Roland Beamont

Roland Beamont

ROLAND BEAMONT d2001. Wing Commander CBE DSO & Bar DFC & Bar. British fighter pilot for the RAF and an experimental test pilot during WW2. He was the first British pilot to exceed Mach 1 in a British aircraft in level flight and the first to fly a British aircraft at Mach 2. During the Second World War, he flew more than five hundred operational sorties. He also spent several months as a Hawker experimental test pilot developing the Typhoon and Tempest and was responsible for introducing these types into operational squadron service. He pioneered the ground attack capabilities of the Typhoon and led the air to air campaign against the V1 flying bomb. When he retired from test flying in 1968, he had flown 167 different types during a total of 5,100hr and 8,000 flights of which more than 1,100 were supersonic. He set three Atlantic records in the Canberra, including Britannia Trophy for the first double Atlantic flight in one day. In 1971, he became Panavia flight operations director, responsible for the testing of the Tornado (retiring in August 1979) following the maiden flight of the first production Tornado. After retirement he contributed to aviation journals and wrote a number of books about his experiences. Het was a careful pilot who understood the capabilities of the aircraft he flew. He was proud that he had never broken an aircraft, nor had to bail out or eject. Even when his Tempest was shot down, he had made the best landing possible in the circumstances and got out, free of injury. He died in Hampshire aged 81 on November 19th 2001

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Roland Beamont

Reference Number. 14009D


An original vintage 1964 typed secretarial letter on BAC Ltd headed paper WITH index card, clearly signed in ink by Roland Beamont

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