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Thread: J Radcliffe, Vickers Flight Test Observer

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    Default J Radcliffe, Vickers Flight Test Observer

    Forumites:
    I have question regarding The Caterpillar Club. In 1933, J "Mutt" Summers (of Vickers), and J Radcliffe baled out of an aircraft. Summers became a member of The Caterpillar Club, but there doesn't appear to be any evidence of Radcliffe being a member. Can anybody shed any light on this anomaly?
    Thanks in advance,
    Andy Wis

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    Hello,

    Radcliffe was a member of the Caterpillar Club.

    An Abridged List of Lives Saved with Irvin Air Chutes.

    GREAT BRITAIN - 1933.

    November 23, 1933 - Brooklands.

    Vickers M.1/30 S1641 - Ceiling and level test speed trials. Aircraft disintegrated during testing.

    Chief Test Pilot, Vickers Ltd. J "Mutt" Summers - Baled out safely.

    Engineer, Vickers Ltd (F.T.O.) John Radcliffe* - Baled out safely.

    *
    In the inverted position a very large force occurred, detaching the fuselage from the rest of the aeroplane and throwing out the pilot, whose parachute opened at once. Radcliffe's safety belt was released or broken, and he found himself suspended by his parachute back-strap from the machine-gun on the starboard side of the cockpit. In this position he noticed that the tail unit was properly in position, with pieces of fabric caught up on the tailplane. After some seconds he became detached and he then released his parachute.

    From Official Company Publication: Irvin Air Chutes and...

    Vickers Aircraft since 1908.
    Andrews,C. F. & E. B. Morgan.
    London:Putnam.1989(new ed.rep.).
    pp.11 & 294.

    Col
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 4th May 2017 at 15:37.

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    Default J Radcliffe

    Thankyou very much for that information. The reason I ask is that we have at Brooklands a "Caterpillar Club" display board which omits Radcliffe as being a member of the 'Club. Strange that he is not included.....
    Regards,
    Andy Wis

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    Also, Col, was B A G Macgowan who is on our board the same Barry Macgowan who survived, when Robert Kronfeld had his crash just after WW2
    Andy

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    Hello,

    The F.T.O., is not named on this site: http://www.thunder-and-lightnings.co...try.php?id=181

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 4th May 2017 at 15:50.

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    Radcliffe is on the Official List (at Irvine Air Chutes now Airborne Systems)

    his full name was Mr John Maurice Radcliffe. He was killed in crash of Bristol 170 Mark 21 G-AIFF 06/05/1949 in English Channel 30 miles south of Portland Bill

    . Killed were: Mr J.A.C. Northway, TP; Mr J.M. Radcliffe, head of flight development; Mr R.M. Pollard, FTO engines; Mr E.J.N. Archbold, FTO; Mr R.H. Daniels, FTO; Mr C.W.E. Flook, FTO; Mr J.L. Gundry, FTO. Fin failed owing to rudder lock in an extreme yaw condition during single-engined flight test.


    John Radcliffe was born in 1902

    "British Aviation, Widening Horizons, 1930-1934
    Harald Penrose
    Stationery Office, 1979 - Technology & Engineering - 339 pages Page 244


    "With the machine upside-down, the fuselage broke away. The pilot
    was thrown out and opened his parachute, but his observer had to free his
    parachute straps from the machine-gun before he could escape. "I saw the
    fuselage falling without wings, and portions of the fabric and structure were
    on all sides, 'said Rafcliffe, but they both landed safely. The deep
    concern of Pierson and Wallis was echoed by technical members of the Air Ministry and urgent investigation followed, for it was evident that the RAE would have to reconsider stiffness factors, ultimately resulting in re-writing the appropriate section of the design requirements handbook"
    Last edited by paulmcmillan; 4th May 2017 at 18:54.

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    Paul,

    Bristol 170 G-AIFF (12766), had been converted to a Mk.31 prior to its loss.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 4th May 2017 at 18:58.

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    Full Crew of G-AIFF
    The crew are listed as James Arthur Charles "Dick" Northway (42) John Maurice Radcliffe (47), Rex McGregor Pollard (24) Edward John Nicholas Archbold (27)
    Roy Henry Daniels (40) Charles Ernest Flook (52) and John Leonard Gundry (37)

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    Thanks for update Col will go into my caterpillar Club file!

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