Fly No More:- Navy Test Pilot - Mach 2.1 plus 75,000 Feet
|PUBLISHED (THIS EDITION):||September 2001|
Brian Davies held the World Airspeed Record between New York and London for four years until 1974. He achieved this flying a Royal Navy Phantom FG1 in the Daily Mail Trans Atlantic Race in 1969.
The Phantom was an aeroplane that Brian knew intimately because he had spent several years flight-testing and evaluating the new Rolls-Royce-powered model in the USA and UK before becoming CO of No. 892 Squadron when he flew them operationally.
Brian joined the Royal Navy in 1952 as an aviation cadet at the age of eighteen. His early flying started in Harvard trainers, but at that time turbo-jet power was rapidly replacing the piston engine and in 1953 he converted to flying jets. Gloster Meteors, Supermarine Attackers and Hawker Sea Hawks were amongst the types flown during training and his early days flying with 803 Squadron in Malta and from HMS Eagle and HMS Albion. In 1957 Brian joined 700X Flight which was formed to evaluate operationally the soon to be introduced Supermarine Scimitar and then in 1960 he was trained at th Empire Test Pilot's School, Farnborough to become a qualified experimental test pilot. Brain served at Boscombe Down from 1961 to 1963 test flying for the Ministry of Technology. This involved many projects including clearance to service of ordnance delivery and weapon system of the Blackburn Buccaneer. In 1965 he joined a Sea Vixen Squadron engaged in night bombing exercises before moving to Patuxent River air base in Maryland, USA, for his long and difficult period test flying the new Rolls-Royce powered Phantom.
For his outstanding contribution to the development of this new model he was awarded the Air Force Cross.