Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Peter R D Wilson 1920-2010

Peter Wilson served in India and Burma during WWII. He was an Army pilot, one of six to be selected to be trained on helicopters in November 1946 on Sikorsky Hoverfly 1’s. An Experimental Flight for trials with the Army was formed using Hoverfly 2’s in April 1947, ceasing Operations in January 1948.

In December 1948, Peter Wilson was appointed the Army Test Pilot at the Airborne Forces Experimental Establishment (AFEE) at RAF Beaulieu in Hampshire. In September 1950 he became the first Army Helicopter Test Pilot at the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE) at Boscombe Down.

He voluntarily retired from the Army and joined the Bristol Aeroplane Company as a Test Pilot at Filton, Bristol. He was involved in Testing all the Bristol Helicopters, and was heavily involved with the Sycamore and Belvedere.

In 1960 Bristol Helicopters were taken over by Westland Aircraft. During his time with Westland, he flew the SA330 Puma, SA341 Gazelle and the Seaking. He continued to fly at Yeovil until 26th August 1974. In all 25 years as a Military and Civil Helicopter Test Pilot. He was awarded the Queen’s Award for Valuable Services in the Air on January 1st 1974.