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|Signatures on this item|
|*The value given for each signature has been calculated by us based on the historical significance and rarity of the signature. Values of many pilot signatures have risen in recent years and will likely continue to rise as they become more and more rare.|
Flight Lieutenant John Squier (deceased)
*Signature Value : £35
|John Squier was called up from the RAFVR at the outbreak of war, joining 64 Squadron at Kenley in June 1940 flying Spitfires. In August he crash landed following an attack by Hannes Trautloft of III/JG51, suffering severe injuries. Rejoining 64 Squadron in November, he was posted to 72 Squadron, then 603 Squadron, and finally 141 Squadron. He was commissioned in 1942. After the war he became a test pilot and was the first pilot to eject at supersonic speed. He died 30th January 2006.|
Jimmy Dell OBE (deceased)
*Signature Value : £25
|Jimmy Dell joined the RAF in 1942 and after the war flew F-86Es and the first radar equipped F-86D with the USAF. He was the first RAF Lightning Project Test Pilot and later became Chief Test Pilot at English Electric/BAC test flying Lightning, TSR 2 and Jaguar. 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. 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. Sadly, Jimmy Dell died on 25th March 2008.|
Wing Commander Roland Bee Beamont CBE DSO DFC DL (deceased)
*Signature Value : £65
|One of World War IIs great characters, Bee flew Hurricanes with 87 Squadron, later leading a Tempest Wing. He had 8 victories plus a further 32 VIs destroyed. After the war he became a highly respected Chief Test Pilot.Wing Commander Roland Beamont, one of the RAFs top buzz bomb interceptors, was born in Enfield England on August 10, 1920. Educated at Eastborne College, Beamont accepted a short service commission with the Royal Air Force in 1938. He commenced flying in 1939 at the the No. 13 Reserve Flying School at White Waltham. His initial duty was with the Group Fighter Pool at St. Athan where he learned to fly the Hurricane. Beamont was soon posted with the No. 87 Squadron which was part of the Advanced Air Striking Force in France. Seeing action in both France and Belgium prior to the Allied withdrawl, Beamont rejoined 87 Squadron in England during the Battle of Britain. In the spring of 1941 Beamont was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross after destroying five enemy aircraft. As Commanding Officer of 609 Squadron, Beamont pioneered both day and night ground attack missions utilizing the Typhoon. Beamont was credited with destroying 25 trains in a three month period. He was then made responsible for organizing and commanding the first Tempest Wing at Newchurch. Three days after D-Day Bearnont shot down an Me-109, marking the first aerial combat victory for the Hawker Tempest. In the summer of 1944 Beamont destroyed 32 buzz bombs prior to leading his wing to a Dutch Airfield at Volkel on the Continent. In October of 1944 Beamont was shot down during a ground attack mission over Germany, and he remained a prisoner of war until wars end. Following repatriation Beamont became an experimental test pilot with the Gloster Aircraft Company, which had developed the RAFs first jet aircraft. Turning down a permanent commission with the RAF, Beamont then joined English Electric Company in Wharton as the Chief Test Pilot for the B3/45 (Canberra) jet bomber program. He managed all prototype testing on the Canberra, and in the process set two Atlantic speed records. Later Beamont was involved with the supersonic P1/Lightning program, and became the first British pilot to fly at twice the speed of sound. From 1965 until 1970 he was a founding member of Britains highly succesful Saudi Arabian export program. For several years prior to his retirement in 1979, Beamont was Director of Operations for British Aerospace and Panavia where he was in charge of flight testing for the Tornado. Since his retirement Beamont has authored nine books, and published numerous magazine articles. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Scociety and an Honorary Fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots in America. He died 19th November 2001.|
|The Aircraft :|
|Lightning||English Electric (later BAC) Lightning. Originally designed by W F Petter (the designer of the Canberra) The first Lighting Prototype was first flown on the 4th August 1954 by Wing Commander R P Beamont at Boscombe Down. The second prototype P1A, The name of Lightning was not used until 1958) (WG763) was shown at the Farnborough show in September 1955. The Third prototype was flown in April 1957 and was the first British aircraft ever to fly at Mach 2 on the 25th November 1958 The first production aircraft made its first flight on 3rd November 1959 and entered operational service with the RAF on the 29th June 1960with |NO. 74 squadron based at Coltishall. The F1 was followed shortly after by the F1A which had been modified to carry a in-flight refueling probe. The Lightning F2 entered service in December 1962 with no 19 and 92 squadrons. a total of 44 aircraft F2 were built. The F3 came into service between 1964 and 1966 with Fighter Command squadrons, re engined with the Roll's Royce Avon 301 turbojets. The Lightning T Mk 5 was a training version Lightning a total of 22 were built between August 1964 and December 1966. The BAC Lighting F MK 6 was the last variant of the lightning, base don the F3, this was the last single seat fighter and served the |Royal Air Force for 20 years. First Flown on 17th April 1964, and a total of 55 F6 saw service with the Royal Air Force, and the last Lightning F6 was produced in August 1967. A Total of 278 lightning's of all marks were delivered. In 1974 the Phantom aircraft began replacing the aging Lightning's, but 2 F6 remained in service up to 1988 with Strike Command until finally being replaced with Tornado's. Specifications for MK1 to 4: Made by English Electrc Aviation Ltd at Preston and Samlesbury Lancashire, designated P1B, All Weather single seat Fighter. Max Speed: Mach 2.1 (1390 mph) at 36,000 feet Ceiling 55,000 feet Armament: Two 30mm Aden guns and Two Firestreak infra red AAM's. Specificaitons for MK 6: Made by English Electrc Aviation Ltd at Preston Lancashire, designated P1B, All Weather single seat Fighter. Max Speed: Mach 2.27 (1500 mph) at 40,000 feet Ceiling 55,000 feet Range: 800 miles. Armament: Two 30mm Aden guns and Two Firestreak infra red AAM's. or Two Red Top. or two retractable contain 24 spin-stabilized rockets each.|
|Artist Details : Michael Rondot|
|Click here for a full list of all artwork by Michael Rondot|
Michael Rondot is well known in the military aviation world for his distinctive style of aircraft paintings and prints which have made him one of todays most widely collected aviation artists. During his 25 year career as a pilot in the Royal Air Force he flew over 5000 hours in combat jets, including Jaguar fighter bombers during the Gulf War, bringing a unique authority to his paintings that sets them in a class of their own. His portrayals of classic combat aircraft are much sought-after by both aviators and enthusiasts alike for their realism and powerful atmospheric settings.
More about Michael Rondot
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