Seven seconds: the Tower Bridge Hawker Hunter incident
Just after midday on 5 April 1968 RAF pilot Alan Pollock, senior operational flight commander on No. 1 (Fighter) Squadron, flew his Hawker Hunter FGA.9 jet through the span of Tower Bridge in London. The unauthorised action - which cost him his air force career - was part of a personal protest against the RAF's decision not to celebrate its 50th anniversary with a flypast over the capital.
This Flight Artworks depiction was made in consultation with Mr Pollock, who calculated for me that his flight down the river and through the bridge at about 350kts (403mph) took seven seconds from when he first conceived the idea as he approached London Bridge, upstream.
I have reconstructed the bridge as it appeared at the time, with pollution-blackened stonework and rather different upper walkways than now. Initially I placed the jet in the centre of the span, but the pilot insisted that it had been much closer to the upper walkways, as you now see.
There is a longer article about the making of the picture in my blog.
As featured on the official website of Tower Bridge in London.
You can hear the whole story from Alan Pollock himself in a lengthy interview in the Imperial War Museum's collection: www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80027439.