Silvered Wings: The Memoirs of Air Vice-Marshal Sir John Severne KCVO OBE AFC DL
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John Severne joined the RAF in 1944 and gained his wings two months after World War II ended. This book captures the author’s great passion for flying, whether it be in jet-fighters, light aircraft, helicopters or making model planes and gives details of his long a illustrious career.
His first posting was to No 264 Night Fighter Squadron flying the de Havilland Mosquito. On a flying instructor’s course at the Central Flying School, he flew a Lancaster, Spitfire and his first jet – the Vampire.
Posted to Germany as a flight commander on a Venom squadron, he was awarded an Air Force Cross for landing an aircraft that had caught fire. As a Squadron Leader, he became Equerry to the Duke of Edinburgh. Then followed a period as chief instructor on Britain’s first supersonic fighter, the English Electric Lightning. Later he became ‘Wing Commander Ops’ at the joint HQ of Middle East Command where he was involved in counter-terrorist operations in Aden. As Station Commander of RAF Kinloss, he was responsible for the introduction of the Nimrod in 1971 and at the height of the Cold War when these new anti-submarine aircraft were a vital part of Britain’s defense.
have been a difficult journey by car, but I managed to persuade someone to take us there in a Land Rover which just about coped with the exciting journey. The second problem was that Khormaksar had lost communication with Nairobi and was unable to talk to the Comet, but the captain, who was well aware that he had a load of passengers desperate for a well earned break from the hazards of Aden, took it upon himself to come anyway. When we saw the aircraft land we could hardly believe our eyes and
made in sterling we had to buy the only option available, the Westland-Bell 47 Sioux, despite its pathetic performance in hot conditions and at high altitude. Although our first choice for strike aircraft was the Strikemaster, none were available, so BAC refurbished and modified four ex-RAF Mk 4 Jet Provosts to Mk 52 standard capable of carrying weapons. One of these aircraft, serial No. 104, was sold to the Singapore Air Force in 1975 where it served until 1980. It is now owned and flown in its
analytical powers, knowledge of defence and international security, and strategic vision. The College used to be known as the Imperial Defence College, the IDC, but by 1971 ‘Imperial’ had become a dirty word so the College joined the politically correct world by changing its title to RCDS. There were seventy-five of us on the 1973 course, most of whom were the rank of colonel or brigadier (and the equivalent in the other services or civilian organizations), with a fascinating mix of
Could this have happened to the Tu-144 pilot? During flying training I believe learning how to do competent aerobatics is essential, even if the embryo pilot’s ambition is to become an airline pilot. Many airline pilots, at least once in their career, have been faced with an unfamiliar extreme aircraft attitude, perhaps caused by excessive turbulence or an auto-pilot malfunction. He is, in my opinion, less likely to become disoriented in his flight deck with a limited view, and he would be more
Northolt and subsequently at Hendon. Over the next few years the Prince of Wales bought a series of light aircraft culminating in the Rapide G-ADDD. When King George V died at Sandringham in 1936 The Prince became Edward VIII. The new King had to attend the Accession Council in London the next day and Mouse Fielden flew him down to Hendon from Bircham Newton in the Rapide. Since George V had never flown, this was the first occasion that a British Monarch had taken to the air. To celebrate King