Duncan Simpson 23rd December 1927 – 7th December 2017
We very much regret to announce the death on 7th December of Duncan Simpson OBE CEng FRAes FIMechE
Duncan was at the forefront of UK military aviation for many years. He played a key role in the development of the Hunter fighter, the Harrier and Sea Harrier, and led development of the Hawk advanced trainer also flown by the Red Arrows.
His link with Dunsfold is inextricable – Simpson joined Hawker in 1954 and became Hawker’s Chief Test Pilot in 1970, notable that he flew the P.1127 as well as making the first flight in a Hawk. He was Master of the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators in 2002, and in 2011 received the Guild’s Award of Honour in recognition of his outstanding lifetime contribution to aviation. He was also a Fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots.
Latterly he served with distinction as the Tangmere Military Aviation Museum’s Honorary President from 2007 until 2013.
His son John contacted the Heritage Society to inform us of his father’s passing: “He died peacefully at his home on Thursday 7th December 2017 having endured severe ill health since early 2015. We are aware of the highly valued relationship he had with all those at Dunsfold. We would very much appreciate it if you could please pass on this message to others who remember him. Any former colleagues or close friends we would very much like to hear from. A Memorial Service is being held at St Clement Danes WC2R 1DH on Tuesday 24th April at 11am and after at the RAF Club W1J 7PY. Any donations please to the RAF Benevolent Fund.
A Memorial Service to celebrate his life will take place at St Clements Dane’s on Tuesday, 24th April 2018″