrol on 24th/25th July he attacked a He111 caught in searchlights. It jettisoned two parachute mines and, although his attack had no apparent result, the enemy aircraft was later reported to have crashed in the sea.
On 18th August McDowall destroyed a Me109, on the 26th a He111, on 9th September a Me109, on the 11th a Me110, on the 15th a probable Do17, on the 30th a Ju88 destroyed and another shared, on 27th October a Ju88 destroyed and another probably destroyed, on the 29th two Me109's destroyed, on the 30th a Me109 destroyed and on 6th November a Me109 destroyed and another shared.
McDowall was awarded the DFM (gazetted 8th October 1940) and a Bar (gazetted 17th December 1940).

Commissioned in November 1940, McDowall was posted to 245 Squadron at Aldergrove on 15th April 1941 as a Flight Commander. In July he was OC 'B' Squadron at 52 OTU Debden.
On 10th April 1942 McDowall took command of 232 Squadron when it reformed at Atcham. He was posted away to a staff job at HQ 13 Group in September.

In July 1944 McDowall was given command of 616 Squadron at Manston. Flying a Meteor, he destroyed a Ju88 on the ground on 24th April 1945.
He left the squadron in May 1945 and was released from the RAF later in the year as a Wing Commander.
He went to work for Rolls Royce a s a test pilot and then to Glosters, testing Meteors being sold to foreign air forces. He died in 1981

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

John N. Dennis 1921-xxxx

L-R Ron Gellatly, John Dennis and David Masters
Fairy Gyrodyne
Fairey Aviation at WhiteWaltham test pilot signatures Gordon Slade,Peter Twiss,Roy Morris and John Dennis

John Dennis joined the R.A.F.V.R. in 1938 and served with Nos. 3 and 139 Squadrons.  In 1942 he joined the Autogiro Squadron at Halton, and in 1944, after taking the No. 1 Helicopter School course at Andover, went to the Airborne Forces Experimental Establishment at Beaulieu, Hants, for rotating-wing research and  development duty.

In 1945 he was posted to R.A.E., Farnborough, as a Service Pilot, and a year later became a civil pilot there. More than 750 hours of his 3,000 hours' flying  at that time in 1949 had been on rotating-wing aircraft. On June 1st 1949 .F/L. John Norman Dennis was appointed rotating-wing test-pilot to the Fairey Aviation Company's Rotorcraft Division.

With the Jet Gyrodyne, Faireys were first in the world to secure a complete and realistic transition cycle in flight, the feat having been achieved on March 1 1955 by John Dennis as test pilot.
The Jet Gyrodyne, as the Fairey Gyrodyne was redesignated, was the subject of a Ministry of Supply research contract. Its function was to continue testing the tip-jet principle and develop procedures for the convertible helicopter, as represented by the Rotodyne. While the Jet Gyrodyne retained the basic appearance and engine of the earlier model, it had a two-bladed main rotor with pressure burners at the tips in place of the conventional three-bladed rotor, and at the end of the stub wings were two Fairey variable-pitch pusher propellers. These were driven by the Leonides engine which no longer drove the main rotor; instead, two Rolls-Royce Merlin compressors pumped air under pressure to the rotor tips.
Tethered flights at White Waltham were followed by the first free flight in January 1954, but a full transition to horizontal from vertical flight was not achieved until March 1955. System proving continued and by September 1956, 190 transitions and 140 autorotative landings had been made.

Lieut Cdr (ret) Royal (Roy) Valentine Morris RN 19xx-1975

Roy Morris served in the  R.A.F. 1943-44 and then Royal Navy till 1950. He was recalled six months later and served as pilot and deck landing officer till February 1952, when he joined Fairey as a test pilot. He attended No. 12 E.T.P.S. course in 1953.

In 1959 Deck-landing trials of the Gannet AEW3 took place in the English Channel and were ompletely satisfactory. The aircraft concerned was XL 451 (the prototype was XJ 440
and production machines started at XL 449). Three pilots were involved in the trials: Roy Morris of Fairey Aviation, and Cdr.C. E. Price and Lt-Cdr. T. C. Evans from Boscombe Down. Observers were H. J. M. Lawrence of Fairey Aviation (ex-849AEW Sqn.), C. O. Clark and Lt. P. J. Oldridge