How the Cold War RAF evaluated new aircraft or tactics

When Fighter Command needed a new aircraft, piece of equipment or tactic evaluating, it turned to its in-house experts at the Central Fighter Establishment. A former CFE pilot recalled his tour with this unit


As a schoolboy in the summer of 1942 I went with my father, a staff officer at Fighter Command, on a visit to RAF Duxford. I had a wonderful time and, courtesy of the Air Fighting Development Unit then stationed there, was able to climb into a selection of German aircraft. I met the station commander, Gp Capt John Grandy, who was intrigued by my knowledge of the then top-secret jet aircraft. I was given a flight in a Stinson Reliant and watched Hawker Typhoons flying around.

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