Tadeusz Leopold Ciastuła,
Engineer, test pilot (1909-1979)
Warsaw Polytechnics graduate, test pilot and aircraft engineer.
By 1940, like many other Polish engineers, he got to Great Britain via France. Almost immediately he found himself part of a group of leading aircraft experts. Later he worked for the Royal Aircraft Establishment in Farnborough. All of this didn`t stop him from flying. He was a regular RAF fighter pilot in the Polish 302 squadron and British 65 fighter squadron.
After the war Ciastuła decided to stay in Great Britain and continue his work there. He focused on a relatively unexplored field: helicopters. As early as 1948 he designed a light helicopter, the Cierva W.14 Skeeter, later becoming the company`s chief engineer. After 1957, Ciastuła was the chief engineer at Westland Helicopters, where he was responsible for the famous Lynx. He also worked on improved variants of the Sikorsky S-58/Wessex, S-61/Sea King and Aerospatiale Puma and developed hovercrafts for British Army. His achievements for British aviation were recognised and he received several awards.