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100-Year-Old RAF Veteran Flies Once Again in 1947 Miles Gemini Aircraft

Former Royal Air Force (RAF) Squadron Leader Jack Hemmings proved that age is just a number. The 100-year-old RAF veteran returned to the Miles Gemini aircraft and took to the skies once more, in the same model that he and his friend Stuart King flew back in 1948.
100-year-old RAF veteran takes to the skies in 1947 Miles Gemini 6 photos
100-year-old RAF veteran takes to the skies in 1947 Miles Gemini100-year-old RAF veteran takes to the skies in 1947 Miles Gemini100-year-old RAF veteran takes to the skies in 1947 Miles Gemini100-year-old RAF veteran takes to the skies in 1947 Miles Gemini100-year-old RAF veteran takes to the skies in 1947 Miles Gemini
Last year, Jack Hemmings turned 100. But that didn't stop him from celebrating his birthday how he loves the most: in the air, performing aerobatics in a Slingsby Firefly. He's been flying most of his life. During WWII, he operated the Lockheed Hudson and C-47 Dakota aircraft.

After the war, Jack and his friend Stuart co-founded the Mission Aviation Fellowship charity, and in 1948, they flew together in a Gemini to conduct Mission Aviation Fellowship's first survey throughout Central Africa. The six-month trip was the first British mission that focused on evaluating the humanitarian needs of isolated communities in Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Rwanda, and the Belgian Congo.

Now, 74 years later, Jack is back in at the controls of the Miles Gemini. He took off from Old Warden airfield on the Shuttleworth estate on February 19th – the same day his friend would've turned 100. Jack lost Stuart in the summer of 2020.

The recent flight was conducted to raise funds for Mission Aviation Fellowship and to honor Stuart. His friend was an Engineering Officer for the 247 Squadron before joining Mission Aviation Fellowship. He also played a crucial role in making the charity grow from one site in Sudan to 12 African programs today.

Jack described Stuart as "a great friend, a man of vision, devoted to Mission Aviation Fellowship since the early days in 1947."

"Pioneering in Africa wasn't a question of hope – we just went out and did it! If Stuart were here today, I would simply say to him: Stuart – you done good," he added.

press release
 
 
 
 
 

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