Tony Blackman was educated at Oundle School and Trinity College Cambridge, where he obtained an honours degree in Physics. After joining the Royal Air Force as a Maths and Physics Instructor, he learnt to fly, flew Vampires and Venoms in Germany.
He trained as a test pilot at the Empire Test Pilots School. From there he tested V Bombers at Boscombe Down and, as a result, Avro's asked him to join their team, at the time developing a supersonic bomber as well as the Vulcan. Tony spent 22 years at Avro's, becoming Chief Test Pilot. Besides developing the Vulcan and the Nimrod, he spent many years testing, developing and demonstrating the Avro 748 all round the World. He received the Queens Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air and later was awarded an OBE. Tony was an expert in aviation electronics and was invited by Smiths Industries to join their Aerospace Board, initially as Technical Operations Director. He helped develop the then new large Electronic Displays and the Flight Management Systems. He also help sell, and then, manage the Head up/Head down display system for the British Aerospace Hawk.