Allen, John 1921

Nationality:
English; British

(fl 1930-2006), aviation engineer

John Allen was educated at state schools in London, taking a BSc in aeronautical engineering at London University; he earned top prizes in his discipline. A student apprenticeship with Handley Page honed his practical skills. Allen was science officer with the Marine Experimental Research Establishment (MAEE) at Rhu, Scotland. When the unit returned to Felixstowe in 1945 he was appointed head of its technical office.

John supervised the ballistics and aircraft integration of Blue Danube, Britain's first atomic bomb, at Farnborough from 1950 until 1954. From 1960 he was deputy director of Avro's new weapon research division, working on development of the hydrogen bomb. In 1969 John was appointed chief future projects engineer with Hawker Siddeley, involved particularly with development of Harrier and Hawk aircraft that for decades made an impact while training or giving displays with the Red Arrows formation team

John married Peggy Heath in 1948 and they had two sons who became engineers, and four grandchildren. Peggy died in 1987.