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March 24, 2023


Alex Henshaw, one of the best pilots in the world, had an incredible journey from being a Royal Air Force ace to becoming a record-breaking pilot. He was born in 1912 in Peterborough, England, and was destined to soar through the skies. Alex loved flying since he was a child, and he went on to become one of the most respected pilots in the world. He flew many planes during his career and set several records that still break our minds. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the incredible journey of Alex Henshaw.

Section 1: Early Life and Career

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Alex Henshaw was born in Peterborough, England, in 1912. He was fascinated with planes and flying from an early age. When he was just 16, he joined the RAF and trained to become a pilot. He flew for the first time in 1933 and gained his full pilot’s license in 1934.

During World War II, Alex Henshaw flew Spitfires and Hurricanes and proved himself to be an ace pilot. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1940. Alex flew in the Battle of Britain and was assigned to protect London from enemy attacks.

Section 2: Testing Planes for Airworthiness

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After World War II, Alex Henshaw left the RAF and joined the Rolls-Royce company as a test pilot. His job was to test planes for airworthiness. Alex tested many planes, including the powerful Spitfire.

Section 3: The Record-Breaking Flight

In 1939, Alex Henshaw set a world record by flying from London to Cape Town and back in just four days and ten hours. This record-breaking flight covered a distance of over 12,000 miles. This flight was not just about speed for Alex. He had to deal with many challenges, including bad weather and mechanical failures but he never gave up and became a flying legend.

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Section 4: Working in the Aviation Industry

After setting the record-breaking flight, Alex Henshaw started working in the aviation industry. He worked for many famous companies, including the de Havilland Aircraft Company, where he became a chief test pilot.

Section 5: Writing His Memoirs

In the 1980s, Alex Henshaw wrote his memoirs called “Sigh for a Merlin.” This book provides a glimpse into his career, his love for flying, and his experiences during the war. Alex’s vivid descriptions of his experiences make for an exciting read.

Section 6: Achievements and Honours

Alex Henshaw’s achievements and honours are many. He has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Force Cross, and the Freedom of the City of London. He has also been awarded the Royal Aero Club’s Gold Medal and the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators’ Brackley Memorial Trophy.

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Section 7: Alex Henshaw: An Inspiration

Alex Henshaw’s courage, dedication, and love for flying inspire us all. He has set high standards in aviation, and his contributions to the industry have been invaluable. Alex lived a long and full life and inspired many pilots around the world to follow in his footsteps.


Q1: What was Alex Henshaw’s world record?

A: Alex Henshaw set the world record by flying from London to Cape Town and back in just four days and ten hours.

Q2: What planes did Alex Henshaw fly?

A: Alex Henshaw flew many planes, including the Spitfire and Hurricane.

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Q3: What did Alex Henshaw do after leaving the RAF?

A: After leaving the RAF, Alex Henshaw joined the Rolls-Royce company as a test pilot.

Q4: What is Alex Henshaw’s memoir called?

A: Alex Henshaw’s memoir is called “Sigh for a Merlin.”

Q5: What honours did Alex Henshaw receive?

A: Alex Henshaw received many honours, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Force Cross, and the Royal Aero Club’s Gold Medal.

Q6: In which war did Alex Henshaw fly?

A: Alex Henshaw flew in World War II.

Q7: Which companies did Alex Henshaw work for?

A: Alex Henshaw worked for many companies, including Rolls-Royce and the de Havilland Aircraft Company.

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Alex Henshaw’s journey from a RAF ace to a record-breaking pilot is an inspiration to all. He set high standards in aviation and was an invaluable asset to the industry. His love for flying and dedication to the craft is an embodiment of the human spirit. Alex Henshaw’s legacy lives on, and he will forever be remembered as one of the greatest pilots of all time.

So, if you’re a young aviation enthusiast, take inspiration from Alex Henshaw’s story and work hard towards your dreams. Who knows, one day, you might just break a record!

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