Ever since I can remember, I wanted to join the RAF and be involved in aircraft engineering. I joined the Air Training Corps as soon as I could and I was lucky enough to be awarded an RAF university cadetship to study engineering at Dundee University. I spent time as a junior engineering officer on helicopters at both RAF Shawbury and RAF Stanley. I made an early decision to specialise in all armament matters and that steered my course for over 20 years undertaking both operational and R&D weapons and explosives related tours of duty. I was also fortunate enough to be sponsored through a couple of Masters Degrees.
I spent 3 years at Pendine Ranges in charge of the Long Test Track. It was there that I came into contact with Ron Ayers and Richard Noble. Together, we developed a practical technique to measure the effect of transonic bodies in ground effect. This was used to validate the Thrust SSC modelling work previously undertaken by Swansea University. I was then coincidentally posted on another research tour at what became DRA (now QinetiQ) Farnborough. I was able to assist with the creation of the aerospace build facility from a derelict hangar utilising team members, aerodrome staff and the Mach 1 Club members. I count myself extremely lucky to be able to take leave and travel to Jordan twice and Black Rock with the Thrust SSC team. I was also able to help out a couple of landspeed teams in the years that followed.
After 28 years service I left the RAF and entered the corporate world and went through 2 redundancies! The final redundancy certainly turned out to be a blessing as a phone call from Richard Noble and Daniel Jubb enquiring as to my availability has seen me sucked back into the landspeed record world!