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Lionel Peter Twiss (born 23 July 1921) OBE DSC and Bar is a British pilot, who held the World Air Speed Record. Educated at Sherborne School, he had been rejected by the Fleet Air Arm as a pilot but when the Second World War broke out, he was accepted as a Naval Airman Second Class. After training at 14 Elementary and Reserve Flying Training School at Castle Bromwich and Yeovilton, he was employed on target-towing duties in the Orkney Islands. He then served with the MSFU on catapult ships flying Hawker Hurricanes. During the Malta Convoys in 1942 he flew with 807 Squadron, on Fairey Fulmars, from the carrier HMS Argus. For these operations he received the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC). Later in the year the Squadron converted to the Supermarine Seafires flying from HMS Furious for the Operation Torch landings in North Africa. During the Allied landings in Algeria and Morocco he added a bar to his DSC, gazetted in March 1943. By this time he had shot down one Italian aircraft (a Fiat CR.42 on 14 May 1942) and damaged another. He then flew long-range intruder operations over Germany from Ford Naval Air Station, developing night fighter tactics with the RAF's Fighter Interception Unit. He claimed two Ju 88's shot down during 1944. During the war Twiss began to get opportunities to fly new aircraft and began test flying in late 1944 in the United States. By the end of the war he was a Lieutenant Commander. In 1945 he attended No. 3 Course at the Empire Test Pilots' School then based at RAF Cranfield.[1] In 1946, Twiss joined Fairey Aviation as a test pilot and flew many of the company's aircraft, including the Fairey Primer, Fairey Gannet, Fairey Firefly, and the Fairey Rotodyne compound-helicopter. In 1947 he entered the Lympne Air Races flying a Firefly IV, winning the High-speed Race at 305.93 mph.[2] He worked two years on the Fairey Delta 2, a supersonic delta-winged research plane. On 10 March 1956 this aircraft flown by Twiss broke the World Speed Record, raising it to 1,132 mph (1811 km/h), an increase of some 300 mph (480 km/h) over the record set the year before by an F-100 Super Sabre, and thus became the first aircraft to exceed 1,000 mph in level flight.[3] In 1959 Fairey Aviation was sold to Westland Aircraft, a helicopter manufacturer, which was not Twiss's area. Twiss joined Fairey Marine in 1960 and was responsible for development and sales of day-cruisers. He appeared in the film From Russia with Love driving one of the company's speedboats. In 1969, driving the Fairey Huntsman 707 Fordsport, he took part in the Round Britain Powerboat Race, including among his crew Rally champion Roger Clark. He also appeared in the film Sink the Bismarck in which he flew a Fairey Swordfish. Twiss was for several years a member of Lasham Gliding Society. Notes This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. Please improve this article by introducing more precise citations where appropriate. (August 2009) ^ The Empire Test Pilots' School - Twenty Five Years, 1968, p. 68. ^ http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1947/1947%20-%201467.html ^ Flight Magazine 23 March 1956 Bibliography Taylor, H. A. Fairey Aircraft since 1915. London: Putnam, 1974. ISBN 0-370-00065-X. Winchester, Jim. Concept Aircraft: Prototypes, X-Planes and Experimental Aircraft. Rochester, Kent, UK: Grange books plc, 2005. ISBN 1-84013-809-2. Twiss, Peter. Faster than the Sun. London: Grub Street Publishing, 2000. ISBN 1-902304-43-8. "The Empire Test Pilots' School - Twenty Five Years". ETPS Brochure (4th ed.) (HMSO for The Empire Test Pilots' School): 68 pp.. 1968.  External links BBC article on record breaking flight Peter Twiss Faster than the Sun Persondata Name Twiss, Peter Alternative names Short description Date of birth Place of birth Date of death Place of death