A bid has been launched to commemorate one of the world’s greatest test pilots – Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown – with a bronze statue outside Edinburgh Airport and a flying scholarship in his name.
The tribute to Winkle, who died last year aged 97, is being organised by former pilots of Edinburgh University Air Squadron. Brown learned to fly at RAF Turnhouse, now Edinburgh Airport.
Winkle’s achievements include:
- Flying more types of aircraft than any other pilot in history – 487 in total – ranging from 1930s biplanes, to helicopters and supersonic jets
- Holding the world record of 2,407 for the number of landings on aircraft carriers
- Test flying captured German aircraft after World War Two including the infamous Me163 ‘Komet’ rocket plane
- Becoming the Royal Navy’s Chief Test Pilot.
Hamish Macleod, chairman of Edinburgh University Air Squadron Association said: “Winkle was not only a man who loved to fly, but he also inspired a generation of pilots with his modest good humour, and outstanding courage.
“A statue of him outside Edinburgh Airport will give the estimated 3-4 million passengers walking passed each year the opportunity to reflect on this Scottish hero who can inspire us all. Winkle’s legacy can also bring a life changing experience to today’s youngsters by assisting them to learn to fly.”
Eric Brown was born in Leith, brought up in the Scottish Borders, educated at the Royal High School and Edinburgh University and trained to fly with the University Air Squadron at RAF Turnhouse, now Edinburgh Airport.
The life-size memorial is being designed by the renowned Scottish sculptor David Annand. David Mundell, the Scottish Secretary, has described this project as being ‘of national significance’ and it has the support of Gordon Dewar, the Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport.
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