12 MAY 2014
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A true link with aviation history has now departed with the passing of Jock Bryce last week. During his flying career with Vickers, Jock was either Captain or Co-pilot for the first flight of 11 prototypes, the Varsity, the jet powered Nene Viking, the Viscounts 630, 700 and 800, the jet powered Tay Viscount, the Valiant, Pathfinder Valiant B2, Vanguard, VC10 and BAC One-Eleven.
In 1947 Jock joined Vickers Armstrong Aircraft from the RAF at Brooklands and Wisley as a test pilot under the legendary Mutt Summers (of Spitfire fame) and became Chief Test Pilot upon the retirement of Summers.
He was in command for the maiden flight of the prototype Viscount G-AHRF on 16 July 1948 from the grass runway at Wisley, Surrey, and also the VC10, a concrete track this time, but just as limited, at Brooklands on 29 June 1962. He ejected from the prototype Valiant bomber when that caught fire in mid-air and was a passenger on the final Viscount Heathrow flight in 1996 together with the aircraft’s designer Sir George Edwards and a host of dignitaries including Lord King and Sir Ralph Robins of Rolls-Royce. In retirement Jock was involved in Brooklands as a volunteer. He was a charming and pleasant man, always ready to talk aeroplanes.
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