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12 April 2010

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On Thursday 8 April, BBMF played host to visitors from the Instituion of Mechanical Engineers, representatives from business and industry that work closely with us, 2 very special veterans and the Mayor of Coningsby. The occaision was to receive a national heritage award from the Institution, these awards are usually given to a single artefact or invention that has earned its place in history, but it was decided that the entire flight was an example of engineering excellence and worthy of an award. The award, for the Avro Lancaster, Hawker Hurricanes and Supermarine Spitfires cited the planes as “a tribute to the airmen who lost their lives in the service of this country and an inspiration to all."

Plaque from Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Senior Engineering Officer at BBMF ,Warrant Officer Dave Marshall received the award from Isobel Pollock, Chair of the IMechE’s Heritage Committee who said: “This is the first time such an award has ever been given to a flight. Our Heritage Awards always go to artefacts and engineering exhibits that are unique and inspirational but the BBMF goes even further. The aircraft and their aircrew helped save the lives of so many in the Second World War so this is not just to remember those airmen who died but to celebrate and acknowledge those alive today. We must also not forget those that have painstakingly restored some of these planes and the Flight itself for the work and legacy in keeping the memory alive.”

BBMF Ground crew pushing fighter

Squadron Leader Ian Smith, Commanding Officer at the BBMF, said: "The Flight’s aircraft are unique within the modern RAF. The airworthy maintenance, to full flying condition, of these historic airframes falls to 25 aircraft tradesmen headed by a Warrant Officer engineer. They are, in turn, supported by all the necessary back-up provided by their home base, RAF Coningsby. The BBMF aircraft, although relatively simple by modern standards, demand particular skills and understanding that are no longer part of mainstream RAF training programmes. BBMF are exceptionally proud to be given this prestigious award and the honour increases public awareness of engineering, past and present. BBMF increases public awareness of those who have been lost in conflicts, past and present - Lest We Forget."

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