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RIP John Farley....

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RIP John Farley....

Old 15th Jun 2018, 09:04
  #21 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
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Angry

No mention in the mainstream news here in the UK . Not a "celebrity" I guess?
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Old 15th Jun 2018, 10:14
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Sad news. One of my favourite JF stories didn't involve the Harrier, but came from his squadron days flying Hunters in Germany, where he and his partner accidentally made a substantial incursion into East Germany whilst on QRA looking for an intruder spotted on radar. The 'intruder' turned out to have been radar returns from East German railway trains!
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Old 15th Jun 2018, 11:35
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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RIP Sir, I am proud and honoured to have known you.

Say hello to Dickie when you get there.

OMS

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Old 15th Jun 2018, 11:41
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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The older we get the more we reminisce, recalling log book entries of situation, aircraft, or people.
Most memorable was of all three in one flight, John, Harrier, SkiJump; the most valuable 2nd pilot time gained.
His final comment before rolling “all we need now is speed and upwardness” taken from one of his predecessors (Hugh / Duncan). This phrase epitomises all of Johns qualities, deep technical knowledge, ability to relate to situations, and communicate simply at any level in aviation.

God speed and Upwardness.
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Old 15th Jun 2018, 11:48
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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It was an absolute pleasure to have met John several times. A true gentleman who was very happy to pass on his incredible knowledge and experience. And moreso with that priceless ability of his of being able to explain very complex subjects in words that us lesser mortals could understand.

RIP Sir
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Old 15th Jun 2018, 12:22
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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An absolute gentleman, superb test pilot and a fine mind.

Sorely missed.

Best Regards as ever, John

Engines
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Old 17th Jun 2018, 17:30
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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I had to telephone John a few times for advice. He was always very willing and able to pass this on in simple terms. I was putting together a 'bona display' and was interested in the 'Farley Rocket' and his amazing sideways manoeuvres that defied 'bona' laws. Simple answer from John -watch and keep the AoA low. Next I asked about rudder tramp going backwards for a back up rvl (manual rudder). Simple answer from John - the aircrafts talking to you. I never had the guts to pirouhette at the speeds he did but I did respect his words on rudder tramp and came back to half braking stop. I passed this on but unfortunately to my great dismay it never got to 'Wxly', a lovely lad who died during a display in Germany, when I think that he went backwards too quickly and got elevator reversal as he pitched. It upsets me to this day that a simple message didn't get through. If only he had asked, or RAFG had spoken to us.
I next called John when I had to bring a jet from Lossie to Witt gear down. Nothing in the book. I remembered that John had to do it after a flypast at Invincibles launching I think. The figures that he gave me off the top of his head were spot on.
What a great chap and amazing aviator.

Thrusts a must
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Old 17th Jun 2018, 18:58
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Thrusts etc

John was an amazing man, and we, as a nation, should have given him recognition for what he did which was way better than those who get national awards singing songs, riding bicycles or playing tennis.

I was Wxly's Sqn Cdr when he did his thing - and it it still torments me that I should have briefed him/controlled him better.

He might not have listened, but I really do wish that I had tried to save such a talented young man for whatever his future might have been.

I have lost faith in PPRuNe, so I shall return to deep and silent.
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Old 17th Jun 2018, 19:26
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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I met JF during a display season I did as a young F/L (he usually appeared in the Ryan in those days). He took the time and trouble to seek me out after seeing my full display for the first time, simply because he wanted to compliment me on it. Coming from a man if his stature that meant a great deal to me, but he also passed on other words of wisdom that summer, normally couched in self-deprecating terms of problems he had encountered and how he had dealt with them - advice given kindly for me to learn from. A true gentleman and an exceptional aviator.
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Old 17th Jun 2018, 20:04
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BomberH = please don't go. Or stop posting. You have been something of an inspiration when you have told of your experiences. - e.g. -
At the end of the 70's, I was on exchange with the USN.

One day, I sat at the end of a runway at NAS ALAMEDA waiting for departure clearance. NAS ALAMEDA is (OK - was!) just to the east of the City of San Francisco, and the runway pointed towards one of the Bay bridges - not THE Bay bridge (OK - it might have been THE Bay Bridge, but it wasn't THE as in Golden Gate Bay Bridge!!) but it was one of the many.

Whilst waiting for departure clearance, I tried to think of an emergency after take-off that would allow me to continue with the departure, but fail to climb over the bridge, and by flying under it save a valuable aircraft and therefore be a hero for ever.

I couldn't, so I didn't!

At times, I wish I had a more imaginative mind!
Can imagine JF nodding, smiling in silent agreement.



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Old 18th Jun 2018, 00:56
  #31 (permalink)  

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I had the pleasure of being there when John gave a presentation to a group of us wannabes at a PPRuNe bash many years ago.

Typical of his style was when he showed a picture of the Harrier ski jump, explaining the theory behind it in a way that even I could understand: "Look at that - isn't it great? You could drive your car off that and it'd fly. For a bit."

A lovely bloke and a great loss to aviation.

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Old 18th Jun 2018, 02:57
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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He gave a fascinating talk at the gliding club that I used to be a member of. He opened up by saying he wasnt a very experienced glider pilot - he had only done about 20 minutes or so - but all or it was in Harriers.. I spoke to him a few times on here, asking various technical questions, and he was always so generous with his knowlege. What a brilliant chap, will miss your posts chap!
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Old 18th Jun 2018, 07:10
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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I met JF a couple of times, including at White Waltham. 'Mr Harrier' was quite open about his opinion of the P1154 and wasn't sad when it was cancelled as he believed that it would never have been as successful as the Harrier. We disagreed about the Fairey Rotodyne and the TSR2 though - JF thought that the latter wasn't sufficiently manoeuvrable, whereas I opined that a supersonic strike bomber didn't need a lot of agility. All very pleasant and it was great to talk with such an aviation icon.

BomberH, I was on a Hawk course with Brian Weatherley at Heaven in Devon - a nice chap with a good pair of hands, according to the staff. His chums from AFT had nicknamed him 'Shlib' for his dark Mediterranean looks ('Snake hipped little Italian bloke'); the same looks attracted the attention of some wandering Air Wheel, who asked him "Wxly - that's an unusual name! Where are you from - Malta?" "No sir - it's Wx as in weather - Weatherley!" "Harumph; I see, must get on, things to see, people to meet....."

Last edited by BEagle; 18th Jun 2018 at 07:25.
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Old 18th Jun 2018, 13:07
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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I will always remember John's modesty when explaining how he came to be the first Western pilot to fly in a MiG-29. (It was basically because he helped out someone in an Su-27 who got into a spot of bother, to put it mildly, with an airshow committee here in the UK for flying down a runway, gear up, at 1.3m AGL !! And then they got chatting ....... and talking about symetric and asymetric airflow over a wing .. and the rest is history.

I've still got a printed copy of John's report on that MiG flight and just dug it out.. and it's written in incredibly easy-to-understand language that any other pilot or any company 'suit' could easily understand.

When we interviewed him and were talking about wingshapes he said he'd been involved in testing them and then it was 'hang on' and he disappeared for a couple of minutes and we could hear the sounds of filing cabinet drawers. And then he came back into the room with two almost identical b/w 8"x10" photographs. One was of a 'standard' F102? / Dart? and the other was the identical fuselage, just with Concorde wings! We were just gobsmacked at his modesty ("it was just our job to test out new ideas") about being involved in things like that.
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Old 18th Jun 2018, 13:52
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Originally Posted by cargosales View Post
I will always remember John's modesty when explaining how he came to be the first Western pilot to fly in a MiG-29. (It was basically because he helped out someone in an Su-27 who got into a spot of bother, to put it mildly, with an airshow committee here in the UK for flying down a runway, gear up, at 1.3m AGL !! And then they got chatting ....... and talking about symetric and asymetric airflow over a wing .. and the rest is history.

I've still got a printed copy of John's report on that MiG flight and just dug it out.. and it's written in incredibly easy-to-understand language that any other pilot or any company 'suit' could easily understand.

When we interviewed him and were talking about wingshapes he said he'd been involved in testing them and then it was 'hang on' and he disappeared for a couple of minutes and we could hear the sounds of filing cabinet drawers. And then he came back into the room with two almost identical b/w 8"x10" photographs. One was of a 'standard' F102? / Dart? and the other was the identical fuselage, just with Concorde wings! We were just gobsmacked at his modesty ("it was just our job to test out new ideas") about being involved in things like that.
Sure it wasn't the FD2/BAC221? I believe John was invloved in the '221 programme when he was at Bedford?
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Old 18th Jun 2018, 13:58
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
Sure it wasn't the FD2/BAC221? I believe John was invloved in the '221 programme when he was at Bedford?
If my memory is failing me as to the type then please do correct me.

In both cases it was a silver skinned aircraft, the first with 'standard' delta wings, the other with 'Concorde' wings.

Edit: Just looked up the FD2 / BAC221 online and yes, that could very well have been the aircraft involved!!

Yes, that's it !! http://www.airliners.net/photo/Briti...AC-221/1577679

Last edited by cargosales; 18th Jun 2018 at 14:10. Reason: Additional info
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Old 18th Jun 2018, 15:54
  #37 (permalink)  

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I distinctly remember seeing that very aircraft at Farnborough. My late father used to take me there almost every year in the early 1960s. His mother was the company accounts secretary for Silkolene oils, who worked on new lubricants for the aviation industry and my father was given a wall mirror with transfers of that series of aircraft on the glass; it was on the wall of our dining room for many years. I've no idea where it went to.
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Old 18th Jun 2018, 18:09
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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John also flew the HP115 'slim' delta when at Bedford too.
For 'cheapness', it had been fitted with Piston Provost undercarriage legs, and one of these failed one day when John was flying it where it joined the aircraft. I knew the guy who was in the runway caravan at Bedford that day (he was later posted to Farnborough) and he told me it remained attached to the aircraft but swinging about so rather than lose a valuable research aircraft, it was decided to try a landing.
My friend in the caravan said it touched down OK with the leg hanging vertically, then it collapsed and the aircraft did a circle round the runway caravan!
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Old 18th Jun 2018, 19:54
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BomberH View Post
Thrusts etc

I was Wxly's Sqn Cdr when he did his thing - and it it still torments me that I should have briefed him/controlled him better.

He might not have listened, but I really do wish that I had tried to save such a talented young man for whatever his future might have been.
.
A few years earlier, when I was preparing for my first display season, Richie P, then Boss of the other outfit, briefed me about the potential peril of that manoeuvre. I suppose that many of us assumed that it had become general knowledge, but it was quite a bit later when we began to formally record and promulgate such lessons. JF undoubtedly passed on many wise tips over the years.
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Old 18th Jun 2018, 21:58
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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John was a great friend and mentor. When I started displaying the Jumping Bean his advice on the "Farley Climb" (banned by the RAF!) was simple; use water, don't go below 20 noz and keep the AoA zero.

We had words after his commentary at Farnborough when he mentioned the fact that my old mum was very proud of my participation and that my girlfriend was waiting to pick me up after the display every day. The then Mrs M was not amused (pretty terminally!).

A fine man, brilliant test pilot, wonderful exponent of vectored thrust and great loss to the world of aviation.

Mog

PS. Stick with us Bomber H!!

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