Goodhart: The Story of an Exceptional Man (Nicholas Goodhart)
Authors: Richard Harris, Barrie Williams
Paperback, 180 pages, many black and white photos, Copyright 2012
Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
(23.4 x 15.6 x 2 cm)
A biography of Rear Admiral Nicholas Goodhart, CB, Legion of Merit, FRAeS, RN (1919–2011)
Nicholas Goodhart was indeed an exceptional man and in this enjoyable biography Barrie Williams and Richard Harris record his many achievements as a sailor, aviator, inventor and record-breaker.
Nicholas had an illustrious career in the Royal Navy, joining in 1933 as a trainee cadet at the age of 13 and retiring 40 years later as a Rear Admiral. In the intervening years, after undergoing pilot training during World War 2, he proved himself to be a first-class aviator who, as a test pilot, flew a wide variety of postwar aircraft types to assess their suitability for the Navy. He also invented the mirror-deck landing system for aircraft carriers, which was adopted by navies worldwide and saved the lives of many naval pilots by enabling safer landings at sea.
Nicholas also became a world-class glider pilot, taking part in and winning international competitions and setting records, one of which – the height record for a British pilot of 37,050 feet, which he set in 1955 – remained unbroken for 40 years.
In retirement he continued his inventing, turning his attention to man-powered flight and much else. He was appointed Master of the Worshipful Company of Grocers, was an influential Lloyds ‘name’ and contributed to the development of the Lindridge Estate, where he and his devoted wife Molly shared their last home together.
All this and more is described in detail in this commendable account of a truly remarkable life.
Overview on co-author Richard Harris' web site - http://www.richardharrisnews.co.uk
Nicholas Goodhart . . . an exceptional man of extraordinary achievements.
As a naval officer – he joined as a junior cadet at the age of 13 and by the time he retired 40 years later as a Rear Admiral he had almost single handedly transformed maritime aviation with his bravery, vision and inventiveness.
He will be remembered always as the man who invented the mirror deck landing system (developed with the help of a secretary and her make-up mirror) which reduced the accident rate among pilots landing on aircraft carriers by 80% and was adopted almost immediately by every one of the world’s navies.
But there was much more to him even that that. As a glider pilot he flew higher and further than any British pilot before him, won three national championships and was a key member of the British team for more than 20 years. He combined his gliding skills and engineering know-how to design a new glider type that is still in use, and pushed back the frontiers of man-powered flight when his Newbury Manflyer, a huge aircraft propelled by two men on bicycles, flew – though not very far – at Greenham Common on New Year’s Day 1980.
As an inveterate inventor he dreamed up, among many other things, the yellow-hatched box junction several years before the Ministry of Transport, which had not even bothered to reply to his letter which originally suggested it, just happened to have precisely the same idea.
At the age of 88 he abseiled down the tower of his local church . . . before returning to work on his latest project – a huge aircraft with a 3 kilometre wingspan which was to be a ‘hurricane-buster’, dropping a lid on embryo hurricanes as they built up on the ocean.
Rear Admiral Hilary Charles Nicholas 'Nick' Goodhart CB Legion of Merit FRAeS RN Rtd – a truly exceptional man. This is his story.