Capt Valentine Henry Baker MC AFC

  seen here with HRH the Prince of Wales, in 1931

 b. 1888

 In 1931, chief instructor at Heston Aerodrome.

"Baker founded the air school at Heston and it became the most famous flight school in the United Kingdom.

During his career as an instructor in England, Baker personally taught many notable pupils, including Edward, Prince of Wales, Lord Londonderry of the Air Ministry, Lord Lloyd, Amy Johnson,Prince George, Duke of Kent, and Grace Marguerite Hay Drummond-Hay.

In 1934, Baker left Heston to join his friend James Martin to found the Martin-Baker Aircraft Company, where Baker was the company's test pilot.

Killed 12 September 1942; "during a test flight of the Martin-Baker MB 3 prototype, the engine seized and he was forced into an emergency landing, during which the aircraft struck a tree stump and he was killed. Baker's death affected his partner deeply, so much so that pilot safety became Martin's primary focus and led to the reorganisation of the company to focus on ejection seats."

 

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