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21st October 2014 - Test Flying and Engineering 

John Bolton

The President welcomed members to the meeting on Tuesday 21 October and introduced our guest speaker John Bolton, who brought us humour, film and an excellent narrative of his career as a test pilot in the RAF and British Aerospace. With his talk titled Townhead to Toulouse, John's school days at Allan Glen in 1962 where they had an Air Training Corps settled his career path very easily. Training on the Jet Provost followed by experience on the Gnat, Hunter and Harrier took him on to the Test Flying School at R A E, Bedford on aerodynamic research. Involved in the development of the Sea Harrier on HMS Hermes, this was also the time of the introduction of the ski jump ramp on ships to assist Harrier take offs. A quickly discovered side benefit of the ski ramp was that the space below the ramp could be used for band practice leaving the rest of the ship's crew in peace!  By the end of his military service John had flown all the military aircraft in the Western World up to the F15. Joining British Aerospace at Prestwick as chief test pilot, Regional Aircraft and latterly as Production and Development Test Pilot Airbus, this segment of his career was supported by a great video and audio account of the depth of testing required to bring the Airbus into general use. Bill Allen gave the vote of thanks to John for his most interesting talk. The next meeting is on 4 November starting at 10.30am when we meet to hear Sandra Dunlop who will talk  about The State Hospital, Carstairs.

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