A historian has paid tribute to one of Britain’s wartime pilots.
Alex Henshaw of Newmarket, Suffolk, died at the age of 94 earlier this week. He was best known as a test pilot on Spitfires during World War II.
He is thought to be the only pilot to roll a Lancaster Bomber and was said to have brought the centre of Birmingham to a standstill on one occasion by flying a Spitfire upside down, feet above rooftops.
As recently as March 2006 he flew a Spitfire as part of the 70th anniversary of the aircraft’s creation.
I scrawled rapidly on my pad, ‘Baling out – engine seizure – suspect piston conrod.’ I had barely finished my scrawl when the machine shook so much that I tore my safety harness pin, pulled down my goggles to protect my eyes from oil, glycol and debris, snapped back the cockpit hood and with all my strength kicked away from the cockpit
From: Sigh for a Merlin: Testing the Spitfire by Alex Henshaw