• Peter Berthoud

Test Pilot

Updated: Sep 4

Neville Duke's "Test Pilot" Card Game, A Pepys Original Game


First Published: 1955, A Pepys Game by Castell Brothers Ltd., St. Cross Street, London

Illustrator or Designer: A. B. Bowbeer of "Flight"


Contents: 44 Regular cards, 48 Small cards + Rules Booklet


Test Pilot Box Lid Front With Title Card
Test Pilot Box Lid Front With Title Card

There is a "Playing Pack" of 37 cards, a "Priority Test" set of 7 cards and a "Result of Test" pack of 48 small cards.


In the playing pack there are 2 "Neville Duke" cards, 14 cards: 2 x 7 individual 'planes, 3 cards showing "All 'Planes", 14 cards: 2 x 7 pairs of 'planes, 2 cards with a group of three civil 'planes, 2 cards with a group of four military' planes.


The 7 "Priority Test" cards have red borders.


The "Result of Test" pack has 12 cards each of 4 small cards: Test O.K., Compass Unserviceable, Radio Failure & Sticking Undercarriage.


Test Pilot cards: Neville Duke, Avro Vulcan, Bristol Britannia, De Havilland Comet 3, Fairey Delta 2, English Electric P1, Fairey Rotodyne, Gloster Javelin, All ‘Planes.

Test Pilot cards: Neville Duke, Avro Vulcan, Bristol Britannia, De Havilland Comet 3, Fairey Delta 2, English Electric P1, Fairey Rotodyne, Gloster Javelin, All ‘Planes.


Test Pilot cards: Fairey Delta 2 & Avro Vulcan, Avro Vulcan & Gloster Javelin, De Havilland Comet 3 & Bristol Britannia, Bristol Britannia & Fairey Rotodyne, English Electric P1 & De Havilland Comet 3, Fairey Delta 2 & Fairey Rotodyne, Gloster Javelin & English Electric P1, Fairey Rotodyne & Bristol & De Havilland, Fairey Delta & English Electric & Gloster Avro.

Test Pilot cards: Fairey Delta 2 & Avro Vulcan, Avro Vulcan & Gloster Javelin, De Havilland Comet 3 & Bristol Britannia, Bristol Britannia & Fairey Rotodyne, English Electric P1 & De Havilland Comet 3, Fairey Delta 2 & Fairey Rotodyne, Gloster Javelin & English Electric P1, Fairey Rotodyne & Bristol & De Havilland, Fairey Delta & English Electric & Gloster Avro.


Test Pilot cards: Priority Tests - Avro Vulcan, Bristol Britannia, De Havilland Comet 3, Fairey Delta 2, English Electric P1, Fairey Rotodyne, Gloster Javelin.

Test Pilot cards: Priority Tests - Avro Vulcan, Bristol Britannia, De Havilland Comet 3, Fairey Delta 2, English Electric P1, Fairey Rotodyne, Gloster Javelin.


Test “Pilot cards: “Result of Test"small cards - Test O.K., Compass Unserviceable, Radio Failure & Sticking Undercarriage + small card back.

Test “Pilot cards: “Result of Test"small cards - Test O.K., Compass Unserviceable, Radio Failure & Sticking Undercarriage + small card back.



A couple of years before Pepys' game Neville Duke published his autobiography, also titled "Test Pilot".

Front & back covers of "Test Pilot" (1953) Allan Wingate Ltd., London


Neville Duke (1922-2007) was a major celebrity in the late 1940s and 50s, his fame and popularity were said to be equivalent to that of Stanley Matthews or Sterling Moss.


He was a highly decorated World War II fighter Ace, a breaker of multiple air records and the chief Test Pilot for Hawker. He was also a Vice President of the Eagle Club, formed by Eagle magazine, and some have speculated that he partly inspired the character of Dan Dare. The best short biography I have found is The Guardian's Obituary.


Flight Magazine - 28 January 1955
Flight Magazine - 28 January 1955

Arthur Bowbeer of Flight Magazine produced the illustrations for the game. He is best known for his highly detailed and accurate cutaway drawings of aircraft which were a popular regular feature in Flight.

Mig-15 Cockpit by Arthur Bowbeer, Flight 28/1/1955
Mig-15 Cockpit by Arthur Bowbeer, Flight 28/1/1955












Mig-15 Cutaway Drawing by Arthur Bowbeer, Flight 28/1/1955

Mig-15 Cutaway Drawing by Arthur Bowbeer, Flight 28/1/1955



In 2011 Lagoon reproduced the game as part of their Pepys range.










The original set featured here was part of Rex Pitts' personal collection.


Game & Version Details




​Test Pilot - Box & Contents



​Test Pilot - Card Back



​Test Pilot - Rules Front



​Test Pilot - Rules Back


Games Advertised:

Speed

Express

Win-A-Lot



​Test Pilot - Box Top



​Test Pilot - Box Side Left


​Test Pilot - Box Base



​Test Pilot - Box Side Right