Air BP has announced the sponsorship of the new Collections Care Technician (CCT) post at the Royal Air Force (RAF) Museum, London. The CCT role involves the upkeep of the RAF’s heritage collection of over 100 aircraft from WWI and WWII, including the Spitfire and Lancaster. The sponsorship is a vitally important and integral contribution for the RAF Museum, which takes on even greater emphasis next year (2018) as the London site undergoes a major transformation coinciding with the centenary of the Royal Air Force.
Air BP’s co-operation with the RAF builds on a relationship of eight decades, which started with Air BP providing fuel to the RAF’s bi-planes. “We recognise the importance of the CCT role at the RAF Museum and by extension we are pleased to be supporting the Centenary programme. BP’s education programme in the UK is all about inspiring young people to gain a better understanding of how important the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) are for our industry and for their futures. Sponsoring aviation roles like this one and our Sterling Pilot PPL (Private Pilot’s Licence) scholarships demonstrates how Air BP is bringing this education agenda to life in the aviation industry,” said Elena Melia, general manager, Air BP UK and France.
The CCT role supports the museum by providing critical inspection, maintenance, movement and repair of the Museum’s aircraft, marine craft and vehicles. The CCT embarked on his engineering training at RAF Hendon under an apprentice programme led by the Museum’s senior RAF technician. As his role evolves he will also be able to call on the support of Neil Frances, operations manager, Air BP UK and France, to provide advice and technical assistance.
“We are hugely grateful for Air BP’s involvement,” said RAF Museum CEO, Maggie Appleton. “Corporate sponsorship is really important to us because the RAF Centenary programme not only covers a major refurbishment of the site but also includes a digital project, My RAF Story. It also includes initiatives aimed at helping young people access skills and training for an aviation career plus the new aircraft collection. The total investment commitment is £25.6 million. Without sponsorship it just wouldn’t happen.”
The collections care technician commented: “The majority of the aircraft here are static exhibitions and they require constant maintenance. Many young people may not be familiar with these aircraft, but in 10 years’ time when the number of veterans drops, these exhibitions will be crucial to tell the stories.”
Air BP has supported the RAF since the early 1930s. There is a record in the company’s 1927 Annual Report of supplying fuel to RAF aircraft, including a twin-engined Vickers Victoria which escorted an inaugural Imperial Airways’ flight through the Middle East with the Air Minister on board.
The transformed London Museum will welcome visitors to discover a new green heart of the community in Colindale, reflecting the Historic RAF Hendon Airfield. Innovative new galleries will explore the first 100 years of the RAF, its role today and invite visitors to imagine its future contribution and technology. It will also feature a new dedicated learning centre with significant STEM subject (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) learning programmes.