28.08.23 By Steward Neil Sheath

The 2023 De Havilland Scholarship is awarded to Alex Phillips

Pictured above: Alex Phillips – Winner 2023

The selection day for the 2023 De Havilland Scholarship Award for the Livery year September 2023 to August 2024 was held on Saturday 5th August 2023 at the Old Warden Airfield in Shuttleworth Collection premises, this is the new home of the Cambridge Flying Group which provides the services for the award.

The Shuttleworth Trust was excellent and a generous host for the day and for which we should be very appreciative and grateful that external organisations are kind enough to support the Coachmakers’ activities. The selection day was organised by the Cambridge Flying Group which also provided a more than ample and splendid buffet lunch along with a programme of activities for the candidates during the day. It is also especially notable that many of the previous winners of the award attended to help with the day. The selection panel was made up jointly of Coachmakers and Cambridge Flying Group members working closely together as we have done over the years.

Selection panel from left: Howard Cook, John O’Donnell, Liveryman Jeff Stow, Liveryman and CFG President David Kynaston, Liveryman Neil Sheath, Peter Apostolos

The De Havilland Scholarship award was made to a young man called Alex Phillips who was selected from a short list of six candidates who were in turn selected from 36 excellent applicants. Any one of the short listed candidates would have been a very worthy recipient of the award so Alex should be congratulated on the award and welcomed to the cadre of Coachmakers award winners.

Alex has recently completed an aircraft engineering apprenticeship where he has worked on most types of engines and aircraft including radial, piston and jet engines and has worked on modern and vintage aircraft. He started working in aircraft hangars whilst he was studying at school and has continued working with aircraft and volunteering with airshows and vintage aircraft collections since. Alex is also an accomplished glider pilot who competes at national level and has a Part 66 sailplane engineer’s licence. He has volunteered extensively and helped others in his own interest areas and with other projects, including self-help aviation groups and during a world challenge expedition where he helped construct part of a school in Borneo. He has demonstrated that he consistently and with humility gives his time to help others.

Alex is a calm and honest person who is currently working for a company maintaining a variety of vintage and classic aircraft where learning to fly a Tiger Moth will significantly enhance his professional understanding and abilities. Alex is a perfect fit for the aims of the Company and for this particular award in promoting young people in aircraft engineering skills, preserving classic aircraft aviation and also preserving the classic hands on engineering fabrication skills for the future whilst also supporting those organisations flying, operating and providing the support services.

Alex is commended to the Company and as a person who possesses excellent personal qualities and who we may hope to see as a young Coachmaker in the future.

Previous winner helpers from left: Milan Stojsavijevic, Nicola Temple, Selma Gage, Andrea Troso, Angus Noakes