GDB
Topic Author
Posts: 12653
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

WW2 Ace And Test Pilot, Neville Duke, Passes Away

Sat Apr 14, 2007 4:33 am

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
 
ferrypilot
Posts: 623
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:19 pm

RE: WW2 Ace And Test Pilot, Neville Duke, Passes Away

Sat Apr 14, 2007 5:50 am

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.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Mark Russell


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

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Fergal Goodman
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Fergal Goodman



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Mick Bajcar

 
GDB
Topic Author
Posts: 12653
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: WW2 Ace And Test Pilot, Neville Duke, Passes Away

Sun Apr 15, 2007 1:31 am

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
 
ferrypilot
Posts: 623
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:19 pm

RE: WW2 Ace And Test Pilot, Neville Duke, Passes Away

Sun Apr 15, 2007 6:56 am

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]
 
art
Posts: 2680
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 11:46 am

RE: WW2 Ace And Test Pilot, Neville Duke, Passes Away

Tue Apr 17, 2007 6:41 am

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
 
ferrypilot
Posts: 623
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:19 pm

RE: WW2 Ace And Test Pilot, Neville Duke, Passes Away

Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:31 pm

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".

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

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]

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Kristof Jonckheere
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Kristof Jonckheere



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Stefan Kuhn

 
User avatar
kc135topboom
Posts: 11007
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:26 am

RE: WW2 Ace And Test Pilot, Neville Duke, Passes Away

Fri Apr 20, 2007 10:45 am

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

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: nipoel123, qf15 and 5 guests