Hyperbola would like to pay a belated short tribute to Sir Raymond Lygo who briefly figured in the UK attempt to build a reusable spaceplane. Sir Raymond Lygo passed away in March at the age of 87.
Having briefly worked in the newspaper industry, Lygo worked his way up from the ranks to become a World War II fighter pilot and officer in the Royal Navy. Lygo went on to have a post war naval career in which he became Captain of the aircraft carrier Ark Royal. Having been knighted the year previously, Lygo finally left the Navy in 1978 with the rank of Admiral.
Sir Raymond Lygo then joined British Aerospace (now known as BAE Systems) to lead its Dynamics missile division before being promoted to head the whole company. In that role he managed to gain government support for the launch of the now successful A320 passenger aircraft. More controversially, the plain speaking Lygo become involved in the argument about the future of the Westland helicoper company and whether it became part of a US or European firm.
During his time at Briish Aerospace, Lygo also did nuch to promote the HOTOL concept of a single-stage-to-orbit ...