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BAE Systems is taking on a further 48 trainees at its Aircraft Maintenance Academy based at Robin Hood Airport in Doncaster:
The new recruits will be among a record 568 apprentices taken on by the group in 2014 – 181 more than it recruited last year.
BAE Systems supports the RAF’s fast jet operational squadrons and its Aircraft Maintenance Academy was established to fill the gap created by a nationwide shortage of aircraft maintenance technicians.
Almost half of the new apprentices BAE Systems is taking on this year are going to the company’s shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria, which is building five Astute class hunter-killer submarines.
They are being trained to work on a replacement for the Vanguard class of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, due to enter service from 2028.
BAE Systems group managing director Nigel Whitehead said: “Our additional intake of apprentices this year reflects workload requirements at the submarines business but the number also demonstrates the fantastic contribution and value that apprenticeships bring to BAE Systems.
“Apprentices are a vital part of our talent pool and we find that our training programmes really help young people develop their full potential and become financially stable at a relatively young age.
“This is a win-win situation for our apprentices, our company and the wider economy.”
BAE Systems currently employs more than 32,000 people in the UK, and is one of the UK’s largest employer of engineers. Half of the senior executives at the military aircraft business joined as apprentices.
The announcement of its latest apprentice recruitment plans follows research by YouGov – commissioned by BAE Systems and the Royal Academy of Engineering – which revealed that public opinion regarding apprenticeships is changing rapidly, driving a boost in demand for places.
According to the research, almost half of British parents of children aged 11-18 would encourage their children to take an apprenticeship.
Textron Confirms Beech Acquisition:
Textron Confirms Beech AcquisitionTextron, the parent company of Cessna and Bell Helicopter, has confirmed it will purchase Beechcraft Corp. for approximately $1.4 billion in cash, in a press release issued late on Thursday. "The acquisition of Beechcraft is a tremendous opportunity to extend our general aviation business," said Textron CEO Scott Donnelly. "From our customers' perspective, this creates a broader selection of aircraft and a larger service footprint. ... The iconic King Air product line perfectly complements our Caravan and Citation jet line-up and our combined global service network will deliver the superior level of services expected by our Cessna, Beechcraft and Hawker customers." The acquisition is good news for Hawker Beechcraft 4000 and Premier 1A owners whose aircraft had been orphaned by Hawker Beechcraft's emergence from bankruptcy earlier this year.
In its own news release, Beechcraft said the deal includes type certificates for the jets, which the emergent company abandoned. "Maintenance services for the aircraft will continue through Beechcraft’s factory-owned service center network, Hawker Beechcraft Services, and Authorized Service Centers around the world with Hawker 4000 and Premier ratings," Beechcraft said in its news release. "Beechcraft will continue to provide uninterrupted service and support for all Hawker 4000 and Premier aircraft." Until a couple of weeks ago, Beechcraft was intent on selling the jet business to a composite structures business but sources told AVweb that negotiations for that deal were abruptly called off in mid-December, about the same time that rumors of the Textron deal began circulating.
Article from the Yorkshire Post:
Durham Tees Valley Repositions After Business Review:
Wednesday, 30 October 2013
Following an extensive review of its business, Durham Tees Valley Airport has today announced the first steps toward repositioning itself for the future.
Scheduled daily passenger flights to Schiphol (Amsterdam) operated by KLM and flights to Aberdeen operated by Eastern Airlines are not affected and will continue as normal, protecting the region’s connectivity to key global markets.
This transition will see the Airport streamlining operations and moving away from all mainstream holiday charter programmes from summer 2014, with the exception of Flybe flights operated on behalf of CITS to Jersey. The tour operators affected are Thomson/First Choice and Balkan Holidays and Durham Tees Valley Airport would like to thank Thomson and Balkan for all their support over the years.
Anyone who has booked holiday flights to Palma, Ibiza or Bulgaria for 2014 flying from Durham Tees Valley Airport is advised to contact their tour operator or travel agent for advice.
As part of the transition, the terminal will undergo changes, making the operational area smaller and investment in the new layout will make it more suited to customers on scheduled flights. New retail offerings and business services will be incorporated in the new layout.
Commenting on the decision today, Durham Tees Valley Airport’s Managing Director Stephen Gill said: “We have taken these steps following a difficult period for the airport and a thorough review of the whole site and our current operations, in order to give the airport a strong foundation to help safeguard the future of aviation activity.
“The result is a strategic Master Plan which will be available for public consultation from mid-November. This will show how we plan to reposition the airport to focus on business and general aviation and will outline our plans for further developments. These will enable us to work towards expanding and diversifying our aviation and non-aviation activities across a broader base and grow back passenger services. This is envisaged to provide additional UK and global connections for the region’s business community who have a significant need to access international markets.
“The recent announcement of our investment in the new hangar facility for the National Police Air Service and the purchase of a significant development site on the north eastern edge of the airport demonstrates our commitment to deliver a long term future for Durham Tees Valley Airport so that we can continue to make a positive contribution to the economy of the Tees Valley and beyond.”
Article taken from the Vulcan to the sky club magazine Autumn edition by FODSA/Vulcantotheskyclub member Maurice Long:
Thanks to Lee Broadbent & Mark Freshney Editorial/Design Team Vulcantotheskyclub for their kind permission.
The last flying Vulcan returns to her original cold-war hangar
to be the centrepiece for new
events, education and engineering centres
Unique heritage jets expertise to be made available to private owners.
The last flying Vulcan has moved into Hangar 3 at Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield, the historic site of former RAF Finningley. For the first time, this much-loved aircraft will have a dedicated home, open to the public and available for private and commercial events. Plans are also being laid down for a facility for skills development, using the inspirational nature of the Vulcan to provide training and team building for engineering companies. In the longer term, a world leading centre of expertise for the restoration and operation of heritage jet aircraft will also be developed.
“This is one of the biggest steps for Vulcan XH558 since her return to flight in 2007. It brings a new era of opportunities that will help to fund her future and provide new levels of access for her supporters,” said Vulcan to the Sky Trust CEO, Dr Robert Pleming. “These are early days in deciding exactly what facilities will be included. Developing the funding and detailed plans needed to turn our ideas into reality will take some time, but I am thrilled to be able to share our vision at this stage.”
Hangar 3 is one of the airport’s crescent of Type C hangars built in 1935 and adapted from 1955-57 to take the RAF’s new V-Bombers. All three V-Force types were based at the airfield – Valiant, Victor and Vulcan – including XH558 from 1960 to 1968. During this period, Vulcans stood on Quick Reaction Alert, ready to take off in just a couple of minutes in response to the detection of a potential nuclear attack, carrying Britain’s nuclear deterrent deep into enemy territory. The original architecture, bomb-stores and even the aircraft holding pans are all well preserved, making this the ideal location for the new visitor centre and a uniquely evocative location for education and events.
Because the Vulcan has been based at military airfields for the last two years, providing public access has been challenging. The top priority for her new home is therefore to provide visitor facilities. Initially, this will be by pre-booked tours, including visits by local schools through the educational outreach programme. The facility will be progressively developed to provide a visitor centre with a retail store and educational displays covering XH558’s technology and restoration, and an insight into the Cold War; “A critical but increasingly overlooked period in World History, with many lessons relevant to today,” according to Dr. Pleming. These facilities will continue to expand to eventually create an important new visitor attraction for Yorkshire, which is already independently recognised as one of Europe’s most successful tourist destinations.
The fabulous Hangar 3 location will also provide an outstanding new events and hospitality venue, professionally-managed by Directions Community Interest Company, which facilitates all activities associated with Hangar 3 and Hangar 2. With staging, lighting, catering, audio visual facilities and flexible seating for up to 300 around the Vulcan, it will provide a unique and powerful venue for private and corporate events, and for smaller VIP parties which can also include a tour of the aircraft. Vulcan celebrity speakers, including aircrew, can be arranged.
Ideas are also in development for an engineering skills centre that will build on the presence of XH558 and her technical team to provide inspirational training experiences for apprentices and young engineers. “Initial reaction from industry has been superb, with suggestions and offers of help in setting up courses and providing expertise,” says technical director Andrew Edmondson. “We would like to talk to any company that may find it useful to offer a truly inspiring environment for team building and basic training in areas that may include project management, audit, craft and trade skills, compliance and potentially a lot more. I’d like to understand your needs so we can evolve this unique resource to help satisfy them in an inspiring way.”
Andrew Edmondson is best known as the engineering leader who, under the guidance of Robert Pleming, successfully completed the world’s most ambitious aviation heritage project when XH558 returned to the skies in 2007. He is also playing a key role in negotiations with the Civil Aviation Authority, with whom he is working to revise airworthiness requirements for the Complex category of ex-military aircraft. Pleming believes that the experience of Edmondson and his team, which today ensures that XH558 is more reliable than many military aircraft, has given Vulcan to the Sky Trust the world’s most complete expertise in the restoration, maintenance and safe operation of classic heritage jets. This knowledge, together with the workshop resources of the Vulcan to the Sky technical crew, will be made available to those who are operating the growing number of privately owned ex-military heritage jet aircraft.
“We are reaching a period where there are an increasing number of ex-military jets available for private ownership and operation, ranging from relatively simple trainers to more sophisticated multi-engined aircraft. Running them is a completely different proposition to operating say a Spitfire, or even an early jet like a Hunter,” says Edmondson. “We can help solve that challenge, advising on what is possible, developing and implementing restoration plans and providing maintenance and operational management within an approved quality system, to the world’s highest safety standards.”
”The new centre will help to keep many more of these wonderful vintage aircraft alive and safe, providing enjoyment for generations to come,” concludes Edmondson.
Highlighting the substantial step between the Vulcan and its immediate predecessor the Avro Lancaster, Dr. Pleming notes the contribution made by its designers. “We always think of the pilots and crew as the heroes and yes they are, their skills and bravery are an example to us all. But their achievements wouldn’t be possible without the incredible talents of the engineers whose genius, imagination and dedication allows us to do things that just a few years earlier would have been impossible,” says Dr. Pleming. “The various inspirational aspects of the new Vulcan facility will place these remarkable people alongside the aircrew as our heroes and role models, to inspire the next generation of engineers and aviators.”
Peel Airports, which operates Robin Hood Doncaster Sheffield Airport, sees the opportunities that the Vulcan offers for the airport, for the region and for XH558’s supporters. “Having the last flying example operating from ‘the home of the V-Force’, in the town that also hosted Britain’s first airshow, is a fabulous tribute to the men and women who were based here when the airfield played a key strategic role in Britain’s defences,” “Peel Airports is committed to developing all aspects of aviation activity at the airport and is delighted to be able to provide a home for this inspirational historic aircraft at what is today a modern commercial airport.”
How to help the Vulcan fly:
Sign-up for the eNewsletter to be amongst the first to learn about the new Friends Scheme with its range of special events and benefits.
The last flying Vulcan receives no funding from the RAF or from Government. She is almost entirely dependent on public support. To find out how to help keep her flying, visit www.vulcantothesky.org where there is also a history of the aircraft and a wide range of Vulcan merchandise including the beautifully-illustrated 50th Anniversary book and a limited number of the highly-regarded account of the Falklands mission, Vulcan 607, signed by Black Buck 1, squadron leader Martin Withers DFC.
Dr Robert Pleming FRAeS
CEO, Vulcan to the Sky Trust
Pictures of the May 25th launch event will be available showing Hangar 3 in use as a hospitality venue for 300 guests.
Why is the Vulcan Important?
The Avro Vulcan is an iconic example of British aerospace engineering at its world-beating best. The design brief was issued by the MoD in 1946 and the aircraft flew for the first time in 1952, just eleven years after the first flight of its predecessor, the Avro Lancaster. Its impressive list of technical achievements includes being the first successful large delta wing aircraft (leading directly to Concorde), innovations such as electrically-powered flying controls, one of the first applications of anti-lock brakes, and an agility that was so close to a jet fighter’s that it was given a fighter-style control column in place of the traditional bomber pilot’s yoke.
Success as a Cold War peacekeeper meant that the Vulcan might have flown its entire service life without ever entering combat if it hadn’t been for the Falklands Conflict in 1982. During a marathon 8,000 mile flight supported by eleven Victor tankers, Squadron Leader Martin Withers and his crew released the bombs over Port Stanley Airport that prevented Argentina operating its Mirage III fighters from the island and initiated the campaign that recaptured the Falklands. Two years later, the last Vulcans were withdrawn from service.
Today, only one Vulcan is left flying: XH558, owned by the Vulcan To The Sky Trust, a Registered Charity. Returned to the air in 2007, she has become an airshow phenomenon. “People forget that airshows attract seven million people annually. That’s second only to football,” says Dr Pleming. “An appearance by the Vulcan builds even on this remarkable level, typically increasing attendance by 20-40 percent. Airshow organisers talk about ‘the Vulcan Effect’ and have described the aircraft as a national treasure.”
Squadron Leader Martin Withers DFC (he won the Distinguished Flying Cross for his heroic Vulcan mission to Port Stanley) is a passionate supporter of the educational role of the plane. “Part of our mission is to ensure that young people learn about the knife-edge fear of the Cold War,” he explains. “If I had been ordered to press the button that release the nuclear payload over our enemy, there would almost certainly have been no Britain left to fly home to. The Vulcan is the most powerful symbol of a remarkable period in British history that we must never forget”
Withers is also passionate about the aircraft’s growing role in technical education. “This is one of the most iconic pieces of aerospace technology ever, and it is thoroughly British. The Vulcan fires young people with a passion to develop and build world-beating technologies. And we can help give them those skills through training modules that call upon the extraordinary knowledge, rigour and precision needed to restore and maintain the UK’s only flying ‘complex’ heritage aircraft.”
The Trust hopes to fly the aircraft for a few more years yet “The airframe has limited time before it will no longer be possible to renew its Permit to Fly,” explains Dr Pleming. “After that, we hope to develop a museum and educational centre around the plane, funded by conference, leisure and other commercial activities.”
Help to keep her flying at: http://www.vulcantothesky.org/donate.html
Join the Facebook community at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Vulcan-xh558/170427449654925
Sign-up for the new weekly eNewsletter at: http://www.vulcantothesky.org/register.html
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