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Signatures



Lightning Tribute

by Stephen Brown

 

Stephen Brown is a self-taught artist who has specialised almost exclusively in aviation subjects for the last 15 years. Building on a background as a landscape and aviation photographer, his style carefully combines both these areas of interest. Stephen’s originals in oil are in much demand and have been regularly exhibited with the prestigious Guild of Aviation Artists. Demand for his originals is high with regular commissions being undertaken for commercial and private clients as well as the RAF.

We do hope you will find these biographies of interest. We hope by knowing a little about the men behind each signature, it will help you get the most pleasure from your limited edition print. We would ask you not to reproduce the biographies in any format without our permission.

Flight Lieutenant P V Boothroyd RAF joined the RAF in 1964. After Flying Training he joined No 23 Squadron RAF Leuchars in September 1967 at the tender age of 20 flying Lightning F3 and F6 aircraft. This was followed by a ground tour on the Lightning Flight Simulator at Tengah, Singapore, in 1970 until the British withdrawal from the Far East in 1971. The ground tour was completed at RAF Coltishall until September 1972.

After the ground tour he was posted to No 11 Squadron RAF Binbrook flying Lightning F3 and F6 aircraft until 1975 when he was posted to No 92 Squadron based at Gutersloh, Germany, operating Lightning F2A aircraft, until the withdrawal of the Lightning from 2 ATAF in May 1977.

A CFS course and a tour as a flight commander at RAF Cranwell teaching on the Jet Provost came next from July 1977 until March 1980 when he was posted back to Binbrook on the Lightning Training Flight and became the CFS agent and CIRE on type. This was a long, but very pleasant tour and it finished in March 1986.

In September 1986 he was seconded to British Aerospace as an instructor flying the Bae Strikemaster at the King Faisal Air Academy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. This was followed by a posting to RAF Valley on the Hawk aircraft in 1989.

The call of the Middle East and overseas adventures resulted in a loan service posting to the Sultan of Oman’s Air Force (Royal Air Force of Oman - RAFO) to teach Omani students to fly the Strikemaster on the island of Masirah. This was early in 1993. As RAFO had purchased some 16 Hawk aircraft (consisting of 4 two-seat trainers and 12 single seat fighters) the Commander of RAFO was keen to employ him on the introduction of the aircraft into RAFO service. This was such a pleasant task, in such a pleasant part of the world, that he left the Royal Air Force and joined RAFO in 1996 to continue to fly the Hawks in Oman. RAFO then promoted him to the rank of major and henceforth his family referred to him as “Q”. This was, at least, better than previous nicknames awarded by the family.

All good things come to an end and he left RAFO in 1999 to join BAE Systems to assist in the running of the new Hawk Flight Simulator Complex at RAF Valley.

He accumulated a total of about 7000 flying hours of which 2400 was flying the Lightning; 2000 flying the Hawk; 2200 flying the Jet Provost and Strikemaster and the remainder in training and flying sundry aircraft.

And if he had his life all over again he wouldn’t change anything.


Flt. Lt. George Fenton joined the RAF as a cadet at RAF College Cranwell in March 1966. He served with 29 and 11 Sqn as a Lightning pilot. He then converted to the Converted to F4 Phantom in 1975 and flew with 892 Naval Air squadron aboard HMS Ark Royal before returning to the RAF with 29 Sqn. In 1980 George went to RAF Chivenor as an instructor on the Hawk and remained there as a QWI until retirement from the service in 1985.

Spent the next few years instructing in the middle east. First in Qatar then in Saudi Arabia. Returned to the UK in 1999 to join the instructional staff at the BAE operated Hawk simulator at RAF Valley.

Squadron Leader Chris Taylor MBE RAF joined the RAF as an apprentice air radar fitter in 1961. He began flying training in 1966 flying the Jet Provost, Gnat and Hunter. He completed the lightning OCU at RAF Coltishall before joining 56(F) Sqn at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus. A further tour on the Lightning back at the OCU was followed by selection for instructor training at CFS.

He instructed on the Gnat at RAF Valley and then joined the team to bring the Hawk into RAF flying training. He flew both the Gnat and the Hawk as a member of the Standardisation Unit before an exchange tour with the USAF took him to Randolf AF base in South Texas.

Returning to RAF Valley he completed tours as a Hawk Sqn Commander, Operations, and Deputy Chief Instructor before retirement from the RAF in 1998. He then began a second career as the Training Manager in the Hawk Synthetic Training Facility at RAF Valley.


Squadron Leader Grant T Taylor joined the Air Force in 1960 as an Apprentice at RAF Locking and then as a Cadet at RAF College Cranwell. Initially served as a QFI at RAF Syerston before converting to Hunters as a Fighter Reconnaissance pilot on 8 Sqn in Bahrain. In 1971 he converted to Lightning’s serving as a QFI/IRE on 23 Sqn at RAF Leuchars. In 1975 he converted to the Phantom and served a tour on 29 Sqn RAF Coningsby as QFI/IRE before taking up post on the Phantom OCU until 1986. During this period he also flew the Spitfire and Hurricane aircraft of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight for four years. In 1986 he flew BAC 167 aircraft at the King Feisal Air Academy in Saudi Arabia returning to UK in 1988 to train flying instructors on Jet Provost and Tucano aircraft at the Central Flying School at RAF Scampton. In 1990 he was posted to the Central Flying School Exam Wing as a Basic and Advanced Command Examiner and Command IRE on Hawks, Jet Provost and Tucano aircraft. He served his last tour on 55 Sqn at RAF Cranwell flying the Dominie (HS125). In 1997 he retired from the RAF to become an Aviation Officer and continued to fly the Dominie until 2003. He then joined the instructional staff at the Hawk Synthetic Training Facility at RAF Valley. He has a total of 9500 hours.

The Artist Proofs and Remarqued Prints are also signed by;

Wing Commander James Leonard Dell OBE One of a unique breed of aviators who have achieved great career success as a fast jet test pilot within both military and commercial environments. Probably best known for his work on the English Electric Lightning, Jimmy Dell has used his skill, courage and intimate knowledge of aerodynamics to reach the very top of a highly demanding profession.

Joining the RAF in 1942, Jimmy Dell did his initial pilot training in Southern Rhodesia. By 1944 he had already become a Flying Instructor for advanced trainers. After the war Jimmy performed various training and test flying roles on aircraft such as Spitfires, Meteors, Venoms and Hunters. He also led test flight teams to the USA and France to work on aircraft such as the F-100, F-104, F-105, F-106, Mystere 4 and Mirage 3.

Wing Commander James Leonard Dell OBE

In 1960 he joined English Electric on the Lightning development programme and was Chief Test Pilot from 1961 to 1970. Jimmy also worked on the TSR2 programme and flew 12 of the aircraft’s 24 test flights, before its untimely cancellation in 1965. He worked on the French / UK Jaguar programme, and finally became Director, Flight Operations with responsibility for all Tornado test flight activities across the three participating countries.

Jimmy Dell retired in 1989. Amongst his awards was the OBE for services to test flying.

 
 

 

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