MBE for test pilot 'Wizzer' Wilson

Peter 'Wizzer' Wilson has been awarded the MBE
Peter 'Wizzer' Wilson has been awarded the MBE

BAE Systems test pilot Peter 'Wizzer' Wilson has been recognised for his services to defence with an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List

The former Royal Navy and Royal Air Force is part of the BAE Systems team based in the United States supporting the development and delivery of the F-35 Lightning II, the latest combat aircraft to join the RAF's fleet.

He was one of only four test pilots involved in the First of Class Flight Trials which saw the jet fly on to the UK's new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier in September 2018.

The trials saw him and a team of engineers from BAE Systems carrying out numerous take-offs and landings from the carrier off the east coast of the United States, including the first Shipborne Rolling Vertical Landing (SRVL) undertaken by the F-35.

'Wizzer', who was who was born in Whalley in the Ribble Valley, joined the company in 2000 following eight years flying for the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm and more than five years with the RAF, including as a qualified flying instructor.

He has flown a wide range of aircraft including the Harrier, which operated the same Short Take-Off Vertical Landing (STOVL) technology the UK operates on the F-35 today.

Mr Wilson said: “It is a real honour to be recognised for a career which given me some amazing memories which I will never forget.
“Being involved in supporting the UK to bring together the F-35 with its next generation aircraft carriers last year was one of the highlights which will live we me forever.
“It was fantastic to be involved alongside so many amazing people, particularly those from BAE Systems, as we progressed towards delivering an amazing capability protecting the interests of our nation.”