Brian Moloney Pioneer jet pilot

Tom Spencer recounts some of Sqn Ldr Brian Moloney’s experiences commanding the Royal Aircraft Establishment’s secretive T Flight, as it paved the way testing jet aircraft

Sqn Ldr Brian Moloney in the cockpit of Gloster E.28/39 W4041 at Farnborough prior to another test flight investigating compressibility in 1944. The pioneering jet survives in London’s Science Museum 
All images BH Moloney unless stated

In July 1943, Sqn Ldr Brian Moloney arrived at Farnborough in Hampshire to take charge of the Royal Aircraft Establishment’s (RAE) top secret development programme, Turbine Flight. A former night-fighter pilot and flying instructor, Brian’s new role would involve ‘pushing the envelope’ of the world’s earliest jet-powered aircraft. Yet despite having made a critical contribution to the world of modern aviation, his name is all but forgotten today.

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