Statue of hero pilot Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown unveiled at Edinburgh Airport

A statue of legendary Leith pilot Eric 'Winkle' Brown has been installed at Edinburgh Airport. Picture: SWNS
A statue of legendary Leith pilot Eric 'Winkle' Brown has been installed at Edinburgh Airport. Picture: SWNS
Have your say

A statue honouring Captain Eric “Winkle” Brown, renowned as one of the world’s greatest pilots, has been installed at Edinburgh Airport.

The Duke of York, who served as a pilot in the Royal Navy for almost 20 years and now holds the rank of Vice Admiral, unveiled the sculpture on Monday.

Captain Brown was born in Leith in 1919 and went on to become a British Royal Navy officer after training at RAF Turnhouse, now Edinburgh Airport, in the late 1930s.

His many records include flying more types of aircraft than any other pilot in history at 487, including biplanes, helicopters and supersonic jets.

READ MORE: Leith hero pilot Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown an inspiration to the end

He held the record for the most aircraft carrier deck landings at 2,407, and the world record for take-offs on aircraft carriers at 2,721.

The airman cheated death on a number of occasions, surviving being sunk by a U-boat in 1941, and later being shot at and injured by a German long-range bomber.

Captain Brown was also responsible for test-flying a captured German aircraft during the Second World War.

READ MORE: RAF hero Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown’s medals to be sold for £200k

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

“His achievements 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.

“We are proud of the connection between Edinburgh Airport and the RAF and we want people to share that by learning about this truly inspiring man who served his country with great honour, and this statue is a small token of thanks to him and his legacy.”

Former pilots from the Edinburgh University Air Squadron raised the funds for the life-sized bronze statue which was designed by Scottish sculptor David Annand.

Dr Hamish Macleod, chairman of the squadron, said: “Winkle was not only a man who loved to fly, but he also inspired a generation of pilots with his modest good humour, and outstanding courage.

“The statue of him outside Edinburgh Airport will give the many thousands of passengers the opportunity to reflect on this Scottish hero who can inspire us all.

“Winkle’s legacy can also bring a life-changing experience to today’s youngsters, assisting them to learn to fly, or simply experiencing the thrill of flying in small aircraft.”

Join our Facebook group Our Edinburgh to share images and news from and around the Capital

Know someone that makes a difference in our community? Nominate them for a Local Hero Award HERE