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Great British aviation heroes

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Great British aviation heroes

Old 26th Oct 2013, 01:18
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Great British aviation heroes

For me,

Sir Stanley Hooker - master of fluid dynamics with probably just a slide rule. Arguably changed history with his work on the supercharged Merlin. I recommend his book 'Not much of an engineer', maybe it could spark a renaissance in British engineering if it was read by a bright teenager wondering what to do with themselves?

John Farley - why he's not been knighted I don't know. I've admired him greatly since I saw a Harrier/P1127/Kestrel documentary in the 70s and a piece on Tomorrow's World (one of my favourite programmes back then, with the great Raymond Baxter), where John described a ski-jump take-off as something your granny could do. Which is typical of John, taking off in a Harrier up the side of a Swiss mountain and almost saying 'so what?' A great engineering and aviation brain but with typical British understatement. I was fortunate enough to see the VAAC Harrier at Cranfield, what became of that? Did those ideas seep into modern-day aircraft I wonder?

AV Roe - enough said - shame about Woodford though.

Sir Sydney Camm - Hurricane and Hunter et al.

Sir Frank Whittle, of course.

Teddy Petter and Roland Beamont, my favourite aeroplane!

Please add your thoughts, I do believe that eventually we could return to be amongst the pre-eminent aviation designers and engineers in the world.
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Old 26th Oct 2013, 08:15
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The pioneers - Cody et al, the immediate post war Test Pilots, most of whom had distinguished war records as well
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Old 26th Oct 2013, 08:22
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R J Mitchell ?
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Old 26th Oct 2013, 08:25
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Great British aviation heroes

Sir George Edwards.
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Old 26th Oct 2013, 08:45
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'Winkle' Brown.
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Old 26th Oct 2013, 09:01
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Sir Freddie Laker
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Old 26th Oct 2013, 09:16
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Sir Alan Cobham.........
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Old 26th Oct 2013, 10:02
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I think we would have to include Richard Fairey and TOM Sopwith. I was hoping somebody else might have included Fred Handley Page; but I will redeem my AVRO connections by pointing out Roy Dobson who took over where old AV left off on actually making things and Roy Chadwick on designing the said things.

Last edited by GOLF_BRAVO_ZULU; 26th Oct 2013 at 10:27. Reason: Carp Typing
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Old 26th Oct 2013, 11:14
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Claude Graham-White for me.
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Old 26th Oct 2013, 11:39
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Sir Barnes Wallis
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Old 26th Oct 2013, 11:53
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All of the above and a fair few others, including Norman de Bruyn the inventor of Reduxing, for bonding windows into pressurised aircraft... about as significant to modern aviation as the jet engine!
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Old 26th Oct 2013, 12:26
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Originally Posted by mally35
'Winkle' Brown.
Another man whose lack of knighthood escapes me completely.

the VAAC Harrier at Cranfield, what became of that? Did those ideas seep into modern-day aircraft I wonder?
How do you think Britain maintains it's relatively senior position in the F-35 Lightning II programme? A very large part of that is down to VAAC. I'm sure JF however would be the first to acknowledge that that was a huge team effort.


One I'm researching at the moment and would be grateful for any history anybody has on him - Alan Douglas Carden.


Sir Tommy Sopwith of-course.

Jeffrey Quill without a doubt, and not just for his work at Supermarine - his work before the war at the Duxford Met Flight was also incredibly impressive.

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Old 26th Oct 2013, 14:36
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Harry Hawker ......... wait a minute, he wasn't British, though the King did send the message of condolence, "The nation had lost one of its most distinguished airmen."
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Old 26th Oct 2013, 15:01
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Lightbulb Don't Forget....

Major Halford, an oft-forgotten engineer whose contributions were significant for decades....
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Old 26th Oct 2013, 16:14
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Sir Frank Whittle (Jet Engine)
Sir Freddie Laker (I/T inventor & cheap transatlantic travel)
Lord King and Sir Colin Marshall (for turning BA around in the 1980's)
Barnes Wallis (Wellington Bomber & Bouncing Bomb)
Roy Chadwick (Lancaster Bomber)
R J Mitchell (Spitfire)
Sir Sydney Camm (Hurricane; which shot down more aircraft in the B of B)
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Old 26th Oct 2013, 16:53
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Sir Adam Thomson & Sir Freddie Laker...
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Old 26th Oct 2013, 17:26
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Peter Twiss, first man at 1000mph

Brian Jones, first balloonist around the world (with Betrand Picard)

John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown, first transatlantic flight. (While Lindberg's flight was most impressive, he was the 13th to fly non-stop).
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Old 26th Oct 2013, 17:30
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John Britten and Desmond Norman
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Old 26th Oct 2013, 19:31
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Aviation heroes

Alex Henshaw & surely test pilots, Duke, Twiss, Lithgow, Gunn etc, etc, etc, PH.
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Old 26th Oct 2013, 19:42
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Major James Bigglesworth, responsible for setting more young men (including me) on an aviation career than anybody else and of course his biographer W.E Johns.

Last edited by ericferret; 27th Oct 2013 at 10:31.
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