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Eric 'Winkle' Brown

Online Catalogue | Aviation Art | Aviation Art by Michael Turner PGAvA | Aviation Giclée Prints |  Eric 'Winkle' Brown

Captain Eric 'Winkle' Brown transferred from the RAF to the Royal Navy at the beginning of World War Two, and flew with the Fleet Air Arm, scoring early victories whilst flying from HMS Audacity. His exceptional skill as a pilot led to his appointment to the RAE Aerodynamics Flight at Farnborough, and, fluent in the German language, he flew and evaluated all the German military aircraft at the end of the war. Over the next two decades, at such an innovative period in aviation history, his contribution to the development of new technology flight testing the complete spectrum of widely differing aircraft designs was invaluable.

Eric Brown had a remarkable and unique career, and his friend, artist Michael Turner, wanted to record a selection of Eric's countless adventures through his paintings. Their close collaboration resulted in the production of sixteen such incidents of Eric's choice which were published in book form a year before his death in 2015 at the age of ninety seven.

We are now proud to be able to offer giclee prints from all of these paintings - click on the title or heading for full details.

Eric 'Winkle' Brown, Supermarine Seafire - Aviation print by Michael TurnerSupermarine Seafire
Based at Arbroath after joining the Fleet Air Arm, Eric was entrusted with a prototype of the proposed naval version of the Spitfire. Called the Seafire, Eric flew it over the Forth Bridge, where he was unable to resist an urge to loop it under all three spans in turn before returning to base.
Eric 'Winkle' Brown, Blackburn Skua - Aviation print by Michael TurnerBlackburn Skua
A narrow escape from a German Messerschmitt 109 in Norway, after a dive-bombing raid on an enemy oil refinery by Blackburn Skuas in 1941.
Eric 'Winkle' Brown, Grumman Martlet - Aviation print by Michael TurnerGrumman Martlet
Whilst with 802sqn, Eric developed a technique for tackling the heavily armed Focke-Wulf Condors which were disrupting our convoys. Flying a Grumman Martlet, he found that a head-on attack with a late pull-up was very effective.
Eric 'Winkle' Brown, HMS Audacity - Aviation print by Michael TurnerHMS Audacity
HMS Audacity, on convoy patrol in the Bay of Biscay in December 1941, is torpedoed by a German U-boat. Eric was one of the few survivors picked up from the icy waters.
Eric 'Winkle' Brown, Handley-Page Halifax - Aviation print by Michael TurnerHalifax
The Handley-Page Halifax was experiencing problems with loss of control in corkscrew evasive manoeuvres often employed by allied bomber crews when under attack, and a larger re-designed rudder was successfully tested by Eric and fitted to later marks.
Eric 'Winkle' Brown, Rocket-assisted Seafire - Aviation print by Michael TurnerRocket-assisted Seafire
A new rocket-assisted catapult was tested at Farnborough using a Seafire, but the trolley failed to detach. Eric managed to retain control until the structure broke away, and landed safely.
Eric 'Winkle' Brown, Grumman Avenger - Aviation print by Michael TurnerGrumman Avenger
Catapult launch trials on a Grumman Avenger ended abruptly when the aircraft's wings folded. As a result, a stronger linkage was designed for the structure to withstand the acceleration forces.
Eric 'Winkle' Brown, Focke-Wulf FW190D - Aviation print by Michael TurnerFocke-Wulf FW190D
Recovering a Focke-Wulf FW190D-9 from Denmark for evaluation, Eric attempted to land at Flensberg, but was shot at by British and German soldiers from opposite sides of the airfield, which was not yet under the Allies' control.
Eric 'Winkle' Brown, Siebel 204 - Aviation print by Michael TurnerSiebel 204
During his work in Germany ferrying Officials in a Siebel 204, engine trouble caused a forced landing on an abandoned airfield, but he had to take avoiding action when a farmer drove his tractor across the runway, ending up in a haystack.
Eric 'Winkle' Brown, Arado 234 - Aviation print by Michael TurnerArado 234
Testing an Arado 234 from a German airfield at Grove, an engine exploded as he was taking off, the pieces narrowly missing him as they scythed through the cockpit area.
Eric 'Winkle' Brown, Hawker Tempest - Aviation print by Michael TurnerHawker Tempest
Whilst testing a Hawker Tempest, the engine overheated and burst into flames, causing Eric to bale out. He landed in a pond, only to be confronted by an angry Bull which was eventually led away.
Eric 'Winkle' Brown, Spitfire LFIX - Aviation print by Michael TurnerSpitfire LFIX
The unknown fury at the centre of a massive thunderstorm cloud was investigated in trials from Farnborough with a Spitfire LFIX, when Eric deliberately flew into one to find out.
Eric 'Winkle' Brown, Messerschmitt 163 - Aviation print by Michael TurnerMesserschmitt 163
During his evaluation of captured German aircraft in 1945, Eric became the only non German pilot to fly the lethal rocket fuelled Messerschmitt 163. During later un-fuelled gliding trials of the type in 1947, the landing skid collapsed on landing at 158mph, trapping Eric's legs as the aircraft ground looped before coming to rest a few yards from the airfield boundary.
Eric 'Winkle' Brown, GAL/56 Glider - Aviation print by Michael TurnerGAL/56 Glider
The flying wing design of the experimental GAL/56 glider was proving lethal, and Eric used all his skill to pull out of an inverted tail-slide. The design was abandoned when the following flight killed the company chief test pilot.
Eric 'Winkle' Brown, DeHavilland 108 - Aviation print by Michael TurnerDeHavilland 108
In an attempt to cure flying problems with the deHavilland 108, a stall initiated at 15,000 feet over Farnborough became a vicious inverted spin, with the controls locked by the cable from a trailed instrument wrapped round the rudder. Eric managed to wrestle the trapped rudder free with only three thousand feet to spare.
Eric 'Winkle' Brown, Saunders Roe SRA1 - Aviation print by Michael TurnerSaunders Roe SRA1
Touching down on the Solent in a prototype of the Saunders Roe SRA1, the aircraft struck a submerged mast, which penetrated the hull and pitched it into a series of cartwheels. Eric was dragged unconscious from the wreckage.

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