Roland Beamont - One of Britains best-known test pilots tells his own story, from his first flight in the 1930's through participation in the Battles of Britain and France flying in a Hurricane, to test flying Lightening Supersonic fighters, Canberra jet bombers and the controversial and highly advances supersonic bomber - the TSR.2
Wing Commander Roland Beamont (CBE, DSO and Bar, DFC and Barm US/DFC) was CO of 609 (West Riding) Squadron at a period in World War Two when the new and still unreliable Hawker Typhoons began to show great potential as ground-attack fighters
In "Tempest over Europe" Roland Beamont describes the introduction of the RAF's first dedicated fighter-bomber, the Typhoon in 1942 and its successor the Tempest in 1944. As a former test pilot at Hawkers, he relates first-hand accounts of the Typhoon test flights. He commanded the first Typhoon squadron to specialize in fighter ground attacks, and he led the Tempests in the D-Day operations and the flying bomb battle. As commander of 150 Wing and others, "Bee" Beamont shot down a total of 32 V-1 flying bombs and 9 enemy aircraft.
Bee Beamont has deservedly won the reputation of being one of Britain's greatest pilots. This book includes his reminiscences and observations of forty years flying at the leading edge of high-speed flight. At the age of twenty-two Bee commanded No 609 Squadron equipped with the Hawker Typhoon. In 1944 he formed No 150 Wing, equipped with the Hawker Tempest fighter. In the final months of WWII a new design team was set up at English Electric to create the first British jet bomber. Bee, as Chief Test Pilot, was the first man to fly the Canberra through all stages of its development. Then Britain's first and only supersonic fighter, the Lightening, appeared on the scene. Bee soon found himself at Mach 2 exploring the boundaries of space. This book also includes some of his remarkable experiences test-flying the TSr 2. From 1965 to 1978, Bee became heavily involved with the design, manufacture and introduction of the Panavia Tornado.
Fifty years on from Chuck Yeager's historic attainment of the speed of sound in level flight, Roland Beamont recalls early encounters with compressibility — the aerodynamic effect experienced close to the "Sound Barrier"
In the fifth and final part of his series, former English Electric company chief test pilot Roland Beamont recalls both success and frustration-taking British aviation from Mach 1 to Mach 2 in just over 4yr, only to see the government of the day curtail further development of the Lightning before its full potential was realised
With the initial flight testing of the first P. 1 prototype successfully completed, it was time to give RAF test pilots their first chance to fly the new interceptor. Former English Electric chief test pilot Roland Beamont takes up the story
In the last three issues Roland Beamont recalled test-flying early American military lets in 1948. This month he begins an account of his return visit to the USA 10yr later, to fly a new generation of supersonic fighters
The TSR.2 programme was cancelled 20 years ago at the high point of its success. Roland Beamont. former chief military test pilot for BAC, concludes his three-part account of the prototype's test programme
The TSR.2 programme was cancelled 20 years ago at the high point of its success. Roland Beamont, former chief military test pilot of BAC, continues his account of the prototype's test programme with Part Two, in which he takes the aircraft on its maiden flight and, later, has to attempt a "tiptoe" landing because of an undercarriage malfunction
The TSR. 2 programme was cancelled 20yr ago at the high point of its success. Roland Beamont, former chief test pilot of BAC, describes the prototype's test programme from its earliest ground trials to its untimely end
Last month Roland Beamont described compressibility Trials in the Gloster Meteor in 1946. He now concludes his article with how, as chief test pilot of English Electric in 1947. he used his experience in preparation both for the Canberra programme and for a projected future RAF fighter
During the period 1943-48 Roland Beamont flew more than 160 compressibility dives in assessing the limits of controllability in Typhoons, Tempests, Meteors and Vampires, and in this two-part article he describes how compressibility was found to inhibit the 1946 Meteor world's speed record trials
Lst month Wg Cdr Roland Beamont, ex-Chief Test Pilot of English Electric, described his test flying and airshow demonstrations of the prototype Canberra in the Fifties. This month he concludes his two-part article with an account of demonstrating later variants of the aircraft
Following opportunities to fly the Tornado prototypes and early Typhoons for Hawkers at Langley, Wg Cdr Roland Beamont was posted back to operations on one of the first Typhoon squadrons. In the second half of his article the author recalls night flying trials of the Typhoon, and the type's operation by 609 Sqn under his command
After a tour on Hurricanes in the Battles of France and Britain Wg Cdr Roland Beamont received a "rest period" posting to Hawkers at Langley for Hurricane production test flying. Opportunities were taken to fly the Tornado prototype and early Typhoons, and this experience led to a posting back to operations in one of the first Typhoon squadrons