News: In June 1557 Edmund Allin, his wife and five others were burnt at the stake, where Drakes pub now stands in Fairmeadow, Maidstone, for refusing to accept Catholicism.
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Topic Summary

Posted by: Sentinel S4
« on: March 27, 2012, 11:34:45 »

Bonzo, it is thought that he was really close to going through the sound barrier when the plane started to get out of control, and that he broke his neck when ejecting as the wind speed nearly took his head off. We just were not ready for the rapid advances in speed, the tech was there but the knowledge was missing. It was a different set of circumstances and parameters to deal with. A brave man though. S4.
Posted by: BONZO
« on: March 27, 2012, 10:47:18 »

Thanks for the updates, found this on Wikipedia

Geoffrey de Havilland

He died on the evening of 27 September 1946 whilst carrying-out high speed tests in the de Havilland DH.108 TG306 which broke-up over the Thames estuary, the remains of the aircraft being discovered the following day in the mud of Egypt Bay, Gravesend, Kent.

Found on the mud flats at Whitstable, his parachute pull ring untouched, the body of Captain de Havilland was found to have suffered a broken neck, the result of the aircraft having undergone severe and violent longitudinal oscillations prior to break-up, which resulted in de Havilland's head striking the cockpit canopy with great force.

A pilot who flew another DH.108, Capt. Eric "Winkle" Brown suggests that a factor in de Havilland's death was due to his height, Brown suffering similar oscillations during a test flight, which due to his shorter stature, did not result in his head contacting the cockpit hood.

The David Lean film The Sound Barrier is based upon this event.

Two of de Havilland's cousins were the actresses Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine.

Posted by: doug
« on: March 26, 2012, 19:57:29 »

the plaques are not on display in Macaries [Which has been sold and changed names] the plaques were never put on display at either end of the
course they sat in the council yard for years, when the council was having a clear up they were rescued by an employee who through more of history than the council. They were on display until the new ownersreturned them to the owner who has put them on loan to RAF Manston museum, where they are on display with the pilots uniform. film of the speed trials is also run.[ a later mark meteor is also on display]
Posted by: mmitch
« on: March 26, 2012, 19:16:05 »

Geoffrey deHavilland died in the DH 108 Swallow on the same course in September 1946.
Later record attempts were made off the Sussex coast near Tangmere.
Several record breaking aircraft are displayed at the museum there.
Posted by: BONZO
« on: March 26, 2012, 11:18:33 »

Extract from the Herne Bay Press Saturday 10th November 1945


Jet-propelled Planes Flash by at over 606 m.p.h. Flying his Gloster jet-propelled Meteor aeroplane "Britannia" over the Herne Bay course on Wednesday, Group captain H. J. Wilson set up a world record air speed of 606.25 miles per hour, all the conditions of the world record being fulfilled.

Mr Eric Greenwood who later in the day made an attack on the record in his new bright amber coloured Gloster jet-propelled Meteor (unnamed, but which might justly be titled the Golden Gleam), also surpassed the 600 m.p.h. speed, his checked average being 603 m.p.h.

The course of 3 kilometers to be covered four times starting opposite the Miramar Hotel on the East Cliffs along to the Reculver Towers. Group captain H. J. Wilson's four runs were 604, 608, 602, & 611m.p.h. respectively.

The previous record had been made in Germany in 1939 at 469 m.p.h.

In the Macari cafe on the corner of William Street and Central parade (on the sea front) you can see the bronze plaques that were erected to mark the air speed course . One was on the cliffs behind the Miramar Hotel that marked the Western end, and one by the Reculver Towers that marked the Eastern end of the course. The plaques are now on the wall amongst photographs of old Herne Bay in the Macari's cafe. They had to be removed from their original sites because of erosion of the cliffs by the North Sea

Posted by: BONZO
« on: March 26, 2012, 11:11:36 »

I was down at Herne Bay at the weekend and decided to see what the latest is on the Pier demolition / reconstruction.

Whilst looking at info on the web I came across this information.

The first jet airspeed record and the first airspeed record over 600 mph was made between Herne Bay Pier and Reculver by H J Wilson who broke the World Air Speed Record at 606 mph in a standard Gloster Meteor Mark IV in November 1945

Can't remember seeing any memorial plaque or information on the sea front.

(Have done a search but can't find any other threads on this).
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