The Pilot That Flew 487 Different Aircraft & Landed 2,271 Times On A Carrier! Eric "Winkle" Brown

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Dronescapes

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Feb 26, 2022
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Captain Eric Melrose "Winkle" Brown, CBE, DSC, AFC, Hon FRAeS, RN (21 January 1919 – 21 February 2016) was a British Royal Navy officer and test pilot who flew 487 types of aircraft, more than anyone else in history.

Brown holds the world record for the most aircraft carrier deck take-offs and landings performed (2,407 and 2,271 respectively) and achieved several "firsts" in naval aviation, including the first landings on an aircraft carrier of a twin-engined aircraft, an aircraft with a tricycle undercarriage, a jet aircraft, and a rotary-wing aircraft.

He flew almost every category of Royal Navy and Royal Air Force aircraft: glider, fighter, bomber, airliner, amphibian, flying boat and helicopter. During World War II, he flew many types of captured German, Italian, and Japanese aircraft, including new jet and rocket aircraft. He was a pioneer of jet technology into the postwar era.
 
Captain Eric Melrose "Winkle" Brown, CBE, DSC, AFC, Hon FRAeS, RN (21 January 1919 – 21 February 2016) was a British Royal Navy officer and test pilot who flew 487 types of aircraft, more than anyone else in history.

Brown holds the world record for the most aircraft carrier deck take-offs and landings performed (2,407 and 2,271 respectively) and achieved several "firsts" in naval aviation, including the first landings on an aircraft carrier of a twin-engined aircraft, an aircraft with a tricycle undercarriage,...
Yes, I know that the British love repeating this lie... but the French were first to land a twin-engined aircraft on a carrier in 1936... and the USN landed a tricycle-landing geared twin-engine aircraft on a carrier 11 times in a single day in 1939!

Mosquito Doing a Deck Landing in 1944!
Potez 565 arrested landing aboard the aircraft carrier Béarn in March 1936. It took off again shortly afterwards.

Potez_56E_Appontage.jpg



Mosquito Doing a Deck Landing in 1944!
Lockheed XJO-3 made eleven landings and takeoffs from the USS Lexington (CV-2) off the coast of California on 30 August 1939.

XJO-3 30 August 1939 eleven landings and takeoffs from USS Lexington.jpg
 
The first BRITISH twin, but the first tri gear was the unmentionable fighter with carrier equipment. I don't think an expert will tell us it was better than the Seafire or Sea Hurry.
 
Brown landed a P-39, and take off, on a British carrier. He never flew the XFL-1. There are photos of the unmentionable with roundels and a hook.
P-39 Airacobra landing on the Pretoria Castle, the RN trials and training carrier.

1671870850072.png


And at the RAE, on the shore based catapult set up launch.

1671871071328.jpeg

And postwar, the same aircraft AH574, on the dump at RAE looking sorry for itself
1671870929037.png


1671870957655.jpeg


The circular markings divided into four segments were designed to allow accurate analysis of the film and photos taken.
 
The Potez 565 was actually intended for the carrier liaison role.

The Aeronavale's thinking and practice was a decade ahead of the Fleet Air Arm in the 30's
 
The Potez 567 was the French Navy's land-based liaison aircraft.

The 565 was a one-off modified, carrier testbed.
Why did they use a US carrier?

You are a bit confused.

Potez 565 arrested landing aboard the aircraft carrier Béarn in March 1936. It took off again shortly afterwards.


Béarn was the French Navy's first true aircraft carrier.

Commissioned 5 Dec. 1927, sold for scrap on 4 September 1967 and towed to Savona, Italy, four days later to be broken up.
 
I was fortunate to know Eric reasonably well. We exchanged visits Over There and Back Here. Just a delightful gent, and Lynn was always gracious with a wry sense of humor(u)r.

Around 1985 Eric and Lynn visited here in Arizona so I gave them a tour of the Champion Fighter Museum of honored memory. We had barely entered the WW II hangar when Eric spread his arms wide. "Ah, the Wildcat! The love of my life!"

You could almost feel the ambient temperature drop 10 degrees. Then he hastily added, "Except for you, my dear."

Lynn shot him a sideways glance. "Nice recovery..."
 

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