ACA Woking News by Paul Holden, PRO

1 April 2004


The Woking Aircrew at FAST included:
Chairman Eric Smith (front row, 4th from Left), Vice Chairman Captain Laurie Taylor (back row, 4th from left), Secretary John Thorburn (back row, extreme right), Webmaster David Jackson (front row, extreme right), and PRO Sir Paul Holden (front row, second from left).
picture courtesy Aldershot News
the ACA
					visitors to FAST

Dr Geoff Rowlands
Chairman of FAST
To mark the 86th Anniversary of the founding of the RAF by Lord Trenchard, a small but very well rewarded party of members visited the Farnborough Air Services Trust (FAST) Museum, where they were received by FAST Chairman Dr Geoff Rowlands, in the actual room where Lord Trenchard signed the document creating the RAF in 1918.

Dr Rowlands, who enjoyed his research work as an RAE Scientist for 24 years, summarised for the benefit of the visitors the history of aeronautical, communications, sensing, presentation, environmental and control research, undertaken by RAE in close collaboration with RAF and RN operational personnel, which led to the development of so much advanced equipment for service and civil aviation during this period. "It was nice to be able to show them this side of the planes they were flying, and our part in it all" he said.

Jimmy James with PRO Paul Holden
James and Holden
Past Chairman Squadron Leader Jimmy James, who used to make fly-pasts over Farnborough during the airshows, said "As an Aircrew Association, everyone here has flown something - bombers, fighters, helicopters or transport aircraft in the past, so it was fascinating to see the origins of it all. Even for us experienced people, itís been an eye opener."

The museum took possession of a Mig 21 jet fighter and a Concorde engine pod a few weeks ago. Two more planes, a Gnat and a Jaguar, are due to arrive in the next few weeks. Since the museum opened six months ago it has had more than 8,000 visitors. It is free, though as a registered charity, the Trustees ask for a donation towards running costs.

Eric Smith enjoyed his new toys !
Stuart Holmes in the museum
Stuart Holmes

Additional reporting courtesy Aldershot News.
Other pictures by Eric Smith.

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