A statue of legendary test pilot Capt Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown was unveiled at Edinburgh Airport on 2 July.
Brown was brought up in the Scottish Borders, schooled at Edinburgh’s Royal High School, studied German at Edinburgh University and trained to fly at what was then RAF Turnhouse — now Edinburgh Airport — in the late 1930s. Given the local links, former members of Edinburgh University Air Squadron put together a bid to raise funds of £100,000 for a multi-stage project to perpetuate his memory. With the financial support of ex-Edinburgh UAS pilots, private individuals and corporate donors, together with invaluable assistance from Edinburgh Airport Ltd, the first phase of the project to install a bronze statue of ‘Winkle’ on the plaza to the east entrance at Edinburgh Airport has now been completed and was unveiled by Prince Andrew. The life-size statue depicts him as a young pilot in 1930s-style flying gear striding towards his aircraft. An honour guard was provided by some student pilots from the East of Scotland University Air Squadron and a contingent of naval cadets.
The second phase, which is ongoing, is to raise significant funds for Winkle Brown Flying Scholarships to enable some of today’s youngsters, including those who are from disadvantaged backgrounds, to experience the life-enhancing benefits of flying in light aircraft.