23.11.22 Senior Warden Bettine Evans

Notes from the Aerospace Dinner 2022

We started the evening with a welcome return to the reception line where the Master and Wardens had the huge pleasure of greeting each guest individually, followed by a most enjoyable Champagne reception.

Then dinner was announced and, after the guests were seated, the Master and Wardens processed in with the principal guests to join everyone else. After a few words from the Clerk introducing those who had joined the Company as Freemen that night and had been clothed in the Livery by the Court, a delicious dinner was served. Another return to tradition saw the Loving Cup Ceremony take place, but instead of wine, the cups were filled with wrapped chocolates. There followed the loyal toast to our new King and the other members of the Royal Family and to the Lord Mayor and the City of London Corporation.

We were treated to some beautiful entertainment by singers from the London Choral Sinfonia under the Director of Music, Michael Waldron. The Clerk then announced the names of the Aerospace Award winners and the Master and Principal Guest made the various presentations.

The Master rose to formally welcome our Principal Guest, Air Marshal Sir Rich Knighton KCB, saying how honoured we were to be affiliated to RAF Brize Norton, where 47 Squadron RAF is based and on the night paraded its Royal Standard. The Master thanked everyone for coming, particularly as there had been a threatened rail strike and he thanked the staff of the Clothworkers’ Hall for the splendid evening.

Air Marshal Sir Rich responded and being an engineer rather than a pilot, he told us that he recently flew to the US in an A380 and was hugely confident because of his knowledge of engineering. He said that 120 years ago, the Wright Brothers aircraft weighed 274kg and travelled 852 feet in 54 seconds. Today, the A380 weighs 575,000kg and takes eight hours to fly at 500mph all the way to the US and beyond if necessary. He also told us the story of how he became interested in flight following a glider flight at the age of six.

Last year, he said, the aerospace industry turned over £22.4bn, it directly employed 111,000 people, mostly in highly skilled jobs, it trains 5.5k apprentices and contributes 15bn to UK exports. Sir Rich also mentioned that although the aerospace sector only contributes less than 2% of overall greenhouse gas emissions, they were damaging as they are deposited in the high atmosphere. That is why engineers and researchers are working to address this problem and create cleaner aircraft.

He thanked the Coachmakers for the key role we play in inspiring the next generation of aerospace engineers, helping, quite literally, to launch future aviators into their flying careers. He felt that the Coachmakers is helping to instil the spirit of innovation and imagination which will ensure that the UK remains globally competitive and at the leading edge of technological innovation.

Sir Rich concluded by proposing the toast to the Coachmakers Company.

A number of aerospace awards and bursaries were presented at the dinner:

The Sir Geoffrey De Havilland Scholarship: Selma Grage

Selma Grage receives the award

Selma had embarked on her licence theory studies prior to applying for this award and has since demonstrated commitment to making effective use of the award by already regularly attending the Cambridge Flying Group for training and has completed several flights in tandem with her ground studies. Selma is employed in the airport operations team at Cambridge Airport.

Patryk Nelkowski receives his award

The Victor Gauntlett Scholarship: Patryk Nelkowski

Patryk Nelkowski received the Coachmakers’ Sir Sydney Camm Scholarship in 2019 and after completing his Part 66 licenced engineer training has now been awarded the Victor Gauntlett Scholarship which he used to attend an aircraft fabric covering course, to purchase specialist tools, and he has booked a metalworking and fabrication course which includes English wheeling. Patryk has used these benefits to volunteer with Navy Wings which has recently offered Patryk a full time position in its team which he has accepted and he has been assigned as the engineer on the restoration of LS326, the Mk2 swordfish; this will allow him to be continually involved with the restoration work and properly develop all the covering techniques.

Outside of Navy Wings, Patryk has been volunteering his expertise to assist other vintage aircraft at Duxford and at Old Warden including the PBY Catalina and the B17 “Sally B”. Patryk also looks after a private collection of classic cars, motorbikes and a Sherman tank. He thoroughly enjoys this as it allows a more creative approach to engineering, and provides the opportunity to work on some very rare machines whilst being able to transfer his aviation-based skills to maintaining and restoring these classics.

James Fuller receives his award

The Aerotron Scholarship: James Fuller

James Fuller is currently employed by Dassault Aviation Business Services, previously known as TAG Maintenance services. James has used the Aerotron award to enrol on a Part 66 theory exam course with the Resource Group. Of the 13 modules required he has currently completed Module 1 and 2 (maths and physics) and Module 6 and 7 (materials and hardware, and maintenance practises). This is a two-year programme and it is an outstanding achievement to progress at his current rate, which has been made possible by the award. James is on target to achieve the examination passes required within the next two years whilst also completing his apprenticeship alongside his college work.

The Sir Sydney Camm Scholarship: Sayed Yasin Ali

Sayed was unable to attend the dinner but he has recently graduated from Queen Mary University of London with a first class degree and will shortly take up full time employment with Thales on its graduate programme.

Callum Parker receives his award

The Sir Frederick Handley Page Scholarship: Callum Parker

Callum studied for an MSc in Aerospace Dynamics at Cranfield University and has recently completed his Master’s thesis whilst already commencing full time employment. The award has been significant in allowing him to achieve his thesis completion whilst many other things were happening. During his time at Cranfield University Callum was also presented with an award for ‘outstanding contribution to the Student Ambassador Programme at Cranfield University’.

Callum is currently employed by Rolls-Royce in Derby as a Systems Design Integrator in the Trent Fleet Services team working on the more mature engines such as the RB211-524, and Trent 900, a role which is developing well, and he enjoys learning about the business and the engines.

Magarishi Chandra receives his award

The Arkwright Award: Magarishi Chandra

Magarishi has shown drive and determination in his desire to become an engineer with particular interest in aerospace. He has excelled in his education and attended a number of extra courses. He has applied to universities with a high level of credibility in engineering to further his ambition.