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.
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.