Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Frederick Phillip Raynham OBE 1893-1954
Frederick Phillips Raynham was an early associate of Sir Alliott Verdon-Roe. He took
Aviators' Certificate No. 85 on a Roe biplane at Brooklands in 1911, a few weeks before his
18th birthday, and soon he was an outstanding pilot in that early colony of aviators who included
Tommy Sopwith, Harry Hawker, Gordon Bell, and Ronald Kemp —with whom he was later associated in the Air Survey Co. At Brooklands he flew regularly for A. V. Roe and Co., Martinsydes, and Sopwiths and free-lanced for others. On October 24th, 1912, he established
a British Duration Record of 1.5 hrs on an Avro with 60 h.p. Green, and he won many races
and flying prizes, mainly at Brooklands and occasionally at Hendon. In the early summer of 1914 he caused a sensation while flying the first Avro 504 (80 h.p. Gnome) at a Hendon race meeting;
he climbed to over 12,000ft over Hendon, switched his engine off and, with a following wind, landed at Brooklands—more than 20 miles distant—without restarting the engine.
Throughout the 1914-18 war he tested hundreds of Martinsyde scouts.
In 1919 he took a Martinsyde with Rolls-Royce to Newfoundland to try for the Daily Mail Atlantic prize. Soon after Hawker and Mackenzie Grieve left on their historic attempt, Raynham
crashed while trying to take off in his heavily loaded aircraft; he and his navigator, W. Morgan, were uninjured but badly shaken. He flew a Martinsyde Semiquaver for Britain in the first postwar Gordon Bennett Race in France, but engine trouble prevented
him from finishing the course. In the first King's Cup Race in 1922, Freddie Raynham, flying
a yellow Martinsyde F.6, finished second to F. L. Barnard in an exciting contest round Britain. Later mat year he made the first real soaring flight ever seen in England—in a Handasyde glider on the second day of the Itford Hill gliding meeting. He soared for 1 hr 53 min, a duration which remained unbeaten until the Frenchman Maneyrol stayed up for three hours in a half-gale
in the very last hours of the meeting. Raynham was awarded the Britannia Trophy for 1922 for his flight. He competed in the light aeroplane meetings at Lympne in 1923 and for several years thereafter, flying a Hawker Cygnet; he was "George" Bulman's predecessor in test-flying for Hawkers. Later, in association with Ronald Kemp, he formed the Air Survey Co. and went as pilot to India and Burma, where he helped to form the Indian Air Survey and Transport Co., of which he became managing director.
Chistopher D Beaumont 1904-
W/Cdr Chistopher D Beaumont joined the RAF in 1934 and was in Bomber Command until 1937. He wasa flying instructor at the DH School at White Waltham. During the war he was a fighter pilot followed by staff duties. He was seconded to,succesively,Vickers ,Hawkers and Westlands as a test pilot.
In 1946 he joined the de Havilland Engine Co as Chief Test Pilot,retiring from there in 1954.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Following several years as test pilot with the Aerodynamics Research Flight at RAE Bedford supporting early flight research on a multitude of aircraft types including SC1, P1127, Kestrel, Avro 707, FD2, Vulcan and the HP115 and BAC 221 slender delta Concorde research aircraft, Clive Rustin was appointed CO of Avionics Research Flight and later OC Flying at RAE Farnborough.
As CO of the Fighter & Training Test Squadron at the A&AEE at Boscombe Down he was responsible for the Service Clearance programs & release to service for all fast jet & training aircraft for the RAF, Royal Navy & the Army including: Harrier, Jaguar, Tornado, Phantom, Buccaneer and Hawk plus basic evaluations of other aircraft such as the Saab Viggen.
He has flown over 160 aircraft types, including his post RAF involvement in airships and participation on the display circuit in a variety of old warbirds such as the, Venom, Vampire, Hunter & Spitfire.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Dieter H. Thomas 1936-2013
Since March 1989 Mr. Thomas worked as a free-lance aviation expert, test pilot and flight test consultant. During this time he performed the flight test certification of the Hoffmann H40 2-seat sportplane. He was responsible for the special certification of Alpha Jets for the Red Bull Company in Austria and civil certification of several warbirds (e. g. YAK-3/YAK-9), reconstructions of M-17 and Me 163 vintage aircraft, the Dornier Seastar and others. In 1990 Mr. Thomas became the Flight Director for the International Aerospace Exhibition (ILA) in Hanover. From 1992 to 2006 he was the Flight Director/Event Manager for ILA Berlin and was also a Board Member on the European Airshow Council. He was the Safety and Flight Test consultant for the Oskar Ursinus Vereinigung (OUV), the German association for the promotion and certification of experimental aircraft. He has published several pilot reports in leading aviation magazines, presented several publications at the Aeronautical Society, and given presentations on the Alpha Jet and Do 24 at meetings of the European Section of SETP. Mr. Thomas worked with students of aviation and aeronautics at technical schools in Nürnberg, Graz, and Munich during the development of their flight test relevant diploma reports. He had flown a total of about 7,500 flight hours on about 180 different aircraft types. He joined SETP in 1968 and became a Fellow in 2007.
Adam Teleki 1937-
First Flight of MBB BK117
Tiger PT3 (PAH2 / HAC prototype) flown by Andrew Warner and Adam Teleki FTE
HGH Programme ( High Speed Helicopter programme) using a modified Bo105 to explore the limitations of the hinge-less rotor
Bo 105 S1 D-HABV shows Siegfried Hoffmann, an airfield guard and Adam Teleki after landing at Hinjohosa-del-Duque in southern Spain, direct from Ottobrunn near Munich. This established a new distance record for Class Id rotorcraft, which still stands today.
Baron Wilfried von Engelhardt 1928-2015
Wilfried von Engelhardt studied in England between 1950-1952. He was a helicopter Mechanic in Paris (1954) and Holland (1955-1956). He became a pilot in 1955 and joined MBB and became Chief Test Pilot from 1962-1973. He took the Test Pilot course at EPNER in 1966.
He made the maiden flight of the Bolkow Bo105. After he ceased test flying he became sales Director and then Director of the Helicopter Training Center at MBB.
Etienne Herrenschmidt 1941-
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Mort (Morton) W. Brown 1908-2011
Mort Brown was born in 1908 and even before his early years of grade school, Mort had dreamed of being a pilot. While attending school, Mort could be seen walking to school with an aviation magazine tucked under his arm, begging to be read in a spare moment.
In 1927, Brown enlisted in the U.S. Marines for the sole purpose of becoming a pilot. However the Marines had other plans for Mort, so he became a seafaring Marine, stationed in Nicaragua to prevent a political coup in the Banana Republic. Following his honorable discharge in 1931, Mort enrolled at Eddie Martin's School of Aviation in Santa Anna, California, a commercial aviation school. Mort obtained his transport pilot's license in 1933 after completing ground and flight training. He found employment as a flight instructor and utility pilot in San Diego, and later in Denver during the depression.
Mort soon met Dwane Wallace, President of Cessna through Ray Wilson's Flying School, which had been established as a Cessna dealership and distributor. Brown was hired as Sales Manager for Cessna in 1938 for the production of the C-38 Airmaster, after its certification. With the development of the Cessna T-50, first twin engine aircraft, Mort was assigned to Chief Pilot of Production Flight Test, which began a long career in aviation.
During Mort's nearly 35 years with Cessna, he was responsible for the production flight testing of all production models of Cessna airplanes ranging from the Airmaster, T-50 (civil and military), through the post-war series 120, 140, 150, 170, 172, 177, 180, 182, 185, 188 Agwagon, 190, 195, 205, 206, 207, 210, some early 310's (including the U3A military version), 336, 337, L-19 Bird Dog military, OE-2, and many other civil and military aircraft designed and built by Cessna.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
James R. Martinez 1935-2008
James R. Martinez, Cdr. USNR (Ret.) was born in Ashland, Pa. He was a former naval and civilian pilot and a graduate of the
Following his discharge from the United States Navy in 1968, he went to work as a pilot with Pan American World Airways for a one-year period. From 1970 to 1987, James was employed at Fairchild Industries in
James returned to work for Pan American World Airways in
During his extensive career in flight testing, he flew many varieties of aircraft ranging from rotary wing to supersonic fighters. He amassed more than 20,000 flight hours during his aviation career.
Len Fox is a former US Navy test pilot who has developed a reputation as test pilot for various kit aircraft, including Lancair and Vans. With his keen interest in aerobatics and aerodynamics, he experimented with modifications to his aircraft, which later formed the basis for his completely new design, next generation, aerobatic aircraft, the Chanute.
In October 1999 he made the maiden flight of the Viperjet.
Eduardo Alves Menini
Eduardo Alves Menini Graduated from the
He worked as flight test pilot for the Brazilian Certification Authority from 1989 to 1993, where he was involved with the certification of several airplanes including MD-11, Fokker-50 MkII, A-310, and Learjet 60. Instructor and Chief of the Brazilian AF
Chief of the Brazilian CTA Flight Test Division from 1997 to 1999, he was involved, as test pilot, in test programs concerning weapons compatibility on the Brazilian AF Mirage IIIE.
Cpt. Menini Joined Embraer in 2000 to work as a test pilot for the Embraer 170 Program, becoming involved with the man-machine interface design for the Embraer 170/190 cockpit.
He was the Project Test Pilot for the Embraer 190 and Embraer Phenom.
Cap. Menini has accumulated more than 4000 flight hours in several airplanes from gliders to large transport and supersonic fighters.
Friday, February 06, 2009
Robert P.Brush 1912-1992
Robert Brush flew with the Army Air Corps in the 30’s; DC-2’s with TWA, then joined Douglas Aircraft in 1939. He became Chief Engineering Pilot in 1944 and was promoted to Director of Flight Operations in 1949. He tested the A-20, Super DC-3, DC-5, A-26, XB-43, C-74, DC-4, DC-6 and DC-7. He made the first flights on the DC-6, L015 and XB-43. At one point in his career he had been hand picked by Howard Hughes to work on his projects with him. He retired in 1975. He spent many of his years in retirement with high performance cars. He bought and restored a 1920 Model A race car of which he tied a world speed record (for that car) in a straightaway in at 121mph. He later restored a T-bird.
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Gerald John (Gerry) Smallridge 1929-1979
Gerry Smallridge joined Westland as a Mechanical Engineering Apprentice in 1947.
On completing National Service in the Royal Air Force, he returned to Westland in 1953 to join the newly formed Flight Test Department. By this time the company was totally dedicated to helicopter design and development.
He was involved in the flight test programmes of the whole range of Westland products including: Jet Lift Meteor, Wyvern, Dragonfly, Widgeon, Whirlwind, Westminster, Wessex, Scout, Wasp, Sioux, Sea King and Lynx.
Appointed Chief Flight Test Engineer in 1961, Gerry Smallridge played a major part in formulating the way in which helicopters were flight tested, and was also responsible for the integration of the Flight Test Departments when Fairey, Bristol and Saunders Roe became part of Westland, a difficult process, which he handled with sensitivity and leadership.
In 1971 he was awarded the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air, and was appointed Sea King project manager in 1977.
Monday, February 02, 2009
Herve Leprince-Ringuet 1933-
In April 1961, he joined Dassault as a test pilot,participating in the testing of the Mirage IVA along with Rene Bigand and Jean Cuny. He also supported Bigand for during the development of the Mystere 20 and was subsequently appointed Chief civilian test pilot after the death of Rene Bigand. He made the first flights of the Hirondelle,Falcon 10,Falcon 50 and Falcon 900. His flight hours are in excess of 9000hours mostly in flight test.