Winkle - A Life at Full Throttle

16 March 2016

Royal Aeronautical Society



This lecture will look back at the life of Captain Eric Brown – universally known as ‘Winkle’  who sadly passed away earlier this year. Paul had had the privilege of knowing Eric for more than 35 years. During this time, Paul developed a deep understanding of the great aviator’s life and personal history – and a great affection for the Nation’s Greatest Aviator.

Eric held world records- including the most types of aircraft flown, escaped death at least 20 times and at 96 years old be called upon by Her Majesty The Queen to accompany her on a trip to Germany.

Paul will tell Eric’s story from riding the ‘wall of death’ to flying German rocket planes; from surviving the sinking of HMS Audacity to the liberation of Bergan-Belsen concentration camp; 2407 deck landings to his friendship with the late Neil Armstrong. Paul will also highlight some of the lesser known aspects of Eric’s enormous contribution to aviation and the 20th Century.

Paul Beaver is an historian, broadcaster and writer who specialises in Air Power. He is very much a hands-on historian with his own vintage aeroplane company, Monty’s Messenger Ltd, which owns and operates a Miles Messenger marked as Field Marshal Montgomery’s aeroplane at the time of D-Day. Amongst other types in his log book are the Spitfire and Mustang.

For 15 years, he was directly linked to Jane’s including Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of Jane’s Defence Weekly. He made JDW into a household name in 1990 through his broadcasting during the Liberation of Kuwait and eventually became a freelance war correspondent for Sky News and a studio ‘expert’ for BBC News and CNN International, for whom he jointly presented the 50th Anniversary of D-Day (from Normandy) and VE-Day (from Moscow). 

Paul retired from the Army Reserve in 2013 with the rank of Colonel, late of the Army Air Corps. He is Chairman of No 1010 (City of Salisbury) Squadron of the Air Cadet Organisation and a Corporate Ambassador for SSAFA – the armed forces charity. He organises the Chalke Valley History Festival’s Air Display.

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Speaker Details

Paul Beaver FRAeS, Director, Beaver Westminster Ltd.


Royal Aeronautical Society