Born: United Kingdom
Primarily active in: United Kingdom

1921 - 2014

Hosegood was born in January 1921 and served in the UK Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm during World War II, flying reconnaissance and observation flights from floatplanes. In 1943, he was among the first six Royal Navy helicopter pilots sent to the US for helicopter training, converting to the Sikorsky R-4. On his return to the UK in 1944, he was assigned to the General Aircraft Company, which was assembling imported Sikorsky R-4 “Hoverflies.”

In March 1945, Hosegood became the Royal Navy test pilot at the Joint Service Helicopter Test Unit of the Airborne Forces Experimental Establishment (AFEE). He left the Royal Navy in November 1946, and flew for the Trinidad Petroleum Development Company for two years. He joined the Bristol Aeroplane Company (BAC) in 1948, to assist in helicopter test and development. “Sox” became the Chief Helicopter Test Pilot in 1951. Working for Raoul Hafner, Hosegood was a leading influence on the way that rotorcraft were developed in the UK.

He conducted much of the later flying of the tandem rotor Bristol Type 171 Sycamore, and in it obtained the first Certificate of Airworthiness for a British helicopter. He made the maiden flights of the larger Types 173 Mk1 and Mk2, and conducted sea trials of the Mk1. Hosegood also made the initial flights of the much larger Type 192 Belvedere, which went into service with the Royal Air Force. After Westland acquired Bristol Helicopter and closed the site in 1963, Hosegood joined the South-western Electricity Board to set up their Helicopter Unit for power-line inspection duties, which he managed until his retirement 20 years later.

Hosegood was a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, a founding member of the British Helicopter Association, and a member of the British Helicopter Advisory Board.

Charles Thomas Dennehy “Sox” Hosegood passed away on February 17, 2014, at the age of 93.

AHS Update: Vertiflite September/October 2014