David Gibbings, Westland Chief Flight Test Engineer; Rotorcraft Historian
Born June 20, 1932, Gibbings grew up in the port city of Plymouth in southwest England, and received his secondary education at Plymouth Tech. In 1949, he joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) as an apprentice at No. 1 School of Technical Training at RAF Halton, and left the service as a navigator. In 1955, he joined Fairey Aviation to work on guided weapons. Later he had the good fortune to work in the small team led by August Stepan developing the Rotodyne tip jet and he would go on to fly in this revolutionary aircraft as well. While at Fairey he received flying tuition from Lettice Curtiss, one of the wartime Air Transport Auxiliary women pilots, using the Tipsy Trainer operated by the company’s flying club.
Learn more about Gibbings in January/February 2023 issue of Vertiflite magazine by Vertical Flight Society.