John Morton talked to Paul Harrison in 2013 about his service in the Fleet Air Arm, at Boscombe Down and his time putting rotorcraft through their paces, most notably the Fairey Rotodyne.
In his first interview, Morton covers his career from 1942 to 1955. Here he recalls wartime pilot training in the USA in some detail and the process by which a naval aviator was qualified. During this time, he was flying mostly Boeing Stearmans and North American Harvards, before finally moving on to Vought Corsairs. After the war, he worked with Supermarine Seafires. The discussion continues with the story of how he attended a helicopter training course and the first time he flew one he realised that this was what he always wanted in life, before going on to tell us how helicopters were introduced for military use in the UK.
After qualifying as a service test pilot Morton served as a Test Pilot at Boscombe Down before leaving the Royal Navy to join Fairey Aviation to work with Ron Gellatly to develop Fairey’s Helicopter Operation. At Fairey’s he became the second pilot on the Rotodyne and flew their Ultra-light and Gyrodyne.
The Royal Aeronautical Society would like to thank Paul Harrison and Dave Gibbings for enabling us to podcast the interview with John Morton and to Mike Stanberry for editing all four podcasts.