Humble, William 'Bill' (Oral history)

Catalogue number
  • 12876
Department
Sound
Production date
1992-11-06
Dimensions
  • whole: Duration 80, Number Of Items 3
Alternative names
  • object name: Oral history
  • object category: IWM interview
Creator
Category
sound

© IWM

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Object description

British officer served as test pilot with RAF attached to Hawkers Aircraft Company at Langley, GB, 1940-1948

Content description

REEL 1 Background in GB, 1911-1940: family; education; learning to fly at Marshall's of Cambridge; employment as mining engineer, purchasing Speed Six Hawk aircraft, 1935; racing aircraft; joining 504 Sqdn, Auxiliary Air Force, 1930; joining RAF officer reserve; reserved occupation status, 1939- 1940. Recollections of period as test pilot with Hawkers Aircraft Company Ltd at Langley, GB, 1940-1948: background to obtaining post as test pilot and types of aircraft flown prior; adjusting Hawker Hurricane ailerons; background to joining Experimental Department; incident of Hawker Hurricane cockpit filled with smoke; story of tail coming of Hawker Typhoon in which fellow test pilot was injured; problems of tail coming off Hawker Typhoon. REEL 2 Continues: character of Hawker Tempest; character of Hawker Fury; first flight as chief test pilot in the experimental Hawker P10/40 jet at Boscombe Down, 1947; vibration problem with Hawker P10/40; his discovery of origin of vibration problem in Hawker P10/40; attitude to becoming sales manager, 1948; question of problem of elevator flutter in the Hawker Typhoon; problem of spinning Hawker Typhoon; memories of George Bulman; occasion when he stalled starboard wing on Hawker Fury on landing; reasons for starboard wing stalling on Hawker Fury; relations with Sir Sidney Camm; attitude to being test pilot with Hawker Aircraft Company; question of stress faced by test pilots. REEL 3 Continues: memories of Geoffrey De Havilland; opinion of Sir Thomas Sopwith's flying skills; story of forced landing in Hawker Tempest after dreaming of event the previous night, 1943; wheels up forced landing at small airfield near Henley on Thames; tactics employed by Hawker Typhoon pilots in engaging Focke Wulf Fw 190; memories of test pilots with De Havilland and Glosters; flying early jet aircraft; memories of 'Wimpey' Wade; memories of Neville Duke and his record flight from GB to Pakistan.

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