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The initial test pilot of Concorde
Image by brizzle born and bred
Welsh-born Brian Trubshaw described that maiden 22-minute flight from Filton near Bristol to RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire on 9 April 1969 as "the highlight of my aviation profession".
That profession started as an RAF pilot in Globe War II and he likened becoming at the controls of the supersonic aircraft to "travelling quicker than a rifle bullet".
His enthusiasm for Concorde continued even soon after final summer’s fateful crash close to Paris, which killed 113 individuals.
He insisted that the plane was nonetheless safe to fly.
Born in Llanelli, west Wales, Mr Trubshaw died at his house near Tetbury, Gloucestershire, on Saturday.
His wife, Yvonne, stated: "It was quite peaceful, he hadn’t been ill."
The couple have a stepdaughter, Sally.
Mr Trubshaw very almost followed his father and grandfather into the loved ones tinplate organization, but he entered the RAF as World War II started.
As it turned out, the Western Tinplate Works was swallowed up in a series of mergers.
Howard Berry, a spokesman for BAE Systems, who worked for Mr Trubshaw ahead of his retirement in 1986, mentioned: "He’ll be tremendously missed in the planet of aerospace."
Mr Trubshaw’s autobiography was launched the day after the Paris crash and his book opened with the sentence: "It is not unreasonable to look upon Concorde as a miracle".
Interviewed by BBC Tv following the crash, he stated: "It would be incorrect for me to say I was astonished. It was an incident I hoped never ever would take place, but at the exact same time a single has to be realistic."
"Being mixed up with aviation for as long as I have, one particular knew that a single day we could be faced with this circumstance."
In his book, "Concorde: The Inside Story", he mentioned he remembered the aircraft’s test day as if it had been yesterday.
Crew members were issued with air-ventilated suits and parachutes and the pre-flight checklist took one particular hour.
Mr Trubshaw said: "We had been off down the runway with very fast acceleration."
He flew Concorde 002, the British prototype, once again on 14 June 1969 in honour of the Queen’s official birthday, passing over Buckingham Palace at 1,500ft.
He was initial inspired to grow to be a pilot when at the age of ten he saw the Prince of Wales’s aircraft land on the beach at Pembrey, Carmarthenshire, close to where his family lived.
He joined the RAF at Lord’s cricket ground in 1942 and educated in the US, studying to fly Stearman biplanes.
Qualification as a bomber pilot followed and he joined the prestigious King’s Flight in 1946, flying members of the Royal Loved ones and attending private parties with Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret.
He joined Vickers-Armstrong as a test pilot on V-bombers and tested the dropping of Britain’s very first atom bomb.
The British and French governments signed an agreement in 1962 to develop Concorde and he was selected as test pilot.
The supersonic aircraft went into commercial service seven years following the maiden flight and Mr Trubshaw later mentioned he had doubted whether or not it ever would since of political opposition.
2001 Brian Trubshaw died at the age of 77.
My Loved ones Link with Concorde by Paul Townsend
I do have a family members hyperlink with Concorde my grandfather’s brother (Great Uncle) was Sir George Edwards Aviation Pioneer and ex-chairman of BAC.
Guiding light in the postwar British aircraft business whose achievements are an indelible element of planet aviation history
When, in mid-career, Sir George Edwards was awarded the Guggenheim Gold Medal for Aeronautics in New York in 1959, he was described by the leaders of American aviation, by no means guys to bestow praise lightly, as “one of the world’s foremost aircraft designers and administrators – an architect of the age of flight”. Such an expression of esteem showed nicely the regard in which he was held over the years, even by his competitors in planet markets.
George Edwards was a single of British aviation’s most accomplished and respected practitioners and a single of its most stalwart and articulate advocates. Maybe supreme among his achievements was the bringing to fruition and successive improvement of the world’s 1st turbo.prop airliner, the Vickers Viscount right after 1948. But his career was studded with the names of famous aircraft, both civil and military – initial at Vickers and then at the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) – in whose design he had a hand, or whose development he oversaw. Amongst these have been the Valiant jet bomber of the early 1950s the sophisticated VC10 military and civil jet transport of the 1960s the revolutionary TSR2 strike aircraft which fell victim to politics in 1965 the Anglo-French Jaguar strike fighter of 1972, which is nevertheless in service and the Anglo-French Concorde supersonic airliner project, whose achievement owed so considerably to his tact and diplomacy.
Nor were his attainments confined to the aeronautical field. His interests and abilities embraced a wide spectrum – from painting and cricket to small boat sailing, golf and Surrey University. Most of all, his successful line of a dozen various varieties of British civil and military aircraft – virtually 1,500 of them built and sold in the home and export markets – produced a significant contribution to the United Kingdom’s coffers and prestige in aviation more than more than 40 years.
George Edwards’s aircraft may not have had quite the elegance of line seen in the goods of Sydney Camm, nor possibly the wider range of those built by Geoffrey de Havilland. But they had four supreme qualities. They had been immensely robust they had been a delight to fly in both civil and military forms they met properly their customers’ needs and – most critical of all – their functionality was in the vanguard of technical progress.
All this was achieved regularly via the years by design and style, construction, flight test and sales teams led from the front by GRE, as he was universally identified at Vickers and BAC, in a direct and uncomplicated manner, usually with ability and great humour and with out a shade of pomposity.
In his 40 years in aeronautics – from 1935 to 1975 – he had to endure a lot of frustrations, most of which arose from the political timidity or misconceptions of others. Besides the TSR2 there was the V1000 project, cancelled in 1955 just when it promised to achieve for Britain a lead into lucrative trans.atlantic jet services. There was the “Three-Eleven” wide-physique, 250 passenger “airbus” – ahead of its competitors but denied assistance in 1975. And but for Basic de Gaulle and the British Minister of Aviation, Julian Amery, Concorde may possibly nicely have been killed off in 1964.
Edwards not only made his series of outstanding aircraft but forged a new idea of “high-tech” international collaboration. As he remarked, with his dry and penetrating wit: “If you could colla.borate effectively on an advanced design such as Concorde with the French, then you could do it with something and anyone.” Thereafter, the military collaborative programmes came along comparatively painlessly.
George Robert Edwards was born at Highams Park, Essex, in 1908. He came into a family with its roots in the tech.nology and transport of the time. His father, Edwin George Edwards, was station master at Walthamstow on the Excellent Eastern Railway. Edwards’s mother, Mary Elizabeth (née Freeman), died when he was born.
Edwards initial went to school at Woodford Green, then to the South West Essex Technical College and from there to obtain a degree in engineering at London University. For seven years from 1928 he was engaged as a budding structural engineer in such diverse projects as hydraulic machinery and steam tugs – the latter at Hay’s Wharf, close to London Bridge.
In 1935 he joined the design workplace of Vickers (Aviation) at Brooklands, Surrey. Under the benevolent eyes of the pioneer aircraft designer Rex Pierson, he quickly mastered the peculiarities of aeronautical perform, 1st on the Vickers G4/31 biplane, then on the Wellesley and Wellington bombers of Barnes Wallis’s geodetic “basketwork” construction.
In 1938 he was engaged on the preparation of four unique lengthy-variety Wellesleys which, in November that year, won for Britain the world distance record of 7,158 nautical miles, flown non-quit by RAF crews from Ismailia, Egypt, to Port Darwin, Australia, in 48 hours.
For his component in that success Edwards was selected by Rex Pierson, early in the Second World War, to take charge of top-priority operate to convert 4 Wellington MkI bombers as magnetic mine-sweepers against the menace to Allied shipping, laid by the Luftwaffe in coastal waters. The “degaussing” Wellingtons – with huge electrically charged coils in hemispherical casings underneath – put an finish to the magnetic mine issue, and earned for George Edwards the responsible job of experimental manager at the Vickers operates in 1940.
His wartime tasks at Weybridge included the pressurised “crew capsules” for unique high-flying Wellington MkVs – the initial in British aircraft – and the prototype construction of the Warwick and Windsor bombers, and of Vickers’s last fighter, the prototype, twin-Merlin F7/41, higher-altitude Sort 432.
By 1945 Edwards was involved with Rex Pierson in the Vickers VC1 – initial referred to as the “Wellington Transport” – which became the Viking. It was a twin-engined, 27-passenger “DC-three Dakota replacement” intended to lead the way to a lot more sophisticated projects. Altogether 163 Vikings were constructed for British European Airways (BEA) and other postwar airlines.
On Pierson’s death in February 1948, Edwards was his natural successor as chief designer and chief engineer of the Vickers Aviation works. As such it fell to him to bring to fruition Pierson’s last design, the VC2, a pressurised, turbo-prop, medium-variety airliner that was to turn out to be popular as the Viscount. Stretched successively from 24 to 47 passenger seats – and at some point to 70 – the Viscount became, below Edwards’s leadership, the most effective of British civil aircraft. In July 1950 BEA operated the world’s very first, turbine-powered, commercial passenger air services between Northolt, London, and Le Bourget, Paris. In ten years Vickers constructed 456 Viscounts, 80 per cent of which were exported, including 147 to North American airlines.
Meanwhile, in between 1946 and 1956, the piston-engined Viking and its military developments, the Valetta and the Varsity, of which a total of 589 had been built, established Vickers under Edwards’s leadership as the 1st substantial British supplier of transport aircraft. From 1953 the Viscount brought Vickers and Edwards into the front rank of the world’s aircraft constructors.
That position was consolidated when the four-jet Valiant – 1st of Britain’s V-bombers – flew in May possibly 1951. For the duration of ten years of service, from 1955, Valiants delivered Britain’s initial air-dropped atom bomb at Maralinga, Australia, on October 11, 1956 dropped its initial H-bomb at Christmas Island seven months later saw action from Malta in the brief Suez campaign and flew non-quit from Marham to Singapore – eight,110 miles in 15 hours at 525 mph – twice flight-refuelled on the way.
The logical application of the experience of the Viscount and the Valiant was to set in hand, for BOAC and the RAF, a new generation of extended-range jet transport aircraft for which there was an apparent demand. The Vickers V1000/VC7 was designed to carry 120 passengers, or equivalent military load, from London to New York non-cease, or to Australia with two stops. But in spite of an initial Air Ministry order for seven aircraft, this bold concept was frustrated in December 1955 by a political choice to scrap the project in favour of the turbo-prop Bristol Britannia. Hence a clear lead in the lucrative transatlantic jet enterprise was lost,some 20 months ahead of the very first version of the Boeing 707.
Ever philosophical, Edwards turned, initial, to a new medium-haul, 130-passenger turbo-prop transport for BEA and Trans-Canada Air Lines which, as the Vanguard, went into service in February 1961. Sixteen months later the prototype four-jet, 115-passenger VC10 produced its first flight from Brooklands, made for BOAC and RAF Transport Command. Eighty-two have been constructed.
The VC10 and its improvement, the Super VC10, with their superb flying traits and superior passenger appeal compared with any of its contemporaries, would have sold worldwide in substantial numbers but for a choice by Sir Giles Guthrie, the chairman of BOAC in 1964, to standardise his fleet on the Boeing 707 alternatively.
By this time, in a coalescing of the 11 major British aircraft constructors into two major groups, Vickers joined with English Electric, Bristol Aircraft and Hunting to kind the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC), with its headquarters at Weybridge and Edwards as its managing director. 1 of the objectives of the Government in urging this, much more or less shotgun, marriage was concentration of perform upon an advanced, supersonic “tactical-strike-reconnaisance, weapons-concept aircraft” – the TSR2.
The first TSR2 flew on December 27, 1964, and went supersonic on February 21, 1965, clearly demonstrating that it could do its intended job. It was, nonetheless, promptly cancelled by the new Labour Government on April six, 1965. This cancellation anticipated acquisition of the American F111 strike bomber which, nonetheless, was by no means delivered to the RAF. This second blow – strongly contested by Edwards – was taken by him in his usual stoic style. He turned rather to the a lot smaller and a lot less complicated BAC One-Eleven brief-haul, twin-jet airliner with 99 passenger seats. A total of 234 1-Elevens had been constructed by BAC and sold profitably in 62 nations, such as the United States.
In 1968 BAC collaborated with Breguet in France to type a consortium to develop the Jaguar ground-attack aircraft. In 1969 it joined with West Germany and Italy in Panavia to create and build the multirole combat aircraft which became the Tornado. In the design and style and improvement of this outstandingly productive aircraft, Sir Frederick Web page and Edwards played a dominant part.
Meanwhile, the Anglo-French Concorde supersonic jet airliner had appeared on the scene, evolved from style studies by Morien Morgan of the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE), Farnborough, and A.E. Russell at Bristol. Edwards embraced the notion with enthusiasm and, by force of character, the honesty of his strategy and the attractiveness of his character, welded a warring, Anglo-French consortium into the semblance of a harmonious group. It was a triumphant technical and administrative climax to his profession.
He retired from BAC as it became the nationalised British Aerospace in 1975. Then, not a small by means of his efforts, some half a million folks had been employed in the British aerospace business and its supporting firms. He remarked that “the fundamental issue with aerospace is that the enterprise is long-term and politics is short-term”.
Edwards was knighted in 1957 and appointed to the Order of Merit in 1971. He was President of the Royal Aeronautical Society in 1957-58 and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1968. He was President of Surrey County Cricket Club, 1979-89, Pro-Chancellor of the University of Surrey, 1964-79 and Pro-Chancellor Emeritus thereafter.
All through his life, plagued by significantly ill health, Edwards remained steadfast in his beliefs, kindly in all his personal contacts and revered by his employees.
He married in 1935 Marjorie Annie (Dinah) Thurgood. She died in 1994 and he is survived by their daughter.
Sir George Edwards, OM, CBE, chairman, British Aircraft Corporation, 1963-75, was born on July 9, 1908. He died on March 2, 2003, aged 94.
See 1967 M4. Various shots on nation road and section of M.four. of a large transporter carrying section of Concord fuselage from B.A.C. British Aircraft Corporation Filton to R.A.F. Farnborough for heat and pressure tests.
See 1967 CONCORDE Building BRISTOL – Colour video newsreel film
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