Newsletter 12
Spring 2006
Updated on 25Feb2006
Published by the Hawker Association
for the Members.
Contents © Hawker Association

Arado crescent criticisms
Association ties
Beyond the Harrier
Christmas lunch
Col. John Driscoll
Comet to Hawk
Double testimonial
Hawk news
Hawker people news
Indian Harrier
Kingston heritage project
News of members
Not boring at all
Programme 2006
RAF Harrier story
RN CVF carrier and F-35b
Sea Harrier finale
Sea Fury racers
Sopwith stories
Thomas Allan Collinson
Who's who?  
Ron Williams, member of the Project Office from 1944 until retirement writes...

I came across this January 1989 letter from Bill Bedford. I was probably one of the first to meet Bill when he joined Hawkers in 1958 as Chief Test Pilot. We met at London Airport on our way to visit Paris and Toulouse to assess the little Breguet Taon fighter entered in the NATO 'light fighter' competition, eventually won by the Fiat G-91.

Dear Ron,

This is a short note to wish you and your family all the best in your new chapter in life following your retirement from an outstanding innings with Hawkers/BAe.

As a younger man in the late forties, experienced aviators said to me, "There's only one firm to join, and that's Hawkers; they make the finest pilots' aeroplanes." How right that proved to be and to me it was a great honour and a pleasure to fly those aircraft and to appreciate the brilliant team that made it possible, with one success after another, terminating with the Harrier and Hawk, both of which hit the US jackpot against all comers.

An old Australian WWII pilot friend, 'Bush' Cotton, having recently read the RAeS fifty year anniversary book on the Hurricane, thanked me for it and said, "I read every page. I can see now why I was able to trust the machine more than any other aircraft I have flown before it or since." That is the true hallmark stamped on all 'Hawker' aeroplanes.

And thank you, Ron, for all you did personally to enhance this reputation by putting everything you had in terms of tenacity and ability to see that the RAF, RN and other pilots had the very best.

Yours sincerely.            Bill