WONZ 304 – Roy Boston

Guest: Roy Boston – de Havilland Apprentice and Engineer, and RNZAF Instructor

Host: Dave Homewood

Recorded: 26th of April 2024

Released:  30th of April 2024

Duration:  1 hour 34 minutes 45 seconds

In this episode Dave Homewood talks with 96-year-old Roy Boston, who was born and grew up in London, and became an apprentice at the de Havilland Aircraft Company Limited at Stag Lane Aerodrome, Edgeware. He ended up working in various roles testing engines and propellers that were being developed for aircraft for both de Havilland and for other companies. He was involved with all sorts of aeroplanes, and witnessed other projects under development including jet engines and turboprops. He also reveals some interesting stories and secrets about the company’s projects, an may well be the last living witness to some of those developments of the 1940s by de Havilland.

He talks about flying in all sorts of aeroplanes during test flying too, from Lancaster and Halifax bombers to the rarities like the Vickers Warwick and the de Havilland Hornet!

After leaving the company in 1950 he emigrated to New Zealand, to rejoin his family who’d moved here some years beforehand. He ended up working first as a civilian instructor on engines with the Royal New Zealand Air Force, and then was commissioned as a serving officer in the Education branch of the RNZAF.

These days Roy is a celebrated artist, and he also volunteers as a guide at the Aviation Heritage Centre at Omaka, Blenheim.

Quick Links:
Roy’s artworks
The Aviation Heritage Centre, Omaka

Thanks to: Huge thanks to Roy’s son Dean Boston for setting this interview up via Zoom, and sitting in to prompt facts when needed, and also thanks to Bevan Dewes and Lucy Newell for the use of their office to record this while I was staying with them.

The music heard in this episode is Wild Flower by Joakim Karud.

Above: Roy Boston on the day of the interview, aged 96 and sharp as a tack. (Dean Boston photo)
Above: Roy Boston at Dog3 ROC,1945. (Roy Boston collection)
Above: The Ghost Lancastrian. (Roy Boston collection)
Above: Roy carrying out the engine cylinder vibration test at full chat on the DHC-1 Chipmunk prototype. Note the ballast in the back seat as discussed, and also the Vickers Warwick bomber in the background. (Roy Boston collection)
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Askania-Hand-Vibrograph-1.jpg

Above: The Askania Hand Vibrograph 1.

Above: The de Havilland Goblin on the test bed. (Roy Boston collection)

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