Forgotten pilots or flights...

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Undried Plum
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Operation Aphrodyte

#221 Post by Undried Plum » Sun Jun 20, 2021 5:31 pm

OK, so one of the pilots doesn't qualify for the thread title, but perhaps the rest do.

The idea was to strip non-essential weight out of B-17s and fit them with remote control apparatus and 20,000lbs of Torpex. The RC gear wasn't reliable enough to perform a takeoff, so a pilot and a flight engineer did the takeoff to 2,000'; armed the explosive charge(s); and took the Silk Route to Suffolk. An accompanying B17 then flew what nowadays would be called the drone to the target with great precision. That was the idea, anyway.

The whole thing was ultra-super-dooper secret squirrel stuff. Very very few US military personnel outside the unit knew what was going on and almost no Brits were clued in.

It was a total fuckup. In 14 missions 24 drones were destroyed. Not one, not even one, target was destroyed.

The exception to the "forgotten" bit is the man who had been chosen by the boss of the Kennedy Crime Family to become President of the most powerful nation on Earth was obliterated when something went wrong with the arming of the Torpex bombload. Jack was never intended to be PotUS, but he was the designated spare. It might be said that History was changed in that microsecond of white light, heat and blast.

I guess you could say that RAF Fersfield was perhaps the most unlucky "RAF" station ever. A 100% loss rate of all of its bombers, while in Septic hands anyway, is an unbeatable record.

The Septics eventually gave up and gave the station back to its owners and slunk away.

It became populated by Mozzies, but there's a sad tale there too.

An attack on the Gestapo HQ in Copenhagen was well planned, but led to disaster. Aircraft of the first wave mistakenly attacked a school. Aircraft of the second and third waves presumed that the struck building was the target, so they flattened it. 84 children and 18 nuns were killed.

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Re: Operation Aphrodyte

#222 Post by TheGreenGoblin » Sun Jun 20, 2021 6:07 pm

Undried Plum wrote:
Sun Jun 20, 2021 5:31 pm

An attack on the Gestapo HQ in Copenhagen was well planned, but led to disaster. Aircraft of the first wave mistakenly attacked a school. Aircraft of the second and third waves presumed that the struck building was the target, so they flattened it. 84 children and 18 nuns were killed.
Operation Carthage...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Carthage

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Heather Ross

#223 Post by TheGreenGoblin » Sun Jul 04, 2021 5:49 pm

Not so much forgotten as not known.

https://www.flightglobal.com/flight-int ... 46.article
Heather Ross was not destined to be a test pilot. She stumbled into the cockpit “very much by accident”, thanks to two brothers who were also interested in aviation. She had initially planned to be a musician.

But at university, the woodwind specialist quickly recognised that music would not be a career in which she could thrive.

“It was kind of the same thing over and over again. I’d played in all sorts of groups – marching bands, jazz bands, orchestras, and all that. Maybe I was burnt out. And I wasn’t sure if I could eke out a career.”

Her first cockpit experience was “an epiphany”.

“That’s when I realised, ‘Oh, wow, this is incredible’. I mean, the world is three-dimensional… There’s now this vertical aspect to seeing the world. The things that were familiar to you in two dimensions take on another one as you fly above it all.”

With an aviation career that now spans almost four decades, 59-year-old Ross has come a long way since that epiphany. In the meantime, she has personally seen the industry from all sides.

Ross arrived at Boeing in 1985 with a degree in aeronautics and astronautics in hand, and worked as a flight-test analysis engineer.

“I loved the job. It was great. I got to fly on the airplanes. But I was in the back of the airplanes,” she says.

What she really wanted was to be up front. However, at the time, Ross had nowhere near the experience needed to compete for a job as a test pilot.

So, in 1988 she joined the US Air Force, becoming type-rated on the Cessna T-37 and Northrop T-38 trainers, and the Lockheed Martin C-5 and C-141 airlifters. Ross flew more than 40 missions in the first Gulf War. She followed that with a stint at United Airlines as a Boeing 737 pilot flight engineer on 727s and 747.

Nine years after leaving Boeing, Ross was back, this time with the credentials to sit up front.

Of her 9,200h total time in the cockpit, more than half are flight-testing hours accumulated with Boeing. Ross now holds US Federal Aviation Administration type ratings on the airframer’s 737, 747, 757, 767, 777 and 787 models – every commercial aircraft the company builds.

As deputy chief pilot for the 777X programme, she is an “engineering project pilot,” meaning she is one of the professional aviators to be involved in the programme from day one. She spent 10 years on the 787 before shifting to the 777X development programme six years ago.

“I get to focus on that airplane. There are so many paths that an airplane design can go down. If some of them don’t work or meet pilot expectations, or if they are hard to implement, having a pilot help early on with the design really prevents last minute changes and realisations.”

The test campaign for any new aircraft design is meticulous and disciplined, with systems verified over and over in simulators and labs on the ground.

“By the time that the crew gets in the airplane for the first flight, we’ve tested all of the parts of the airplane and the pieces and all the different components,” Ross says. The pilots and the equipment have prepared for all possible scenarios. “It’s a very, very methodical, very careful build up in preparation for first flight.”

Though Ross has never been at the controls during a type’s first flight, she maintains an excitement and a fascination for the process and the teamwork that goes into making an aircraft defy gravity.

“Flying any airplane, regardless of whether it’s the first time that particular airplane is flown, or the first time that type has ever flown, it’s always exciting,” Ross says. “I still feel the same way every time I push the power up, even on an airplane that I’ve flown 100 times.

“It’s that realisation of everything coming together. People’s efforts, expertise, knowledge and care. Everybody’s focused on achieving the same goal, which is to get the airplane airborne, and offer a great product, ultimately, for our customers and for the flying public,” she says.

Ross is among a handful of women doing a job that thousands of professional pilots – male and female – would covet.

“Airplanes are built so that you don’t have to have unusual strength, which is great because it means that women can fly them just as well as men can,” she says. “The airplane doesn’t care.”
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Re: John Wellham - Forgotten pilots or flights...

#224 Post by TheGreenGoblin » Sat Jul 10, 2021 11:34 am

In a fit of exuberance, I sat down last night and watched 'Wartime Aircraft of the Fleet Air Arm' on Amazon Prime. Highly recommended, not least for an interview with John Wellham, whose quirky sense of humour and laconic description of events and action in WW2, including the attack on Taranto, is one of the best interviews I have seen.

The Imperial War museum tells us that he was a ...
British officer trained as pilot with RAF at No 4 Elementary and Reserve Flying School and No 5 Flying Training School, RAF Sealand, GB, 12/1936-9/1937; served with 50 (Light Bomber) Sqdn, No 5 Group, Bomber Command, RAF in GB, 10/1937-12/1938; trained with Fleet Air Arm Torpedo Training Unit at RAF Gosport, 822 Naval Air Sqdn, Fleet Air Arm aboard HMS Courageous and 750 Sqdn, Fleet Air Arm at HMS Peregrine, Royal Naval Air Station Ford in GB, 1/1939-7/1939; served with 824 Naval Air Sqdn, Fleet Air Arm aboard HMS Eagle in Far East, Mediterranean and South Atlantic and in Western Desert and Sudan, 8/1939-8/1941; served with 824 Naval Air Sqdn, Fleet Air Arm aboard HMS Illustrious during Battle of Taranto, Italy, 11/11/1940-12/11/1940; served as instructor at HMS Condor, Royal Naval Air Station Arbroath, GB, 8/1941-10/1941; commanded 815 Naval Air Sqdn, Fleet Air Arm in Egypt, 10/1941-71942; served as Commander (Flying) aboard HMS Biter in GB coastal waters and Atlantic, 8/1942-8/1944; served as Commander (Flying) aboard HMS Empress, 21st Aircraft Carrier Sqdn in GB coastal waters and Indian Ocean, 8/1944-12/1945
The IWM interview is also well worth listening to. Sadly he was the last surviving pilot of the Fleet Air Arm raid on the Italian fleet at Taranto and now he has gone into the clear blue sky too (way back in 2006, tempus fugit).


John Wellham interview

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John Wellham's Obituary
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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#225 Post by Woody » Tue Jul 13, 2021 9:36 pm

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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#226 Post by FD2 » Tue Jul 13, 2021 10:08 pm

Wellham:

On the way in, Wellham's aircraft had to evade a rogue barrage balloon and was hit several times. He got down to launching level and dropped his torpedo at a battleship. Three quarters of a ton lighter, the battered Swordfish bounced up, straight into the hail of shot. Only by violent manoeuvring was Wellham able to get clear and fly back to his ship. As he approached the flight deck his single engine failed, forcing him to land like a glider. Only two of the 21 Swordfish were lost with their crews. The raiders received a short congratulatory signal from Cunningham; Wellham was mentioned in dispatches once more.

Despite the risks and importance of Taranto, few medals were awarded to the participants.


Sad that they have all gone now from the Taranto Raid, along with most of the other heroes from all three services of that War, like John Nettleton and Christchurch's double VC Charles Upham, to name but two. At least quite a few have joined the ranks of war authors or had biographies written and we have their versions of events to read. They sometimes vary from the 'official' lines taken at the time.

I believe commanding officers had to be quick about recommendations for medals after various actions in the Falklands. The MOD didn't want loads of awards for the same action which might be seen to devalue their worth and I'm sure some folk missed out on their deserved awards. 'If you can't take a joke you shouldn't have joined.' So if several units participated in an action the C.O. who got his recommendations in for his people first...

Devaluation of gallantry medals or not? This is after Rorke's Drift concerning the 11 VCs:

...Sir Garnet Wolseley, taking over as commander-in-chief from Lord Chelmsford later that year, was unimpressed with the awards made to the defenders of Rorke's Drift, saying "it is monstrous making heroes of those who, shut up in buildings at Rorke's Drift, could not bolt and fought like rats for their lives, which they could not otherwise save"
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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#227 Post by CharlieOneSix » Tue Jul 13, 2021 10:27 pm

FD2 wrote:
Tue Jul 13, 2021 10:08 pm
.....Sad that they have all gone now from the Taranto Raid, along with most of the other heroes of the War in general, from all three services .......
One local boy made good is still alive - Aberdonian Catalina pilot Flt Lt John Cruickshank VC was 101 in May. He's the last living RAF recipient of the VC.

https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/no ... tor-comic/

BBC News article on his 100th birthday in 2020.....https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland- ... d-52704526
The helicopter pilots' mantra: If it hasn't gone wrong then it's just about to...
https://www.glenbervie-weather.org

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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#228 Post by FD2 » Tue Jul 13, 2021 10:51 pm

I just love the story from The Victor C16. Don't suppose we could portray the Nazis as blood thirsty bastards nowadays.

What an amazing feat to do that with all those wounds and still press home a successful attack.
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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#229 Post by ian16th » Wed Jul 14, 2021 7:12 am

In my 13 years of service, I only saw a single gallantry medal 'earned'.
At Conningsby I saw a fireman, Cpl George Murphy, earn his George Medal.
His GM, along with his GSM was sold on t'interweb for about £4k
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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#230 Post by TheGreenGoblin » Wed Jul 14, 2021 2:49 pm

ian16th wrote:
Wed Jul 14, 2021 7:12 am
In my 13 years of service, I only saw a single gallantry medal 'earned'.
At Conningsby I saw a fireman, Cpl George Murphy, earn his George Medal.
His GM, along with his GSM was sold on t'interweb for about £4k
A bombed up aircraft burning?
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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#231 Post by ian16th » Wed Jul 14, 2021 4:56 pm

TheGreenGoblin wrote:
Wed Jul 14, 2021 2:49 pm
ian16th wrote:
Wed Jul 14, 2021 7:12 am
In my 13 years of service, I only saw a single gallantry medal 'earned'.
At Conningsby I saw a fireman, Cpl George Murphy, earn his George Medal.
His GM, along with his GSM was sold on t'interweb for about £4k
A bombed up aircraft burning?
If it had been bombed up,he would have gotten the GC.

I'd made my futile gesture by emtying one of the sections foam extinguishers before George and his team from the Tower got on site.
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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#232 Post by G-CPTN » Wed Jul 14, 2021 5:14 pm

Is there an account of Cpl Murphy's braveness?

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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#233 Post by Woody » Wed Jul 14, 2021 6:36 pm

You would’ve thought after Lord Chelmsford’s leadership, he’d take any good news :((
A British expeditionary force under the command of Chelmsford invaded the Zulu Kingdom, heading in three columns towards the Zulu capital, Ulundi. The force was attacked by a Zulu force at Isandlwana, during which the Zulus overran and destroyed the central column of Chelmsford's separated forces. The engagement was an unexpected victory for the Zulus, which threw British war plans into disarray.[3][4][5]
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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#234 Post by ian16th » Thu Jul 15, 2021 6:42 pm

G-CPTN wrote:
Wed Jul 14, 2021 5:14 pm
Is there an account of Cpl Murphy's braveness?
Yes, but I can't post the links from my phone.

Giggle Brian Murphy George medal and you get there.
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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#235 Post by G-CPTN » Thu Jul 15, 2021 7:18 pm

Corporal Murphy, however, unhesitatingly led his crew into the confined space of the aircraft's bomb bay, from which, had there been an explosion, escape would have been virtually impossible.
While operating in this dangerous situation, Corporal Murphy and his crew were subjected to further hazard by the explosion of powerful starter cartridges stored a few feet away, which blasted a hole in the fuselage and so caused the fire to spread rapidly in all directions.
Thank-you - I tried various combinations but didn't hit on the one that worked.

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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#236 Post by TheGreenGoblin » Sat Jul 17, 2021 3:11 am

I thought it might interesting to quote the full detail...
On 15/4/1957 Canberra B.2 WJ575 of 57 Squadron, was destroyed by fire in the hangar at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire. The aircraft was in the hanger for rectification of a fuel leak and the fire was apparently started by fuel dripping on an unshielded inspection lamp.

A Corporal Brian Murphy of the Fire Section was awarded a George Medal for his bravery while attempting to extinguish the fire. Per a contemporary report in "Flight International" magazine 18/10/1958:

"George Medal Award
2452756 Acting Corporal Brian Murphy, Royal Air Force, 'On 15th April, 1957, a Canberra aircraft caught fire in a servicing hangar at the Royal Air Force Station, Coningsby. Corporal Murphy was in charge of the Duty Fire Crew which was called upon to deal with the fire. One of the aircraft's fuel tanks was alight and apart from the risk of this tank exploding the presence of 800 gallons of volatile fuel in the adjoining tanks made the situation extremely dangerous. Corporal Murphy, however, unhesitatingly led his crew into the confined space of the aircraft's bomb bay, from which, had there been an explosion, escape would have been virtually impossible.

While operating in this dangerous situation, Corporal Murphy and his crew were subjected to further hazard by the explosion of powerful starter cartridges stored a few feet away, which blasted a hole in the fuselage and so caused the fire to spread rapidly in all directions.

Despite this, and the increased risk of the fuel tanks exploding, Corporal Murphy remained at his post, though his overalls and uniform were charred by intense heat. Corporal Murphy displayed courage and extreme devotion to duty, and by sustained effort in the face of great danger he and his crew succeeded in localising and controlling the fire while adjacent aircraft and equipment were removed from the vicinity.'

WJ575 was struck off charge on 15/04/1957 (same day) as CAT 5(C) at No.54 MU Cambridge and scrapped.
https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/154883
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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#237 Post by FD2 » Sat Jul 17, 2021 5:22 am

Captain Peter Williams https://www.telegraph.co.uk/obituaries/ ... -obituary/

I had forgotten what a varied career Peter Williams had so have copied this over from another thread.


Captain Peter Williams, Navy pilot who served with the ‘Junglies’ in Borneo – obituary



PW1.png
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Peter Williams

Telegraph Obituaries

11 November 2019 • 12:59pm

Captain Peter Williams, who has died aged 87, was an exceptionally gifted and widely experienced naval aviator.

From 1962 to 1964 Williams was senior pilot of 846 Naval Air Squadron, which deployed in the newly-converted commando carrier Bulwark for the Far East. Most of his pilots were fresh from training and their aircraft were old, underpowered, single piston-engined Whirlwind Mark 7s.

Williams’s task was to show his “rookie” aircrew, flying from makeshift airfields, how to operate safely but effectively over hundreds of miles of dense primary jungle.

Major General Julian Thompson wrote that over the next two years in Borneo and Sarawak at the height of the confrontation with Indonesia, “the key to success was the helicopters of the Fleet Air Arm, and 846 played a major part”.


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Williams during his pilot training in the US

The naval commando squadrons earned an enviable reputation. When the Royal Marines or the Gurkhas wanted something done, Williams, imbued with the Nelson tradition of rapid adaptation to the tactical situation, would make it happen. When conditions on the ground were different from what his pilots had been led to expect, Williams encouraged them to use their judgment and commonsense and adapt to the circumstances.

The squadrons gained the nickname of the “Junglies”, and a reputation for their can-do approach which continued in the Navy through to the Falklands War. Williams and his squadrons in the Far East were the epitome of this spirit – hard-working, adaptable, carefree, but always totally professional.

In April 1964, 846 NAS was awarded the Boyd Trophy for its outstanding contribution to naval aviation, the citation recording that: “In atrocious conditions of tropical rains, high temperatures and in spite of an almost total lack of normal servicing facilities, the Squadron flew over 2,000 operational sorties over primary dense jungle.” Williams was awarded the Sultan’s Star of Brunei, the Setia Negara Brunei.

Peter John Williams was born at Upminster in Essex on August 27 1932 and educated at Bancroft’s School in Woodford, before joining the Merchant Navy training school HMS Worcester at Greenhithe in Kent, where Cutty Sark lay alongside and was used for training.


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Williams at the controls of his Whirlwind helicopter

From 1949 to 1952 he served an apprenticeship in the New Zealand Shipping Company, gaining his second mate’s certificate before being accepted in 1953 by the Royal Navy for an eight-year short service commission as a flier.

From 1953 to 1955 Williams learnt to fly in the US, qualifying in deck-landing in a Harvard on to a straight-deck aircraft carrier with a barrier, and subsequently qualifying as a jet pilot.

On returning to Britain he converted to fly the Hawker Sea Hawk, before joining 897 Naval Air Squadron in the carrier Eagle, which deployed to the Mediterranean. During the Suez Crisis the Sea Hawks, escorted by naval Sea Venom fighters, provided a ground-attack capability, often in the face of heavy anti-aircraft fire.

After Suez, Williams requalified as a helicopter pilot and spent a year flying from Protector, the Royal Navy’s Antarctica patrol ship.



PW4.png
Receiving the Star of Brunei

After his service in Borneo and Sarawak, Williams fulfilled more flying and staff jobs in Britain before returning to the Far East to command, with great distinction, 848 and 847 Naval Air Squadrons, at sea in Albion and ashore in Singapore, where in the period preceding the island’s independence he covered the withdrawal from Aden. Promoted to commander, he was appointed OBE in 1970.

Williams was naval and air attaché in Athens from 1977 to 1980 and a student of above average intelligence at the Royal College of Defence Studies in 1981. During the Falklands War he commanded the Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton, overseeing the formation of several new squadrons in days rather than months, and the dispatch of some 1,400 personnel, nine squadrons and 120 aircraft to the conflict zone – a Herculean effort. Despite the hectic atmosphere, however, Williams always remembered to support the families left behind.

In 1984-85 he was chief of staff, in the rank of commodore, to the Flag Officer Naval Air Command. On leaving the Navy he joined the Royal Ordnance and served as president of Royal Ordnance in the US until 1992.

Conscientious, sociable and meticulous, Williams was a naval officer of the highest calibre and a dedicated family man. In 1957, in Chichester Cathedral, he married Betty Robbins, who survives him with their three children.

Captain Peter Williams, born August 27 1932, died September 18 2019[/i][/b]
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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights... Svein Heglund

#238 Post by TheGreenGoblin » Mon Jul 19, 2021 7:13 am

It was reading the translated children's books (Otter 32 calling, Leap into Danger, Blue Two Bale Out etc.) by Leif Hamre, about the daring do of the young airmen in the Norwegian Air Force, that got a very young Goblin hooked on aviation, so it seems fitting to include a Norwegian fighter ace in this, growing, illustrious list of airmen and women.

Hamre is worth an entry in this list as well before that though given that he was a Norwegian Air Force pilot himself and a senor officer...
Hamre was trained as a pilot in Scotland and as a navigator at Little Norway in Canada during the Second World War. He continued his military career after the war, and assumed various leading positions in the Royal Norwegian Air Force. He is regarded as a pioneer of helicopter trafficking in Norway. He organized and became head of the Air Force's helicopter service, retiring as Colonel Lieutenant in 1974.

As for Svein Heglund...
The top scoring NORWEGIAN fighter pilot of the war, with over 15 victories, mostly with 331 Norwegian Squadron Spitfires Vb and IXs, and three Bf-110s destroyed with No.85 Mosquito Sqn.
‘Major General Svein Heglund DSO DPC* RNoAF received many high Norwegian honours and awards for his wartime service and also, well after the war, became a Commander of the American Legion of Merit – partly for the Norwegian F-16 programme. He was the top scoring Norwegian fighter pilot of the war, with over 15 victories, mostly with 331 Norwegian Squadron Spitfires (Vb and IXs) and three Bf-110s destroyed with No.85 Mosquito Sqn. In April,1940 when Norway was overrun, he was on a cycling holiday in Italy, but with help from the Norwegian Consul in Bordeaux he boarded a ship for Portsmouth, being bombed en route. Before the RAF was welcoming overseas entrant aircrew, Svein sailed to the USA on the Lista, which was sabotaged and burned out on its arrival. Via ‘Little Norway’ in Toronto, he learned basic flying in Toronto, on 32 SFTS Harvards at Moosejaw, Saskatchewan, and Curtiss Mohawks and Douglas 8A-5s back in Toronto. He returned to 59 OTU in England and the new No.331 (Norwegian) Squadron in Oct41 as Sgt Pilot. In 1942 he was commissioned and after early inconclusive actions began scoring decisively from Feb43 and was awarded two DFCs, becoming a Flt Cdr with ten victories by the end of his tour in November.

‘After his two tours with 331, Svein was converted onto twins at Spitalgate, and posted to Dorval Montreal and 45 Atlantic Transport Group for six months, delivering three Mosquitos, two Bostons and a Mitchell to UK via Labrador, Greenland and Iceland. With help from Signatory 50, John “Cat’s Eyes” Cunningham, Svein was able to join No.85 Sqn’s long range Mosquito Night Fighter on deep Bomber Escort operations for 100 Group and, with his usual English radar operator, Robert Symon, would destroy three Bf-110 German night fighters and be awarded the DSO before his return to post-war Norway. Attaché duties in Stockholm, completion of his broken technical studies in Zurich and mostly logistics with the RNoAF and later as Chief of Staff and head of Air Material Command followed. In the war, Svein met and married a Canadian nurse, Captain Patricia McDowell (Signatory 167). Before their retirement in Oslo, Gen Heglund had also worked in consultancy for the World Federalist Movement, in civil aviation insurance, and for civil aviation integration programmes for the World Bank. His memoir of his career in the RAF – Høk over høk (Hawk Over Hawk) – was published in 1995.’
https://www.theywerethere.co.uk/heglund-svein-166/

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Mikhail Kozlov - Honored Test Pilot, Hero of the Soviet Union

#239 Post by TheGreenGoblin » Tue Jul 20, 2021 5:27 am

Mikhail Kozlov was the Russian test pilot known for his test flights in the TU-160, and TU-128, amongst about 50 other aircraft types, including helicopters, in the former Soviet Union. Sadly, he is known, mostly in the West, if at all, for being the Captain of the TU-144 which crashed while displaying at the Paris airshow in 1973.

MKozlov.JPG
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Translated from the Russian -
Kozlov Mikhail test pilot Tupolev Design Bureau, Colonel. Born Nov. 5, 1928 in the village Ezhov Galich district now Kostroma region. Russian. Member of the CPSU since 1953. Graduated 10 classes. In the Soviet Army from 1946. In 1947 he graduated from the Tambov Military Aviation School. In 1951 he graduated Kirovobadskoe Military Aviation School. Served in its pilot-instructor.

In 1955 he entered the Test Pilot School. After graduation came in 1957, worked in the Tupolev Design Bureau. Participated in the engineering development of aircraft, carried out research on special missions and critical modes. March 18, 1961 with a navigator KI Malkhasyan first raised to the sky prototype long-range interceptor, the Tu-128. In 1966 he graduated from the Moscow Aviation Institute.

Decorated as Hero of the Soviet Union and awarded, the Order of Lenin and medal "Gold Star" Mikhail Vasilievich Kozlov conferred by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of 22 July 1966 for his courage and heroism, shown during testing of new aviation technology.,

In 1970 he was appointed head of flight services EDO. Participated in the factory and state tests world's first supersonic passenger aircraft Tu-144, flew on a plane, an analogue of MiG-21I. Total mastered 50 types of aircraft and helicopters. In 1972 he was awarded the title of Honored Test Pilot.

On June 3, 1973 at the Air Show in Le Bourget (France), Colonel Kozlov's crew was supposed to demonstrate in flight Tu-144. During the course of the take-off, the aircraft crossed the French Mirage fighter which was undertaking unauthorized filming Tu-144. Kozlov tried to escape collision, with the Mirage above. It became negatively overloaded, beyond limits. The plane disintegrated in the air. The crew was killed.

He is buried in Moscow at the Novodevichy cemetery. He was awarded the Order of Lenin, the October Revolution, Red Star and medals.
TU-144.JPG

The Russian obituary notes that the Paris Air Show Crash was caused by a bunt at high speed and high power, undertaken to avoid colliding with a French Mirage covertly filming the TU-144 from above. This was certainly British test pilot John Farley's take on events, which he witnessed, that tragic day, but initially the Soviet and the French authorities preferred to blame some hapless flight technician for falling over the controls during the steep take off and climb that preceded the violent flight attitude excursion that resulted in the break up of the aircraft. Others blamed intrinsic issues with the design of the aircraft itself, due to the Russians having incorrectly copied, or been fed, erroneous information relating to the design and construction of critical elements of the Concorde, through the murky world of espionage. Personally I think that that last theory is ludicrous in that it totally underestimates the level of Soviet competence in the area of aircraft design and the ability to over-engineer load bearing structures, and while it is true that both the Concorde and the TU-144 shared many visual similarities, they were both intrinsically very different aircraft. No doubt there was espionage, from both sides, but I doubt it resulted in dramatic changes to either aircraft.

One theory that might have some relevance is that Mikhail Kozlov simply overcooked the take off and was about the bust his allocated display ceiling and bunted to stay within the box which resulted in loss of control and overstressing of the airframe. There was considerable needle between the respective TU-144 and Concorde teams and the TU-144 personnel were keen to show their, and the aircraft's prowess, as they proceeded a very feisty Concorde display. Kozlov was reputed to have said something to the effect that their display would be out of the ordinary. Whatever the case, or cause, it all ended in disaster.

Depressed, feeling a slump, then remember Lift = Coefficient of Lift x 1/2 x ρ x V-squared X S!

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