Ralph Hooper remembers Mike and his career at ‘Hawkers’…

Mike Hoskins joined Hawker Aircraft Ltd in the late 1950s working for Hamish Waugh in Dr Gabbay’s Installations Department.

Until the reorganisation of the Design Department in 1969 Mike worked on nearly every system of the Hunter, P.1127, Kestrel and P.1127(RAF). Thereafter ‘Installations’ was split with Mike, now working for John Apted under Harold Tuffen, among those moving up to the main design floor to form the Mechanical Systems Office while the remainder joined Derek Thomas’s Ground Test Engineering Department.

When Harold Tuffen retired Mechanical Systems was combined with Electronic Systems to form the Systems Engineering Office under Stuart Taylor. On John Apted’s retirement Mike became an Assistant to Stuart with Wilf Firth.

Mike Hoskins

Subsequently Wilf joined Robin Balmer looking after Harrier activities and Stuart was promoted to Assistant Chief Engineer to Gordon Hudson with Mike then heading Systems Engineering. When Stuart was moved to the HQ at Weybridge Mike became Assistant Chief Engineer and, in 1986 when Gordon Hudson retired, Chief Engineer Kingston.

Within about a year the Weybridge Division of BAe ceased to exist, being replaced by the Military Aircraft Division headquartered at Warton. This was not an easy time for Mike in the last two years before his retirement.

Mike was a well liked character whose views on engineering matters always deserved attention. He was a prodigious reader, a skilled artist (as many of the pictures around his house attested), a keen gardener and enjoyed playing cards. In his last years he became deeply involved in the many problems arising from his wife Zac’s long illness.