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Statue of Britain’s greatest ever test pilot unveiled

Former pilots paid for the life-sized sculpture of Eric 'Winkle' Brown at Edinburgh Airport.

Edinburgh Airport has unveiled a statue of Eric “Winkle” Brown, Britain’s greatest ever test pilot.

The Leith-born aviator flew 487 types of aircraft throughout this life, more than any other pilot in history.

Other records held by the former Royal Navy officer, who died in 2016 aged 97, include the most landings and takeoffs on aircraft carriers.

During his military service Captain Brown survived 11 crashes, a torpedo attack and was arrested by the Gestapo.

He also flew captured German aircraft, including the rocket fuel-powered Komet plane which is now on display at the National Museum of Flight in East Lothian.

The life-sized bronze sculpture outside the terminal was funded by former pilots from the Edinburgh University Air Squadron.

Prince Andrew revealed the statue on Monday.

Sir Jon Elvidge, chairman of Edinburgh Airport, said: “Captain Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown is someone who is synonymous with RAF Turnhouse, and is in turn a key figure in the history of what is now Edinburgh Airport.

“His achievement speak for themselves and the fact his remarkable career is still held in such high regard after all these years is testament to the man himself.”

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