Capt Penrose first learned to fly in the University Air Squadrons and moved seamlessly into the ranks of the RAF after graduating in Aeronautical Engineering in 1951.

A graduate of Empire Test Pilots’ School, he served four years at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough, before being talent-spotted by aviation manufacturer De Havilland Aircraft Company, now part of BAE Systems.

Capt Penrose has flown more than 300 aircraft during his seven decades in the air and he holds British and American pilot licenses.