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John Farley

John Farley began a five-year student engineering apprenticeship at the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) Farnborough in 1950. Then he joined the Royal Air Force for pilot training as he intended to become a test pilot.

After a tour flying Hunters he went to the RAF Central Flying School to train as an instructor. While a flying instructor at the RAF College Cranwell, he was selected for the 1963 course at the Empire Test Pilots' School.

He was then posted to the RAE Aerodynamics Research Flight where he flew all the UK research aircraft then flying which included the Short SC1 and the Hawker P1127 prototype.

This early experience of jet vertical takeoff led to nineteen years testing such aircraft until he retired as Harrier Chief Test Pilot in 1983. This was followed by five years as a freelance test pilot during which time he added another twenty types to the 60 already in his log book.

Today he works to encourage youngsters to take up a career in the aerospace business. He is a chartered engineer, has received two honorary doctorates and has been awarded the OBE and the AFC.

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