Wing Commander Roland "Bee" Beamont
Roland Beamont in Lightning F6 XR728/JS in 1990. Photo by The Lightning Preservation Group
Roland Prosper Beamont CBE, DSO & Bar, DFC & Bar - 10th August 1920-19th November 2001
Roland “Bee” Beamont had an incredible career spanning over fifty years. “Bee” (as he was known to many of his friends and colleagues) began his operational career flying the Hawker Hurricane with 87 Squadron in France. Throughout the war years “Bee” was attached to Hawkers, test flying the Hawker Typhoon and Tempest as well as flying both types in squadron service. On 12th October 1944 ”Bee” was shot down and became a prisoner of war until May 1944. After the war he resumed his career as a test pilot. Better known for his exciting displays in the English Electric Canberra and his contribution to the test flying of the Lighting and TSR-2, “Bee” continued to help with the development of the MRCA Tornado and in later years concentrated on his interest as an author.