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Eric Brown (pilot) (Winkle) was born on 21 January, 1919 in Leith, Scotland, is an officer. Discover Eric Brown (pilot)'s Biography, Age, Height, Physical Stats, Dating/Affairs, Family and career updates. Learn How rich is He in this year and how He spends money? Also learn how He earned most of networth at the age of 97 years old?

Popular As Winkle
Occupation N/A
Age 97 years old
Zodiac Sign Aquarius
Born 21 January 1919
Birthday 21 January
Birthplace Leith, Scotland
Date of death (2016-02-21)
Died Place N/A

We recommend you to check the complete list of Famous People born on 21 January. He is a member of famous officer with the age 97 years old group.

Eric Brown (pilot) Height, Weight & Measurements

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Eric Brown (pilot) Net Worth

His net worth has been growing significantly in 2022-2023. So, how much is Eric Brown (pilot) worth at the age of 97 years old? Eric Brown (pilot)’s income source is mostly from being a successful officer. He is from . We have estimated Eric Brown (pilot)'s net worth , money, salary, income, and assets.

Net Worth in 2023 $1 Million - $5 Million
Salary in 2023 Under Review
Net Worth in 2022 Pending
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Source of Income officer

Eric Brown (pilot) Social Network




In May 2015, Brown was awarded the Founder's Medal by the Air League. This was presented to him by the patron, the Duke of Edinburgh at the annual reception held at St James's Palace "for his amazing flying achievements and involvement with aviation during a remarkable lifetime." Brown died aged 97 on 21 February 2016 at East Surrey Hospital in Redhill, Surrey after a short illness.


Commenting to a newspaper in September 2015 he recalled,

On 24 February 2015 Brown delivered the University of Edinburgh Mountbatten Lecture, entitled "Britain's Defence in the Near Future". Speaking at the Playfair Library, he warned: "They [the Russians] are playing a very dangerous game of chess. ... They are playing it to the hilt. It may develop into that. It is certainly showing the same signs as what caused the Cold War."


In June 2014 he was the subject of the hour-long BBC Two documentary Britain's Greatest Pilot: The Extraordinary Story of Captain Winkle Brown. Assessing those achievements, Mark Bowman, chief test pilot at BAE Systems, said, "They didn't have the advantage of high-tech simulators. He just had to look at the aircraft and think what he was going to do with it", adding that he would have been flying the aircraft with "the benefit of a slide rule, not a bank of computers as we have now."

In November 2014 he was the guest for the 3,000th edition of BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs. During the programme, the 95-year-old said that he still enjoyed driving and had just bought himself a new sports car. His musical choices included "At Last" by the Glenn Miller Orchestra and "Amazing Grace" by the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. His favourite was "Stardust" by Artie Shaw and His Orchestra.


Brown served as president of the Royal Aeronautical Society from 1982 to 1983. His last flight as a pilot was in 1994, but in 2015 he was still lecturing and regularly attending the British Rocketry Oral History Programme (BROHP), where the annual presentation of the Sir Arthur Clarke Awards takes place. In 2007 he was the recipient of their Lifetime Achievement Award.


Brown's last credits mention Lewis Boddington, Dr. Thomlinson, John Noble and Charles Crowfoot, whom he records (with "others") as being responsible for "giving the Royal Navy a technical lead in aircraft carrier equipment which it still holds to this day [1978]." He ends this section: "These men and women were civil servants, but they worked hours, took responsibility, and produced results far beyond what their country paid them for. To me they represent the true measure of Britain's greatness."


In September 1967 came his last appointment in the Royal Navy when, as a captain, he took command of HMS Fulmar, then the Royal Naval Air Station (now RAF), Lossiemouth, until March 1970. He was appointed a naval aide de camp to Queen Elizabeth II on 7 July 1969 and appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1970 New Year Honours. He relinquished his appointment as naval ADC on 27 January 1970 and retired from the Royal Navy later in 1970.


Brown wrote several books about his experiences, including ones describing the flight characteristics of the various aircraft he flew and an autobiography, Wings on My Sleeve, first published in 1961 and considerably up-dated in later editions. Other books were 'Wings of the Luftwaffe', 'Wings of the Weird and Wonderful' and 'Miles M.52' (with Dennis Bancorft). He was also the author of dozens of articles in aviation magazines and journals.


In the 1960s, due to his considerable experience of carrier aviation, Brown, while working at the Admiralty as deputy director of Naval Air Warfare, was consulted on the flight deck arrangement of the planned new UK class of aircraft carrier, the CVA-01, although the ship was subsequently cancelled while still on the stocks.


In 1954 Brown, by then a Commander in the Royal Navy, became Commander (Air) of the RNAS Brawdy, where he remained until returning to Germany in late 1957, becoming Chief of British Naval Mission to Germany, his brief being to re-establish German naval aviation after its pre-war integration with and subornation to, the Luftwaffe. During this period Brown worked closely with Admiral Gerhard Wagner of the German Naval Staff. Training was conducted initially in the UK on Hawker Sea Hawks and Fairey Gannets, and during this time Brown was allocated a personal Percival Pembroke aircraft by the Marineflieger, which, to his surprise, the German maintenance personnel took great pride in. It was, in fact, the first exclusively naval aircraft the German Navy had owned since the 1930s. Brown led the re-emergence of naval aviation in Germany to the point that in 1960 Marineflieger squadrons were integrated into NATO.


In the 1950s during the Korean War, Brown was seconded as an exchange officer for two years to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, US where he flew a number of American aircraft, including 36 types of helicopter. In January 1952, it was while at Patuxent River that Brown demonstrated the steam catapult to the Americans, flying a Grumman Panther off the carrier HMS Perseus while the ship was still tied up to the dock at the Philadelphia Naval Yard. It had been planned for Brown to make the first catapult launch with the ship under way and steaming into any wind; however, the wind on the day was so slight that British officials decided that, as the new steam catapult was capable of launching an aircraft without any wind, they would risk their pilot (Brown) if the Americans would risk their aircraft. The launch was a success and US carriers would later feature the steam catapult.


If the Ministry of Supply had proceeded with Ralph Smith's V2-based Megaroc sub-orbital manned spacecraft, Brown would also have been the leading candidate for its projected 1949 first manned spaceflight.

In 1949, he test flew a modified (strengthened and control-boosted) de Havilland DH.108, after a crash in a similar aircraft while diving at speeds approaching the sound barrier had killed Geoffrey de Havilland, Jr., Brown initially started his tests from a height of 35,000 ft, rising to 45,000 ft and during a dive from the latter he achieved a Mach number of 0.985. It was only when attempting the tests from the same height as de Havilland, 4,000 ft, that he discovered that in a Mach 0.88 dive from that altitude the aircraft suffered from a high-g pitch oscillation at several hertz (Hz). "The ride was smooth, then suddenly it all went to pieces ... as the plane porpoised wildly my chin hit my chest, jerked hard back, slammed forward again, repeated it over and over, flogged by the awful whipping of the plane ...". Remembering the drill he had often practised, Brown managed to pull back gently on both stick and throttle and the motion; "... ceased as quickly as it had started". He believed that he survived the test flight partly because he was a shorter man, de Havilland having suffered a broken neck possibly due to the violent oscillation.

In 1948, Brown was awarded the Boyd Trophy for his work in trials for the rubber deck landing system. On 30 March 1949 he was granted a permanent Royal Navy commission as a lieutenant, with seniority backdated to his original wartime promotion to the rank.

On 12 August 1949, he was testing the third of three Saunders-Roe SR.A/1 jet-powered flying-boat fighter prototypes, TG271, when he struck submerged debris, which resulted in the aircraft sinking in the Solent off Cowes, Isle of Wight. He was pulled unconscious from the cockpit of the wrecked aircraft by his Saunders-Roe test pilot Geoffrey Tyson, having been knocked out in the crash. He was promoted lieutenant-commander on 1 April 1951, commander on 31 December 1953 and captain on 31 December 1960.


As an RAE test pilot he was involved in the wartime Miles M.52 supersonic project, test flying a Spitfire fitted with the M.52's all moving tail, diving from high altitude to achieve high subsonic speeds. He was due to fly the M.52 in 1946, but this fell through when the project was cancelled. The all moving tail information, however, supplied upon instruction from the British government ostensibly as part of an information exchange with the Americans (although no information was ever received in return), allowed Bell to modify its XS-1 for true transsonic pitch controllability, in turn allowing Chuck Yeager to become the first man to exceed Mach 1 in 1947.


In February 1945, Brown learned that the Aerodynamics Flight had been allocated three Sikorsky R-4B Hoverfly/Gadfly helicopters. He had never seen one of these tail-rotor machines, so a trip to Farnborough was arranged and Brown had a short flight as a passenger in one. A few days later, Brown and Martindale were sent to RAF Speke to collect two new R-4Bs.

Brown was using Himmler's personal aircraft, a specially converted Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor that had been captured and was being used by the RAE Flight based at the former Luftwaffe airfield at Schleswig. He was also able to renew acquaintances with German pilot Hanna Reitsch, whom he had met in Germany before the war. She had been arrested after the German surrender in 1945. Fearing the approaching Russians, her father had killed her mother, sister and then himself.

Brown was responsible for at least three important firsts in carrier aviation: the first carrier landing using an aircraft equipped with a tricycle undercarriage (Bell Airacobra Mk 1 AH574) on the trials carrier HMS Pretoria Castle on 4 April 1945; the first landing of a twin-engined aircraft on a carrier (the Mosquito) on HMS Indefatigable (R10) on 25 March 1944; and the world's first carrier landing of a jet aircraft, landing the prototype de Havilland Vampire LZ551/G on the Royal Navy carrier HMS Ocean on 3 December 1945. For this work with the Mosquito and the Vampire he was later appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).


While at Farnborough as chief naval test pilot, Brown was involved in the deck landing trials of the de Havilland Sea Mosquito, the heaviest aircraft yet chosen to be flown from a British carrier. Brown landed one for the first time on HMS Indefatigable on 25 March 1944. This was the first landing on a carrier by a twin-engined aircraft. The fastest speed for deck landing was 86 knots (159 km/h; 99 mph), while the aircraft's stall speed was 110 knots (200 km/h; 130 mph). He also flew several stints with Fighter Command in the air defence of Great Britain. During this time, in the summer of 1944, Brown's home was destroyed by a V-1 "Doodlebug" cruise missile, concussing his wife and causing serious injury to their cleaner. At this time, the RAE was the leading authority on high-speed flight and Brown became involved in this sort of testing, flights being flown where the aircraft, usually a Supermarine Spitfire, would be dived at speeds of the high subsonic and near transonic region. Figures achieved by Brown and his colleagues during these tests reached Mach 0.86 for a standard Spitfire MK IX, to Mach 0.92 for a modified Spitfire PR Mk XI flown by his colleague, Squadron Leader Anthony F. Martindale.

As a result of Doolittle's request, early in 1944 the P-38H Lightning, a Packard Merlin-powered P-51B Mustang and P-47C Thunderbolt were dived for compressibility testing at the RAE by Brown and several other pilots. The results of the tests were that the tactical Mach numbers, i.e., the manoeuvring limits, were Mach 0.68 for the Lightning and Mach 0.71 for the Thunderbolt; the corresponding figure for both the Fw 190 and Messerschmitt Bf 109 was Mach 0.75, giving them the advantage in a dive. However the tests flown by Brown and his colleagues also gave a Mach number for the Mustang of 0.78, resulting in Doolittle being able to argue with his superiors for the Mustang to be chosen in preference to the P-38 and P-47 for all escort duties from then on, which was available in growing numbers by very early 1944; for Doolittle's eventual move to air supremacy missions in leading the bomber combat boxes with the Mustangs by some 75–100 miles, instead of merely accompanying them nearby.

Brown had been made aware of the British progress in jet propulsion in May 1941 when he had heard of the Gloster E.28/39 after diverting in bad weather to RAF Cranwell during a flight and had subsequently met Frank Whittle when asked to suggest improvements to the jet engine to make it more suitable for naval use. This resulted in the Gloster Meteor being selected as the Royal Navy's first jet fighter, although, as it turned out, few would be used by them. Brown was also selected as the pilot for the Miles M.52 supersonic research aircraft programme, and he flew modified aircraft incorporating components intended for the M.52; however, the post-war government cancelled the project in 1945 with the M.52 almost complete. On 2 May 1944, he was appointed MBE "for outstanding enterprise and skill in piloting aircraft during hazardous aircraft trials."


Operational once again in 1943, he went back to the Royal Aeronautical Establishment (RAE) this time to perform experimental flying, including batting in the much more experienced Admiralty Test Pilot Lieutant Commander Roy Sydney Baker-Falkner flying the experimental Fairey Barracuda onto the deck of a carrier in the Clyde. Almost immediately he was transferred to Southern Italy to evaluate captured Regia Aeronautica and Luftwaffe aircraft. This Brown did with almost no tuition, information having to be gleaned from whatever documents were available. On completion of these duties, his commander, being impressed with his performance, sent him back to the RAE with the recommendation that he be employed in the Aerodynamics Flight department at Farnborough. During the first month in the Flight, Brown flew 13 aircraft types, including a captured Focke-Wulf Fw 190.

Brown was posted to the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) at Farnborough, where his experience in deck landings was sought. While there he initially performed testing of the newly navalised Sea Hurricane and Seafire. His aptitude for deck landings led to his posting for the testing of carriers' landing arrangements before they were brought into service. The testing involved multiple combinations of landing point and type of aircraft, with the result being that by the close of 1943 he had performed around 1,500 deck landings on 22 different carriers. In six years at RAE, Brown recalled that he hardly ever took a single day's leave. During carrier compatibility trials, Brown crash-landed a Fairey Firefly Mk I, Z1844, on the deck of HMS Pretoria Castle on 9 September 1943, when the arrestor hook indicator light falsely showed the hook was in the "down" position, compounded by the batsman failing to notice that the hook was not down. The fighter hit the crash barrier, sheared off its undercarriage and shredded the propeller, but he was unhurt.


The loss of life was such that 802 Squadron was disbanded until February 1942. On 10 March 1942, Brown was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his service on Audacity, in particular "For bravery and skill in action against Enemy aircraft and in the protection of a Convoy against heavy and sustained Enemy attacks".

Brown lived, in semi-retirement, at Copthorne, West Sussex. He had married Evelyn (Lynn) Macrory in 1942. She died in 1998. He was interviewed many times, most recently by BBC Radio 4 at his home in April 2013.


On returning to a United Kingdom then at war, he joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve before subsequently joining the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve as a Fleet Air Arm pilot, where he was posted to 802 Naval Air Squadron, initially serving on the first escort carrier, HMS Audacity, converted and thus named in July 1941. He flew one of the carrier's Grumman Martlets. During his service on board Audacity he shot down two Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor maritime patrol aircraft, using head-on attacks to exploit the blind spot in their defensive armament.

Audacity was torpedoed and sunk on 21 December 1941 by the German submarine U-751, commanded by Gerhard Bigalk. The first rescue ship left because of warnings of a nearby U-boat, and Brown was left in the sea overnight with a dwindling band of survivors, until he was rescued the next day. He was the one of two of the 24 to survive the hypothermia; the rest succumbed to the cold. Of the complement of 480, 407 survived,


In the meantime, Brown had been selected to take part as an exchange student at the Schule Schloss Salem, located on the banks of Lake Constance, and it was while there in Germany that Brown was woken up with a loud knocking on his door one morning in September 1939. Upon opening the door he was met by a woman with the announcement that "our countries are at war". Soon afterwards, Brown was arrested by the SS. However, after three days' incarceration, they merely escorted Brown in his MG Magnette sports car to the Swiss border, saying they were allowing him to keep the car because they "had no spares for it".


Together with Brown and Martindale, the RAE Aerodynamics Flight also included two other test pilots, Sqn Ldr James "Jimmy" Nelson and Sqn Ldr Douglas Weightman. During this same period the RAE was approached by USAAF General Jimmy Doolittle with a request for help, as the 8th Air Force had been having trouble when their Lockheed P-38 Lightning, Republic P-47 Thunderbolt and North American P-51 Mustang fighters, providing top cover for the bombers, dived down onto attacking German fighters, some of the diving U.S. fighters encountering speed regions where they became difficult to control.


In 1937, Brown left the Royal High School and entered the University of Edinburgh, studying modern languages with an emphasis on German. While there he joined the university's air unit and received his first formal flying instruction. In February 1938 he returned to Germany under the sponsorship of the Foreign Office, having been invited to attend the 1938 Automobile Exhibition by Udet, by then a Luftwaffe major general. He there saw the demonstration of the Focke-Wulf Fw 61 helicopter flown by Hanna Reitsch before a small crowd inside the Deutschlandhalle. During this visit he met and got to know Reitsch, whom he had also briefly met in 1936.


In 1936 Brown's father took him to see the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Hermann Göring had recently announced the existence of the Luftwaffe, and Brown and his father met and were invited to join social gatherings by members of the newly disclosed organisation. At one of these meetings, Ernst Udet, a former World War I fighter ace, was fascinated to make the acquaintance of Brown senior, a former RFC pilot, and offered to take his son Eric up flying with him. Eric eagerly accepted the German's offer and after his arrival at the appointed airfield at Halle, he was soon flying in a two-seat Bücker Jungmann. He recalled the incident nearly 80 years later on the BBC radio programme Desert Island Discs,.mw-parser-output .templatequote{overflow:hidden;margin:1em 0;padding:0 40px}.mw-parser-output .templatequote .templatequotecite{line-height:1.5em;text-align:left;padding-left:1.6em;margin-top:0}


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.