In memory of

Flight Lieutenant Harold Charles Calvey

The grave of F/Lt. Calvey in St. Mary's churchyard, Henlow.
Julia and Keld.

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  • Thanks for this entry about my grandfather, Harold Charles Calvey. My father, Wing Commander John Michael (Mike) Calvey was 3, rather than 4 when his father was killed. This was misreported in newspapers around the world at the time.

    According to a framed letter we have, dated July 1928 from Airports and Airways of Bunhill Row headed Volume IV Number Eleven “Planes & Personalities by Observer” :

    “UPSIDE-DOWN LOOPS”

    On a recent visit to Kenley Aerodrome, I was fortunate enough to arrive just in time to see Flight-Lieutenant H. C. Calvey accomplish that extraordinarily difficult aerobatic, the inverted loop. In the manoeuvre, the machine, in this case a Hawker Hawfinch, is first flown upside-down and then dived to attain sufficient speed for the loop, from which the machine emerges still flying upside down.

    The feat is not easy of achievement because, when upside down, the wings are less efficient and the machine tends to stall more readily than when the right way up.

    Incidentally, Flight-Lieutenant Calvey, in my opinion, is one of the finest aerobatic pilots in the Royal Air Force, and at one time was holder of the world’s record for upside-down flying.”

    My father Wing Commander Mike Calvey followed in his father’s footsteps as an aerobatic and test pilot with the Royal Air Force and helped set up Air Wing of The Abu Dhabi Defence Force.

    By Georgina Calvey (23/02/2021)
  • Thank you so much for this information Georgina. I have edited your Father’s age.

    By Linda Duffield (25/02/2021)

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