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Hubert Stanford Broad
Broad and A. Butler in Berlin-Tempelhof in 1930
Broad (right) and A. Butler in Berlin-Tempelhof in 1930 during the Challenge
Born (1897-05-18)18 May 1897
Watford, Hertfordshire, England
Died 30 July 1975(1975-07-30) (aged 78)
Basingstoke, Hampshire, England
Nationality United Kingdom
Occupation Test pilot
Awards Member of the Order of the British Empire
Air Force Cross

Captain Hubert Standford Broad MBE AFC (1897-1975) was an English First World War aviator and notable sports and test pilot.[1]

Early life

Broad was born in Watford on 18 May 1897[2] the son of Thomas and Amelia Broad (née Coles).[3] In 1901 when Broad was three the family were living at Aston Lodge, St Johns Road in Watford his father is described as a solicitor.[3] By the time of the 1911 Census, Broad is a 13-year-old student at St. Lawrence College in Ramsgate, Kent.[4]

Naval aviator

In 1915 he learnt to fly at the Hall School of Flying at Hendon.[1] Flying a single-engined Caudron he received Pilot Certificate No. 2,044.[1] With his certificate to hand he joined the Royal Naval Air Service at Eastchurch.[1] After training he was posted to operations with No. 3 Squadron RNAS based at Dunkirk, France flying the Sopwith Pup. While escorting bombers Broad was shot in the neck and returned to England as an Instructor while he recovered.[5]

For his second operational tour he was loaned to No. 46 Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps flying the Sopwith Camel.[1] At the end of the war he became an instructor at the Fighter Pilots Flying School at Fairlop.[1]

Test and sports pilot

After leaving the RNAS he flew joy-riding aircraft for Avro and in 1920 he flew joy-riding flights in the United States with two Avro seaplanes.[1] In 1921 he came first in the Aerial Derby air race around London, flying a Sopwith Camel.[1] This gained the attention of de Havilland which took him on in October 1921 as Chief test pilot at Stag Lane.[1] With a general lack of test pilots he not only flew a wide variety of de Havilland types but also those of Handley Page and Gloster.[1]

At the 1925 Schneider Trophy Broad became the sole British entry following a number of pre-race accidents.[6] Flying a Gloster III seaplane he came second to an American Army test pilot called James Doolittle.[6]

At de Havilland, Broad flew many demonstration flights and entered air races and competitions to show of the de Havilland aircraft.[1] In 1926 he won the King's Cup Air Race in a de Havilland Moth.[1] In 1928 he took part in the International Light Aircraft Contest in France, completing it on the 3rd place. Next year, he was second in the F.A.I International Tourist Plane Contest - Challenge International de Tourisme 1929. In the next Challenge International de Tourisme 1930, he was 8th overall (he completed the rally part on the 1st place).[7]

In 1935 he left de Havilland and worked with the Royal Aircraft Establishment as a test pilot. He published a book in 1939 about flying - Flying wisdom; a book of practical experiences and their lessons. In 1940 he returned to industry as chief production test pilot for Hawker Aircraft.[1] He was responsible for test flying the Hawker single-seat fighters as they left the production line. He was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1946 for his work as a Hawker test pilot.[8]

Broad died in 1975 at his home in Basingstoke with 7,500 flying hours on 200 different types.[1]



  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 "Hubert Broad". Flight International. 7 August 1975. p. 172. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  2. Although when his death was registered they gave the date as 20 May 1897, which is also the date recorded by the Royal Aero Club, the 18 May appears in the obituary in Flight.
  3. 3.0 3.1 1901 Census of Watford, RG13/1317, Folio 60, Page 31, Hubert S. Broad, Aston Lodge, St Johns Wood, Watford.
  4. 1911 Census of Thanet, RG14PN4536, Hubert Stanford Broad, Hollicondane Ramsgate.
  5. "Britain's Test Pilots No. 2 Capt. H.S. Broad". Flight International. 28 March 1946. p. 314. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "The Schneider Trophy - 70th Anniversary". Royal Air Force. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  7. (Polish) Krzyżan, Marian. Międzynarodowe turnieje lotnicze 1929-1934, Warsaw 1988, ISBN 83-206-0637-3
  8. "No. 36547". 2 June 1944. 

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