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The Flight Test crew

The ten man flight test crew were keen young men, some of whom had flown during the war and others who were factory trained or engineers from university. They were to put their combined talent talents to good use.

One of them, Ken FitzGerald, 28 and married to Anne joined Bristol Aeroplane Company in 1937 as an electrician and was the only Bristolian in the crew.

The Bristol Evening Post had written about the 1,000 test dials that the crew would be monitoring. For these they devised many ingenious camera systems to record the findings. This was pre-computer technology and all the data would need to be manually collated and checked.

The crew now had many months of intensive flight-testing, all the systems were new and their feedback to the design teams was crucial. They tested the new technology to its limits, Bill Pegg being in his element, the RAF, many years before had noted his outstanding ability as a natural aviator but had failed to keep him. Now as BAC's Chief test pilot, even a hydraulic pipe failure just became a normal landing and a good test of the reversing propellers, even with flaps still up. Filton's long runway was also an asset. That was on January 16th 1950.

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This is page 8 of The Bristol Brabazon - Engineering masterpiece or Great White Elephant.
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The crew get ready for the first test flight

The crew get ready for the first test flight
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A publicity picture for the newpapers

A publicity picture for the newpapers
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Bill Pegg the test pilot introduces the crew to the Queen; Elizabeth, wife of King George VI and mother of Queen Elizabeth II.

Bill Pegg the test pilot introduces the crew to the Queen; Elizabeth, wife of King George VI and mother of Queen Elizabeth II.
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