Team

The Hawker Typhoon Preservation Group is a charity that operates through its volunteers. At present, the core team consists of three trustees and a management team. The management team all have their own teams working for them. Every member of the team, from bottom to top, is a volunteer and is working on the project because they believe in it. For almost all, this is around full-time jobs and families. 

The Patron and growing team of Ambassadors joined the project over the winter of 2019/2020 and it is hoped that their knowledge, contacts, and public presence will continue to help drive the project forward.

The first step to becoming a team member is to join the Supporters’ Club. All volunteer opportunities are opened up primarily to Supporters’ Club members. Be part of the story.

The team

About Air Marshal (Retd.) Cliff Spink

Air Marshal Clifford Rodney Spink, CB, CBE, FCMI, FRAeS is a retired senior Royal Air Force officer. In 2019 following almost three decades of Warbird display flying he retired, performing his last display at the Duxford Battle of Britain airshow. Cliff is widely regarded as one of the most experienced Warbird pilots in the world and joins the Project as Patron, bringing with him a wealth of experience and contacts.

Air Marshal (Retd.) Cliff Spink

Patron

About Paul Bonhomme

With over 45 podiums, 19 race wins and an unmatched three World Championship titles across 10 seasons, Paul Bonhomme is the most successful pilot in Red Bull Air Race history. Paul has been flying for 40 years, is a Captain with British Airways on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner as well as one of the most respected Warbird pilots in the world. Paul is an Aircraft Restoration Company pilot and with a huge amount of experience on Hawker types, as well as other high performance piston Warbirds, he joins the Project as an Ambassador.

Paul Bonhomme

Ambassador

About James Holland

James Holland is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning historian, writer, and broadcaster. The author of a number of best-selling histories includingFortress Malta: An Island Under Siege, Battle of Britain, Dam Busters, and most recently, The War in the West. He has presented, and written, a large number of television programmes and series, including the BBC’s The Battle for Malta, and has scripted and is producing a film of his novel, A Pair of Silver Wings, largely set in Malta during the war. James is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Research Fellow at Swansea University. He is hugely passionate about the Typhoon, so much so that he commissioned a giant replica Typhoon, in the RB396’s colours, to sit atop the hill at the 2019 Chalke Valley History Festival, an event which he set up and now chairs. James joins the Project as an Ambassador.

James Holland

Ambassador

About Dave Robinson

After studying for a degree in Computer Studies, Dave began a career in supervisory control and data acquisition systems. He joined ABB Daimler Benz, working on the latest generation passenger trains but then moved into the food and beverage industry, specialising in multi-million-pound brewing control systems. Utilising his control systems experience, he has helped to implement multiple bespoke monitoring systems for BskyB. Following the successful implementation of several major projects, he moved into the medical sector, supervising the implementation of middleware for medical instrumentation as a Technical Lead. Whilst flying gliders for leisure he took an interest in 1940s military aircraft and in 1999 began researching the history of his local airfield (RAF Lichfield), concentrating on the movement of the Hawker Typhoon through 51 MU and the crews that operated them in RAF service. Specialising in researching, locating and securing surviving Typhoon parts throughout the world, he was responsible for the acquisition of the rear fuselage of combat veteran RB396, which has given the project the basis for an airworthy Hawker Typhoon.

Dave Robinson

Founding Trustee

About Sam Worthington-Leese

Sam began his flying career in 2006 on gliders before being selected to join the RAF as a Pilot in 2009. As a result of the 2010 Defence Review, he left the service in 2012. Qualifying as a commercial pilot in 2013, he spent five years as a professional flying instructor. For the latter part of this time he was based at Goodwood Aerodrome (formerly RAF Westhampnett), where he flew the Harvard IIb and other vintage aircraft for Goodwood Aeroclub, as well as being the first Non-Qualified Service Pilot (QSP) to be selected to fly for Ultimate High. During this time, he qualified as a Display Pilot. In 2017, he was asked by John Romain, founder of the Aircraft Restoration Company, to join their team at Duxford, where he flies and displays the Harvard and Spitfire. Since November 2018 he has been flying the 737NG for TUI Airways. He co-founded the Charity with Dave Robinson, after they met in 2014 whilst he was researching his Typhoon Pilot grandfather. Despite not having any formal training, he created the public profile of the charity. He developed it from almost nothing, driving the development of branding, PR, social media, website, merchandise, Supporters’ Club and fundraising activities. Following his continued development in the operation of Warbirds, he has been asked by the RB396 Supporters’ Club members to be RB396’s pilot, when she flies. Parts of his grandfather’s aircraft, whose final mission in WWII was from RAF Westhampnett, are to be incorporated into the rebuild.

Sam Worthington-Leese

Founding Trustee

About Paul Hooper-Keeley

Paul has had over 36 years’ experience within Industry & Commerce, the last 23 at Finance Director/Board level, with 16 years as an Interim/Equity CFO/Finance Director. He was President of the North West Midlands branch of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) from 2003 to 2005 and again from 2011 to 2014 and was then CIMA Chairman for the entire West Midlands region for a four-year tenure throughout 2015-18. He is now a member of the CIMA UK Board. In 2004/05, Paul attended a residential Master’s Certificate level course in Executive Coaching with the CEO’s Office and is currently on the National Coaching Register and has undertaken over four years as a mentor on CIMA’s pilot mentoring programme. He was born and brought up on the edge of a disused Lancaster base (RAF Spilsby) and spent his youth watching Phantoms, Lightnings, Vulcans, Shackletons, the BBMF and the Red Arrows et al fill the skies. He joined 2266 (Spilsby) Squadron Air Training Corps (ATC) and marshalled air shows at RAF Coningsby and RAF Waddington on several occasions, as well as flying, gliding and shooting with the Squadron. He was also in the colour party that dedicated the memorial at RAF East Kirkby in the early 1980s. He remains a member of the Lincolnshire Lancaster Association and, more recently, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) Supporters’ Club.

Paul Hooper-Keeley

Non-Executive Trustee

About Nick Adlam

Nick has always had a strong interest in aircraft and aviation from a young age and took his first flight in an RAF Bulldog when he was 12 years old, whilst a member of the Air Training Corps. He learnt to fly in Southampton University Air Squadron on the Grob Tutor and subsequently went on to enjoy a flying scholarship before joining the Royal Air Force as a trainee pilot in 2009. Also as a result of the 2010 Defence Review, he left the service. Undeterred, he went on to gain a private pilot’s licence at RAF Cranwell before joining British Airways as a cadet pilot in 2012. Now a Captain on the Airbus A320, he is currently training as a flight instructor in his spare time and is always looking to fly vintage aircraft.

He joined the RB396 Supporters’ Club back in 2016 having been on the same RAF Squadron as Sam Worthington-Leese and has performed a variety of roles for the charity over the past few years. He has a strong passion for single-engine piston fighters, and WWII history.

Nick Adlam

Membership Secretary

About Dave Brockhurst

Having completed a Vehicle Mechanic’s apprenticeship in 1973, Dave was unfortunately made redundant a year later. This spurred him on to start his own business in the motor trade, specialising in the service and repair of Volvos, which also involved developing and operating a retail side in spare parts and accessories. Dave is now retired but his successful business is still trading. His connection with the Hawker Typhoon comes from his father who was part of 182 Squadron during WWII as ground crew/engineer Leading Aircraftman (LAC).

Dave Brockhurst

Shop

About Jason Gore

Jason has worked in the London insurance market for 30 years. In that time, he has held numerous financial roles, which have ranged from technical accounting to credit control. He attended the original project launch in 2016 and has been an active member of the RB396 Supporters’ Club ever since, assisting the team on the stand at air shows during the past two years. He is a motorsport photographer, an aviation enthusiast and model builder.

Jason Gore

Finance/Accounts

About Dave Hands

Dave is a Senior Design Engineering Consultant in the automotive industry and has worked all over the world. He has been a private pilot for most of his life, having been a member of the British Gliding Team three times, a flying instructor, sheep farming microlight pilot in Australia, Power Pilot and he has flown hot air balloons. His connection with the Typhoon is through his father who was an engine flight test engineer for Napier, helping to develop the Sabre in a specially rigged Warwick Bomber test aircraft. This passion for flight and engineering was passed to him through his Father.

Dave Hands

Events

About Andrew Boakes

Andrew is a Chartered Architect and has worked in the construction industry for the whole of his professional career, some 40 years. For the last 18 years, he has run his own Practice. He became a member of the RB396 Supporters’ Club after researching his Grandfather’s RAF records and finding that he served with 174 Squadron, RB396’s Squadron, between April 1944 and March 1945 as a LAC aircraft fitter. His Grandfather certainly would have known the pilots that flew RB396 and who knows, may have even worked on RB396. He has an interest in aviation and military history, which has been utilised in his research role. Research areas cover identifying/locating parts and technical information, obtaining Typhoon crews’ stories and adding to the story of the Typhoon.

Andrew Boakes

Research

About Tim Roberts

Tim enjoyed a 32 year RAF career in aircraft engineering, leaving in 2005. After some years ‘on the tools’, following further qualifications, he joined the engineering management world in 1989, looking after the RAF Germany F4 Phantoms, Pembroke, Andover and Chipmunk aircraft. Further tours followed with the C130K and C130J Hercules and latterly he ran the Hercules Engineering Development and Investigation Team at RAF Lyneham. He joined the RB396 Supporters’ Club in 2017 in memory of his father, David ‘Bob’ Roberts, who was a Typhoon and Tempest engine fitter during WWII. Attending most of the 2017 and some 2018 air shows, he then took on the role of managing the facilities at the team’s base.

Tim Roberts

Premises

About Mark Collier

Mark has worked in the aerospace industry for forty years on many civil and military avionic systems and more recently within Procurement Systems Engineering and Manufacturing Engineering on A340-5/600, A380, A350 and A400M aircraft programmes. He is currently based in France. He was raised in Gravesend on the former civil and BoB airfield. His family’s war-time tales had a deep impact on him. As a young engineer, he had the good fortune to know Squadron Leader Pinkie Stark who had flown many Typhoon sorties and test flew RB396. Pinkie’s exploits had a deep influence on him.

Mark Collier

Europe/RoW

About Laurie Hilditch

Laurie served with the RAF, as an operational pilot and Weapons Instructor. He later became a Tornado and Eurofighter Project Test Pilot and Commanding Officer (CO) at the Empire Test Pilots’ School, Boscombe Down. After joining the NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency as Section Leader, he was responsible for leading the Typhoon Nations’ interests in flight test, operational requirements, and aircraft certification and verification. Laurie returned to Boscombe Down as Chief Test Pilot and was responsible for the safe and effective conduct of all aircraft trial activities undertaken by the Ministry of Defence (MOD)-QinetiQ partnership and MOD only trials. He later became Head of Aircraft Test and Evaluation at Eurofighter GmbH, where he was responsible for the definition and conduct of the pan-partner company Typhoon flight test and whole aircraft ground test programmes. Before retiring in 2018, Laurie became Senior Operational Advisor to the Royal Saudi Air Force Air Systems Division.

Laurie Hilditch

Standards

Become part of the story

Joining the Supporters’ Club is the best way to show your support for the project and to be part of the story. Your subscriptions will go directly towards the rebuild effort.

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