March 18th, 2016

Dogfight [by the_gneech]

A Life at Full Throttle

On Wednesday evening I went to a talk at the Royal Aeronautical Society on the life and career of test pilot Eric 'Winkle' Brown', who died last month at the age of 97.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Rode the Wall of Death
  • Flew under the Forth Bridge
  • Interrogated top German officers at the close of the Second World War, including Göring
  • Flew captured German jets, including one which was towed back to the UK behind a Spitfire
  • Flew a helicopter with no training whatsoever
  • Was friends with Neil Armstrong, and could have been an astronaut if he'd been prepared to take US citizenship


You can watch the entire talk on YouTube. You can also check out the list of aircraft Winkle flew, which is long enough to need its own Wikipedia page.

I feel the bar has been raised for what constitutes an interesting life lived to the full.
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