Saturday, April 21, 2012

F.R.D. Swain

Test pilot F.R.D. Swain is helped into his pressure suit at Farnborough, England, in 1936. He flew his modified Bristol 138, with a Pegasus engine, to just over 49,000 feet wearing this rubberized-cotton pressure garment. Part of my confidence in building my own is that these suits were made in a 5-year period in the mid-30's, when the only way to fly so high was in unpressurized aircraft / balloon cockpits. If they could build them then, surely I can build one now! I'm writing a story on Swain and am running into some historical blocks. He almost certainly flew in WWII, but what he did then is not clear.

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