Testing Tornado

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More About This Title Testing Tornado


During the early Cold War days when 17-year-old David Eagles applied to the Fleet Air Arm hoping to be a fighter pilot for his National Service, he little imagined the lifetime career that was to follow. After Flying Training with the US Navy and loan Service with the Australian Fleet Air Arm, he settled into Fleet Air Arm fighter pilot life. Selected to attend the Empire Test Pilots’ School, he progressed through Naval Test Pilot duties and was forced to eject from a Buccaneer during catapult launch trials. He joined British Aerospace and played a major part in the cockpit design and flight testing of the RAF’s first fly by wire and swing wing aircraft, the Panavia Tornado, finishing a fascinating career by making the first flight of the EAP, the technology demonstrator for the new Eurofighter Typhoon.


Lieutenant Commander John David Eagles AFC is a British former test pilot and former Fleet Air Arm aviator. He was awarded the Air Force Cross and was elected a Fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots.