Ron Williams, member of the Project Office from 1944 until retirement writes...
I came across this January 1989 letter from Bill Bedford. I was
probably one of the first to meet Bill when he joined Hawkers in 1958
as Chief Test Pilot. We met at London Airport on our way to visit Paris
and Toulouse to assess the little Breguet Taon fighter entered in the
NATO 'light fighter' competition, eventually won by the Fiat G-91.
This is a short note to wish you and your family all the best in your
new chapter in life following your retirement from an outstanding
innings with Hawkers/BAe.
As a younger
man in the late forties, experienced aviators said to me, "There's only
one firm to join, and that's Hawkers; they make the finest pilots'
aeroplanes." How right that proved to be and to me it was a great
honour and a pleasure to fly those aircraft and to appreciate the
brilliant team that made it possible, with one success after another,
terminating with the Harrier and Hawk, both of which hit the US jackpot
against all comers.
An old Australian WWII pilot friend, 'Bush' Cotton, having recently
read the RAeS fifty year anniversary book on the Hurricane, thanked me
for it and said, "I read every page. I can see now why I was able to
trust the machine more than any other aircraft I have flown before it
or since." That is the true hallmark stamped on all 'Hawker' aeroplanes.
And thank you, Ron, for all you did personally to enhance this
reputation by putting everything you had in terms of tenacity and
ability to see that the RAF, RN and other pilots had the very best.
Yours sincerely. Bill