Saturday, March 22, 2008

Wg Cdr George Edward Lowdell AFM 1902-1974

Wg Cdr Lowdell was well known as an instructor, demonstration and test-pilot in the period between the wars. He was particularly associated with Brooklands, first as instructor (later chief instructor) at the Brooklands School of Flying.He left the Brooklands School of Flying in 1934,where he has instructed for nearly four years, to join Wolseley Motors Ltd. as Chief Test Pilot. Three Hawker " Tomtits,"which Mr. Lowdell will use, are soon to be taken from Brooklands to Castle Bromwich. George Lowdell flew a " Tomtit " fitted with a Wolseley engine in the King's Cup Race in 1933. He became Reid and Sigrist's test pilot and flew the prototype Reid and Sigrist R.S. 1,early in 1939.

Operation "Banquet Lights" was the arming of Tiger Moths of the Elementary Flight Training Schools, the Reid & Sigrist-converted "Paraslasher" airborne Scythe experiment for Banqust Tiger Moths.It was the brainchild of Sqn Ldr George E. Lowdell of 7 EFTS, a pre-war stunt pilot and Reid & Sigrist's test pilot (they made aircraft instruments). 7 EFTS was based at RAF Desford, previously Reid & Sigrist's test field.
Wg Cdr George Edward Lowdell joined Vickers as a test pilot in 1941 and after a short time at Weybridge and Eastleigh went to Castle Bromwich for two years,test flying production Spitfires and repaired Wellingtons. In 1943 he transferred to Blackpool as test pilot in charge,handling Wellingtons. Two years later he returned to Weybridge as Chief Production Test Pilot,retiring from flying in 1953.
He did considerable development flying on early Vikings,flew the nene-engined Viking and Tay-Viscount and demonstarted Valettas,Varsities and Viscounts at Farnborough displays.
In 1956 he was appointed as a member of the after sales service organisation at Vickers,where he was responsible for relations with pilots of customer airlines and visiting the Weybridge Aircraft Service School.