Navy Wings

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Navy Wings's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Navy Wings is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.navywings.org.uk

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
48 | NAVY WINGS
CEO Jock Alexander
Sea Fury FB11 – the last of the big
piston engine naval fighters
Jock Alexander spent over 38 years in the Royal Navy, initially
as a seaman officer and ship’s diver before gaining his pilot’s
wings in 1984 and spending the next 32 years in the Fleet
Air Arm. Today, he is the CEO of charity Navy Wings, which is
committed to preserving and flying historic British naval aircraft.
The charity has a collection that includes aeroplanes dating back to
1909 and strives to inspire remembrance in the people itreaches.
The Fly Navy Heritage Trust has existed in various forms since 1993, mainly
supporting the Royal Navy Historic Flight. Recently, we have restructured to operate
our own aircraft and to build an association of vintage Royal Navy aircraft under
the name of Navy Wings. I was appointed as chief executive in 2016 following my
career as a Fleet Air Arm pilot. Our revised structure was launched by one of the
charity’s ambassadors, Frederick Forsyth CBE, under the Navy Wings banner in
July2017.
Our mission
We aim to inspire future generations by bringing together the aircraft, people and
story of flying from ships, and we do this by flying our aircraft around the UK.
The Royal Navy Historic Flight has been instrumental in this activity, by operating
a collection of the most historically significant Royal Navy aircraft, displaying at
air shows and public events around the country. While a warship cannot provide
a presence inland, naval aircraft can increase public awareness of the Navy much
more widely. This model is also used by the RAF through the Battle of Britain
Memorial Flight.
FACTS ABOUT
NAVY WINGS
»CEO: Jock Alexander
»Established in 1993
»Based at Royal Naval Air
Station Yeovilton in Somerset
»Services: Preserving and
championing the heritage of
naval aircraft
»No. of employees: 6 full-time,
8 part-time
Navy Wings
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
48 | NAVY WINGS
CEO Jock Alexander
Sea Fury FB11 – the last of the big
piston engine naval fighters
Jock Alexander spent over 38 years in the Royal Navy, initially
as a seaman officer and ship’s diver before gaining his pilot’s
wings in 1984 and spending the next 32 years in the Fleet
Air Arm. Today, he is the CEO of charity Navy Wings, which is
committed to preserving and flying historic British naval aircraft.
The charity has a collection that includes aeroplanes dating back to
1909 and strives to inspire remembrance in the people itreaches.
The Fly Navy Heritage Trust has existed in various forms since 1993, mainly
supporting the Royal Navy Historic Flight. Recently, we have restructured to operate
our own aircraft and to build an association of vintage Royal Navy aircraft under
the name of Navy Wings. I was appointed as chief executive in 2016 following my
career as a Fleet Air Arm pilot. Our revised structure was launched by one of the
charity’s ambassadors, Frederick Forsyth CBE, under the Navy Wings banner in
July2017.
Our mission
We aim to inspire future generations by bringing together the aircraft, people and
story of flying from ships, and we do this by flying our aircraft around the UK.
The Royal Navy Historic Flight has been instrumental in this activity, by operating
a collection of the most historically significant Royal Navy aircraft, displaying at
air shows and public events around the country. While a warship cannot provide
a presence inland, naval aircraft can increase public awareness of the Navy much
more widely. This model is also used by the RAF through the Battle of Britain
Memorial Flight.
FACTS ABOUT
NAVY WINGS
»CEO: Jock Alexander
»Established in 1993
»Based at Royal Naval Air
Station Yeovilton in Somerset
»Services: Preserving and
championing the heritage of
naval aircraft
»No. of employees: 6 full-time,
8 part-time
Navy Wings
49NAVY WINGS |
COMMUNITY
However, increasing pressure on
budgets, and regulatory challenges
arising from operating a mix of
modern and historic aircraft, has
forced the Navy to cease Historic Flight
operations. It has therefore been
agreed that the Flight’s five aircraft will
transfer to our ownership, where they
can be operated more cost-effectively
on the Civilian Aircraft Register.
The difficulty of
demonstrating compliance
Operating historic aircraft involves many
technical and financial challenges.
The regulatory environment becomes,
rightly, more demanding as society
becomes increasingly riskaverse.
However, demonstrating compliance
with the regulatory framework
is costly and often beyond the
capacity of volunteers. Concurrently,
increasing liability legislation forces
aviation equipment manufacturers
to be extremely wary of supporting
historicaircraft.
Nevertheless, as the legal situation
becomes ever more restrictive and
companies are pressurised to distance
themselves from liability by association,
we continue to need access to original
drawings and design diagrams if we
are to make replacement parts for
these historic aircraft.
To give a simple example, if you want
to make an additional cylinder for
your car, you can do it yourself in the
garden shed, but if that part is to go
into an aeroplane or helicopter, it
must be manufactured by an approved
manufacturer to a recognised design.
This is clearly common sense and we
would not argue against it, but in this
litigious environment, we must find
some way of protecting the reputation
of companies that wish genuinely and
responsibly to celebrate their technical
achievements by helping to keep these
priceless aircraft flying.
Beyond this, we believe there are
other significant areas in which
the government could support us
and similar organisations. The first
of these is the application of VAT,
and the second is the Ministry of
Defence’s approach to the disposal
of old equipment. The first is easy:
classic cars are subject to a lesser
VAT rate than new ones, so why not
vintageaircraft?
The second would require a change in
the interpretation of policy, whereby
surplus equipment is currently disposed
of almost entirely on the basis of
financial value. Intangible benefits
to heritage are usually ignored, and
important opportunities to celebrate
our proud, pioneering aviation heritage
are often lost. The good news is that
a Heritage Working group, working
under the All-Party Parliamentary Group Wasp HAS Mark 1 –
operated from Royal
Navy frigates in the
1960s and 1970s
Swordfish Mark 1 – the
last two flying examples
in the world are with
Navy Wings
We aim to
inspire future
generations by
bringing
together the
aircraft,
people and
story of flying
from ships
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
50 | NAVY WINGS
on General Aviation, is now addressing
the issues of manufacturer liability, tax
and the disposal of MODassets.
Finally, to operate these additional
aircraft, we must almost double our
annual income from about £650,000
to just over £1,000,000 within the next
five years. This is a not inconsiderable
challenge, but we have a plan to
deliver this increase and are already
seeing tangible rises in our income
from sales of merchandise, coupled
with a growing supporter base.
Inspiring future innovation
The future is bright. Once the Royal
Navy aircraft are transferred to us,
we will have the largest collection
of operational, historic naval aircraft
in this country, if not the world.
Along with our privately owned, but
affiliated, associate collection, we now
have aircraft ranging from the Royal
Naval Air Service in the Great War,
through the Second World War to the
post-Cold War era, with several other
exciting projects in the pipeline.
The story of maritime aviation, from
both aircraft carriers and small ships,
is one in which the UK played the
leading role, pioneering almost every
world-leading technical innovation.
Operationally, whether shooting down
zeppelins or conducting the world’s
first strategic bombing raid in the
Great War, sinking the Bismarck in
the Second World War, or supporting
troops in Afghanistan and Iraq,
Royal Navy aircrew, along with their
engineering and ground support
teams, have been at the front line for
over 100 years.
Aerospace and aviation rely heavily
on technological innovation, and
the achievements of naval flying can
inspire and encourage the skills of
inventiveness and problem-solving so
crucially needed in our modern world.
This narrative is an important one
for the nation, and it is now being
delivered by a small charity based
at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton
in Somerset, which is punching way
above its weight in its mission to tell
this exhilarating story.
The future is
bright... we
will have the
largest
collection of
operational,
historic naval
aircraft in this
country, if not
the world
Sea Vixen – the last
flying example in the
world of this historic
Cold War jet

www.navywings.org.uk

This article was sponsored by Navy Wings. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development