Newsletter 15
? Winter 2006
Updated on 9Dec2006
Aviation Heritage Project
Dunsfold Wings & Wheels
Female Angle
Flight Test from a Desk
Harrier News
Hawk News
Graduate Apprentices
Hawker People News
Hugh Merewether
  1924 - 2006, Test Pilot
  Flight Development
  Faster, Higher, Further
  Spinning With Hugh
JSF Progress
Sea Furies at Reno
Sea Harrier ZA195
Sea Hawk Recovered
Sir Sydney & Sir George
Sopwith & Bradshaw
Summer's Day at Dunsfold
Vulcan to the Skies
Published by the Hawker Association
for the Members.
Contents © Hawker Association

Dick Poole remembers flight test fun in the sun...

It was a hot summer day at Dunsfold in the 1980s and a hose-pipe ban had just been introduced. The Finnish Hawk Mk 51s were to be fitted with a new adaptive anti-skid braking system to improve braking performance on wet and icy runways. The system should have been tested on G-HAWK in the winter when wet runway conditions were readily available but equipment delivery delays resulted in the system being ready for test at this most unsuitable time of the year. Not to be beaten by nature or the ban the stalwart members the Dunsfold Airfield Fire Department were enlisted to wet an area of the runway large enough for an initial test of the system.

A Summer's Day at Dunsfold

The test aircraft, flown by Jim Hawkins, took off and loitered with the undercarriage down to cool the brakes prior to the test landing on the wet runway. Whilst the Hawk was cruising round the firemen took the opportunity to spray more water on the test area. At the same time a Dove communications aircraft that arrived in the overhead was requested to hold until the Hawk had landed. On seeing the activity below a voice from the ether was heard to say, "It'll never grow, you know," to the amusement of all within radio range.