Sydney Lewis Turner


 MacRobertson Race 1934 Sydney Turner [0823-0004]

(c) RAeC [0823-0004]


b. 25 May 1912, in Eltham, London

Got his Aviator's Certificate in August 1933 with Surrey Flying Services,  then became Director of Aircraft Exchange and Mart (Sales agents for Airspeed) in 1934.

He always wrote in either green or turquoise ink, his spelling was terrible, and he had to remind the organising committee for the Race that the aeroplane had been "entered jointly by Stack and myself", so would be grateful if they would copy him in on any correspondence.

He and Stack teamed up for the MacRobertson Race as "Turner had the money but Stack had the reputation". [Stack admitted that he had been "having a bad time financially"]. 

FA_macarthur_stack_turner MacArthur, Stack and Turner befoe the race

After their early withdrawal from the Race, Stack and Turner sued Airspeed. They contended that the aeroplane - the specially-built Airspeed Viceroy - wasn't really ready; it vibrated alarmingly, the brakes locked up, the electrics were positively dangerous, and the fuel consumption was double what they had been promised. Neville Shute Norway of Airspeed described these as 'trivial defects'.

Stack and Turner finally withdrew the accusations and had to hand back the aeroplane - for which they'd paid £2,448 as a first instalment - and another £1,850 cash. The aeroplane stood around for a while then, just as it was being prepared by Max Findlay and Ken Waller to fly in the Schlesinger Race in 1936, representatives of the Spanish Republican Air Force made them an offer they couldn't refuse: Findlay and Waller had to make do with an Envoy. Which crashed, killing Max and the radio operator. 

In 1935 Sydney entered his Percival Gull for the King's Cup Air Race, but didn't, in the end, take part.

In 1944 he was a test pilot for Rolls Royce in Nottingham.


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