The last of the original three P.1127 test pilots, preceded by Bill
Bedford and Hugh Merewether, Duncan died on December 5th 2017.
Duncan studied at the de Havilland Technical School before joining the RAF in 1949 where he trained as a pilot and flew Meteors with No.222 Squadron.
In 1953 he joined the Day Fighter Development Unit of the Central
Fighter Establishment and in 1954 was invited by Neville Duke to work
for Hawker Aircraft Ltd as a production test pilot. He made the first
flight of P.1127 XP976 and trained the Tripartite Evaluation Squadron
Pilots to fly the Kestrel. He also trained the first four RAF squadron
pilots to fly the Harrier.
In 1969 he became Chief Test Pilot, Dunsfold, and made the first flight of the Hawk prototype, XX154, in 1974.
In 1978 he retired from test flying.
He was the Deputy Director of the Society of British Aerospace Companies for fifteen years, responsible for air show safety. He took a special interest in historic aircraft, especially Hawker’s Hart and Hurricane and ensured that they found good homes when HSA retired them. He was co-founder of the Historic Aircraft Association, flew the Strathallan Collection aircraft and was a keen supporter of the Tangmere and Brooklands Museums. He was appointed OBE in 1973 and Master of the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators in 2002. He was a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots.
In short, ‘a total aviation person’.