Test Pilot Pinups


Since early childhood Jen Green has been in love with aircraft and the supersonic pilots who flew them. Born in Farnborough, Hampshire at the start of World War Two her play ground was  under the shadow of dog-fights between spitfires and hurricanes and the Luftwaffe over the South of England. After the war her school days were disturbed by noise from experimental wind tunnels, turbines and noisy aircraft at the nearby Royal Aircraft Establishment. In the 1950’s the world famous air displays demonstrating the latest passenger and fighter planes took to the skies and for two weeks or so, it was heads under desks in the class room. But it was the 600mph test pilots hell bent on pushing back the barriers to fly faster than sound who became the post-war heroes of British aviation: the rip-roaring gladiators blazing their way into history and idolised in the same way as footballers and pop stars are today. Tragedy struck when teenage fan Jen became an important eye witness to the Farnborough Air Show disaster on September 1952 when a jet fighter plunged into the crowd killing and injuring many people. Forty years on she was asked to contribute her recollections of supersonic flying in a TV documentary ‘The 6OOmp Men” for the BBC series ‘Aviators” where she was delighted to meet her number supersonic pin up, Neville Duke.

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