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Roy Radford


BAC Chief Test Pilot Roy Radford on the steps of one of his favourite aeroplanes, BAC 1-11 G-ASYD during its flying career (BAE Systems photo via Brooklands Museum).


Rare surviving war-time Bofors gun tower at West Malling, Kent, on 13th May 2017, with built-in stores and accommodation; two similar structures helped defend Brooklands (Julian Temple).


Former BAC Chief Test Pilot (CTP) Roy Radford passed away on 4th March aged 88 after a distin- guished career in aviation. Having joined the RAF in 1946 and instructed on Valiant and Victor V-bombers in the 1950s, he was recruited to Brian Trubshaw's BAC flight test team at Hurn and Wisley in 1964 to become project pilot on the 1-11 programme and often flew the Museum’s example, G-ASYD. Deputy CTP by 1967, he soon became part of the Concorde programme at Fairford and Filton. Appointed as BAC CTP at Filton in 1981, he made the first flight of the VC10 K.2 tanker there in 1982 and oversaw de- liveries of the last 1-11s from Hurn in 1984. A true gentleman and one of the few remaining test pilots to have flown regularly from Brooklands, Hurn and Wisley, Roy was always supportive of the Museum and was last here for our VC10 50th anniversary celebrations in 2012 at which he recalled some fascinating memories of the type.


Visit by Mark Webber


On 12th April well-known Australian Formula One racing driver and commentator Mark Webber visited the Museum, flying a Eurocopter AS350 Squirrel helicopter from RAF Halton, Buckinghamshire and using the helicopter landing site at Mercedes-Benz World. Escorted by Allan Winn and David Nagle, Mark and several colleagues were very interested in our latest


59


activities and departed suitably impressed several hours later. Snippets


Club level member Colin Francis emailed on 5th May to say that in the early 1970s Eric Skingley’s ex-Magnificent Men and Their Flying Machines Antoinette monoplane was stored behind the No.11(F) Squadron Air Training Corps premises in the old cottage (part of Wintersells Farm before the Track was built) near the Byfleet Banking footbridge. At the time, Eric drove an old Buick hearse and was a civilian instructor with 11(F) and in 1971 Colin and some fellow cadets were tasked with pushing and pulling the aircraft from the BAC factory site along the roads to that summer's Byfleet Parish Day in Rectory Lane, where they refitted the wings before Sir Douglas Bader officially opened the show! Colin’s father watched Brooklands races as a child and Colin’s grandfather helped build the Track before later working on the turnstiles on race days. Mention of war-time Brooklands ‘Bofors’ anti-


aircraft gun towers in my last report led to further investigations of this topic including recent visits to surviving towers near former RAF airfields at Kenley and West Malling and the acquisition of detailed records made in 1993 of the now-demol- ished Gatwick tower. Brooklands in World War Two remains a fascinating and important subject for many of our researchers.


Julian Temple


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