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WW2 Ace And Test Pilot, Neville Duke, Passes Away  
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13208 posts, RR: 77
Posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 5118 times:

RAF WW2 fighter pilot, ace and famed test pilot, Neville Duke, died last weekend, at age 85, just after landing his light aircraft.
Duke, already with a notable wartime record, became famous in 1953 when his Hawker Hunter test aircraft, gained a world air speed record.

Duke was it seems, really like those decent Honourable men, of 1940's and 50's British cinema stereotype, heavily involved in flying and aviation heritage to the end, a very well liked and respected figure. Also the author of several aviation books.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/hampshire/6551635.stm

6 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineFerrypilot From New Zealand, joined Sep 2006, 897 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 5104 times:

Hawker Hunter WB188 flown by Neville Duke to 727.6mph on 7th September 1953 captured the World Air Speed Record for Great Britain.
The aircraft below is painted in the overall red colour scheme and markings of Neville Duke's record breaking Hunter, although I believe the actual aircraft is in a museum at Cosford.

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Photo © Mark Russell


It seems to be quite popular to paint Hunter's red as seen below.

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Photo © Fergal Goodman
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Photo © Fergal Goodman



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Photo © Mick Bajcar



User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13208 posts, RR: 77
Reply 2, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 5055 times:

Here is an obituary, with a lot of detail on Duke's flying career;
http://www.guardian.co.uk/military/story/0,,2057114,00.html


User currently offlineFerrypilot From New Zealand, joined Sep 2006, 897 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 5050 times:

Quoting GDB (Reply 2):
Here is an obituary, with a lot of detail on Duke's flying career;

..."Well worth reading"

[Quote Guardian.co.uk] the former Royal Air Force squadron leader had the celebrity of sportsmen such as Stanley Matthews, movie actors such as Dirk Bogarde, or the conquerors of Everest. It was a form of celebrity almost unimaginable now, built not only on Duke's performance as a test flier but on his record as a wartime fighter ace.[Quote]

[Quote] Duke was far from being the first or only test-pilot-as-hero during that time, but as the country edged out of postwar austerity, his style and achievements singled him out. His understated public persona - in contrast perhaps to American equivalents such as Chuck Yeager - suited the public mood. Duke may have been a technologist doing an extraordinarily hazardous job, but he also provided an ideal image for the domestic aviation industry.[Quote]


User currently offlineArt From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 3382 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (7 years 5 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 4983 times:

Quoting Ferrypilot (Reply 1):
Hawker Hunter WB188 flown by Neville Duke to 727.6mph on 7th September 1953 captured the World Air Speed Record for Great Britain.
The aircraft below is painted in the overall red colour scheme and markings of Neville Duke's record breaking Hunter, although I believe the actual aircraft is in a museum at Cosford.

Nearly right. It's at Tangmere, Sussex, England (ex RAF station).
http://www.tangmere-museum.org.uk/aircraft.html


User currently offlineFerrypilot From New Zealand, joined Sep 2006, 897 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (7 years 5 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 4963 times:

Quoting Art (Reply 4):
Nearly right. It's at Tangmere, Sussex, England (ex RAF station).

Yes I see that you are correct Art. Although I understand the aircraft is on loan from the Museum at Cosford.
.................................

Apparently the text below the photo and which I have quoted from another website is an excerpt from one of Neville Duke's books and refers to his first victory over a German aircraft whilst flying a Spitfire at the "age of nineteen".

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Photo © Karl Drage


[Quote]
I "Dawn Readiness" (By an ex-Fighter Pilot) (sic)....
And the last para;
"But as you throttle back and fly slowly round
the circuit, you listen to the exciting sound of
the wind whistling in the gun ports through
the torn canvas covers. You have fired your
guns for the first time in battle. You are
nineteen. You have shot down your first enemy
aircraft. Life is great." [Quote]

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Photo © Kristof Jonckheere
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Photo © Kristof Jonckheere



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Photo © Stefan Kuhn



User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12146 posts, RR: 51
Reply 6, posted (7 years 5 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 4893 times:

Sleep well my friend. May you always fly in fair skies and a calm wind.

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