Chronology of Test Pilots

Photo credit Bill Burroughs

Dunsfold was second home to a lot of people in the last 70 years. We hope to build a record of just some of those people that are a significant part of the history of the aerodrome.   We will be adding more information over the coming months – additional information and corrections most welcome.

Dunsfold Chief Test Pilots in chronological order:

Dunsfold Test Pilots in chronological order:

  • Don Riches 1968-1980
  • Barrie Tonkinson 1969-1973
  • Jim Hawkins DCTP, French TP School   July 1986  
  • Taylor Scott DCTP FAA    October 1987
  • Paul Hopkins, Hawk 200 Project Pilot    1985 – 1988
  • Simon Hargreaves,FAA FRS2 / FA2    1992 – 1996
  • Mark Bowman 1998
  • Rod Frederiksen,  Falklands Ace TP  Late 80’s-early 90’s             
  • Steve Thomas, Falklands Ace TP  1992
  • Jim Ludford  Early 1990’s
  • Bernie Scot  Early 1990’s

Production Test pilots:

  • Frank Bullen,  WWII Spitfires &Mustangs,TP 49 – 60 ( Prod CTP 1955 – 1960 ) Later local Councillor.
  • Frank Murphy OBE, WWII Hurricanes,Typhoons, Tempests,  TP   1944 – 1955 ( inc Hunter crash at Ford )
  • David Lockspeiser 1955 – ? ( inc LDA-1 Boxer 1971 – 1987 )

Comms Pilots:

  • Mike Oliver,
  • Dick Whittington, WWII fighters, Test Pilot inc CTP Follands.
  • Chris Darwin, FAA Phantoms, Dunsfold 1980’s
Frank Bullen, Bill Bedford, Duncan Simpson, Hugh Merewether, David Lockspeiser

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18 Replies to “Chronology of Test Pilots”

      1. Sorry to learn that your father passed away so young. I was an apprentice serving my time at the Dunsfold flightline at the time, when your father was there. He was a very talented man. They were happy and exciting days.

  1. LS
    I’m searching for w/c L. A. Lynn, DFC, DSO, his career. I know him through my study for 320 Dutch Squadron. He flew with my ancestor “Cees Waardenburg”.
    For 320 and 180 Squadron. After the crash of Lt. Cees Waardenburg, DFC, on 30 August 1944, with the Michell FW268-EV-O, I lost track with Commander Lynn.
    I hope you have for me information about his movements (life) after the mentioned crash.
    Thank you in advance.
    (Sorry for my simpele school english) I’m Dutch and not experienced to use the english language.
    Wim van Kamperdijk

  2. Also missing RV (Fred) Frederiksen, AMRAAM integration and live firing trials Harrier FRS.2 (FA.2) for which he received Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air 1994. Also Harrier & Sea Harrier production test flying and delivery flights (Sea Harrier to India, Hawks to Malaysia).

  3. I agree, sorry if I missed out Rod Fred as we knew him, a great character known for a pause before replying to radio calls while he had a puff on a fag ! Sadly that’s what got him while the Argenentinians couldn’t, he was a Falklands Ace and instrumental in the development of the Mid-Life Update FRS2 / FA2 Sea Harrier.

  4. Anyone know of a Pilot called Hind, who was involved with the P1127? He was my next door neighbour when I was a schoolboy. Always wondered what happened to him and his family.

  5. No reference to ‘Ted’ Tennant, who I understood had been Folland CTP on the Gnat? I had heard of Dick Whittington but was unaware of the folland connection (I believe his family was tragically involved in the Hs125 accident at Dunsfold in November 1974(?)…
    Ted lived in the early 60s near Cranleigh and (via a mutual acquaintance) I inherited from him a large model of the Folland Midge single-seater – donated just this year to Brooklands Museum.

    1. Hello Ian. ‘Ted Tennant’ was indeed a Folland CTP but he retired before Folland were taken over by Hawker Siddeley and they moved to Dunsfold – hence he’s not listed as a Dunsfold CTP. He was superceded as Gnat CTP by my father, Mike Oliver. You’re correct about Dick Whittington; tragically, John ‘Cats Eyes’ Cunningham, piloting the HS 125 suffered a bird strike immediately after takeoff and crashed on the A281 killing Dick Whittington’s wife, his 2 daughters and three of their school friends. Dick’s wife has just collected the girls from St. Catherine’s School in Bramley. The date was 20th November 1975

  6. Hi, I helped dig up a Dunsfold based Mitchell that crashed on Esher Common just after WW2 ended. Think it was a midair collision
    The prop blade was massive , I kept an instruction plate from the lower turret

  7. Does anyone know anything about a Canadian officer with the first name of PASCAL – in June 1940, probably stationed at Dunsfield. He would be my granddad… But this was before the airfield was operational. We don’t know his surname, but believe he was an officer in the RCAF.

  8. When I was working there in the flight shed, just before Dunsfold closed, a test pilot crashed a sea harrier, whilst delivering it to Yeovilton RNAS.
    Does anyone remember what the pilots name was?

    1. I think that you will find that it was Peter Wilson. He went up to Warton the other Dunsfold test pilots (Tomlinson, Hargreaves and Bowman)

  9. Before I left school I did gardening for both Neville Duke and Frank Murphy as they both lived inside the airport boundary. To get to Frank Murphy’s house I had to cycle round the perimeter and in doing so had to pass where they tested the Hunters engine and if they spotted me coming in good time would untether the jet turn it and try and blow me off my bike.
    Once at Neville Dukes during Farnborough week I was doing gardening with Mrs Duke when there was a sonic boom to which Mrs Duke said that is my husband I must go and put his tea on

  10. You might like to include Barry Tonkinson in your list of test pilots. He was at Dunsfold from about 1969 to about 1973.

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