Monday, April 19, 2010

James Rodney Blackett Hartnoll 1914-1952

Test pilots (Left to right )Bill Humble,Alex Henshaw,Jeffrey Quill,Geoffrey deHavilland,F.H. Dixon,Colin Evans, Pat Fillingham and J.R.B Hartnoll.

Photo by Charles E Brown, Copyright RAF Museum.

J. R. B. Hartnoll was born in 1914, and educated at Harrow and University College, Oxford, he learned to fly with the Wiltshire Club in 1936, and soon afterwards joined the R.A.F. Shortly before the war he went to the de Havilland Company, but was called up as a member of the R.A.F.O. and posted as an instructor to No. 3 F.T.S., South Cerney. In 1941 he was seconded to de Havillands as a test pilot. He flew for their Propeller Division until the end of the war, and carried out the initial development flying of the first D.H. braking airscrews. After a short period at the end of the war in the D.H. engine-installation department, he started Photo Flight, Ltd., at Elstree, in 1948. He was now able to combine his interests in aviation and photography, and to specialize in commercial air photographs of high quality.Mr. Hartnoll lost his life when a light aircraft—in which he was returning from photographing a factory in Wiltshire—dived into the ground near Booker airfield.