Like most young boys I had a fascination with flying, one that was fuelled by regular trips to air shows all over the UK with my family. One couldnít fail to be awed by the displays given - thereís something magical about seeing those surly bonds slipped with such power and agility, yet grace too. With hopes of emulating that in mind, when I was still at school I applied to the RAF. After a successful round of interviews and subsequent cadres at RAF OASC Cranwell, I was fortunate to be granted sixth form and flying scholarships. Sadly not far into my flying scholarship, I had to withdraw from the program, but was determined to make flying a part of my life at some stage. It was only ever going to be a question of time (and money!). I went on to study Mechanical Engineering and then perhaps bizarrely, found myself on a career path that took me through Financial Management into IT where I now find myself as an International Project Manager and SAP/BPM/ECM Consultant for a German Software company.
Why I got involved:
Iíd already clocked Enstone on the Ordnance Survey when investigating a move to Oxfordshire in Autumn 2010. So once settled, it was time to drop in meet Paul and finish off what Iíd started some 20 years before. Naturally, when I heard about the project it peaked my interest, not only as Iíd always considered part ownership of an aircraft to be the most viable way for me to sustain GA as a hobby, but really what better aircraft could I hope to have a share in?! The Spitfire surely holds a special place in the heart of any Brit who has an interest in aviation. Having previous restored some vintage vehicles and being of an engineering persuasion, a self-build or kit had always interested me too, but realistically doing it on my own would never be a short-term prospect. Hence working as part of a team struck me as an excellent idea. Also, the whole ground crew and squadron on the move aspects give me a great opportunity to involve my family in the hobby too, something that I consider to be hugely important. Ultimately, the project could and should prove to be the next best thing to the RAF option Iíd once flirted with and certainly be great fun to boot!
What Iím looking forward to most:
There are so many things to look forward to at every stage of this project, itís hard to pick any single thing. Itís great working with a varied group of people on the build and bouncing ideas off each other. Being able to overcome the challenges we encounter along the way is very rewarding. Of course seeing her develop as an airframe is wonderful and I look forward to each little stage of that as it is Ė canít wait to finally see her in her colours too! The first flight will naturally be a momentous occasion and that first Spitfire radio call will put a smile on my face, but Iím looking forward almost as much to seeing the rest of the squadron come gradually online and getting into some proper display formation flying of the type that first got me hooked all those years ago.