Awarded for commendable achievement or contribution, by an individual or team, to the operational assessment or development of a manned aircraft(s) or airborne system(s)
2018 Awarded to: Roger "Dodge" Bailey
‘Dodge’ joined the Royal Air Force straight from school to train as a pilot in 1969. During his training he flew the Chipmunk, Jet Provost, Gnat and Varsity aircraft. He was posted to the C-130 Hercules and served with Nos 48 & 24 Squadrons, and 242 OCU as Co-pilot, Captain, and Training Captain respectively. After the C-130 he attended the Central Flying School to train as a Qualified Flying Instructor on the Bulldog and subsequently served on the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde Air Squadron and Bulldog Standards Flight. Next he attended the United States Air Force Test Pilot School as an exchange student and there flew over twenty types including the T38, A37, F4 and A7. After graduating in December 1986 he joined Flight Systems Squadron at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Bedford where he flew BAC 1-11, HS 748, Viscount, Hawk and Tornado aircraft and completed a rotary wing conversion on to the Gazelle. He was appointed the Officer Commanding Aerospace Research Squadron in 1988 and retired from the Royal Air Force in December 1989.
After leaving the RAF he joined the then College of Aeronautics as Chief Test Pilot. He was Head of Flight Operations for Cranfield University’s National Flying Laboratory Centre which operates Cranfield’s Jetstream and the BAE Systems Flying Test Bed under an Air Operator Certificate; and as Chief Test Pilot he was responsible for any Cranfield test flying activity. He joined the Shuttleworth collection as a volunteer pilot in 1989 and has been Chief Pilot since the 2011 season. Dodge is the only pilot currently cleared to fly all the Collection’s types.
In addition to his duties as Chief Test Pilot at Cranfield, ‘Dodge’ brought those skills to the management of the flying of the aircraft in the Shuttleworth Collection. He approached this whole, exceptionally diverse, collection of aircraft with the Test Piloting skills he had built up over so many years by re-designing the whole system of flying operations of the Collection’s aircraft to ensure an effective and safe manner of operation was sustained across the aircraft types and pilots. There are three aircraft that, due to his special ability and knowledge, are now able to be flown by other pilots and are thus capable of being displayed regularly: The 1931 Desoutter; the 1918 Sopwith Camel; the 1936 DH 88 Comet.
‘Dodge’ Bailey was also instrumental in keeping the Shuttleworth Collection viable following the Shoreham disaster by, again, using his Test Pilot background and meticulous preparation, putting in place revised procedures to secure the necessary permissions and implement the various changes required subsequent to that disaster. Without his skill as both a Test Pilot and manager of the flying aspects of the Shuttleworth Collection, it is suggested that the whole venture might have been at risk.
For his commendable contribution to test and evaluation flying, Roger ‘Dodge’ Bailey is awarded the Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown Memorial Trophy.
2018 Roger "Dodge" Bailey