Gordon was born in Ayr and studied Mechanical Engineering at Paisley College of Technology, now UWS. He joined Scottish Aviation in 1975 as a Stress Engineer and worked on the Bulldog, Jetstream and BAe146 programmes. From 1988 he was Chief Engineer on the Jetstream 41 programme and subsequently Technical Director, BAe Systems Regional Aircraft. He joined Airbus in 1997 in Toulouse as Chief Engineer for the A340-500/-600 aircraft. After a three-year spell in Filton, he returned to Toulouse in 2007 as Chief Engineer on the A350. Upon retiring from Airbus in 2014, Gordon formed a consultancy company Arran Aeronautics Ltd and was awarded the RAeS Gold Medal for ‘work of an outstanding nature in aerospace’.
Tim graduated from Durham University on an RAF cadetship and served as an instructor in the UK on Jet Provosts and on Harvards in Pakistan. Joining the Harrier force, in 1980 he went to the Empire Test Pilots’ School and was the Project pilot for Harrier and Sea Harrier during the Falklands war. He joined British Aerospace as a Jetstream test pilot and led the certification of the Jetstream 41, the last British airliner to enter service.
John Stevens BSc
Born and raised in Ayrshire, John joined SAL as an apprentice in 1975, moving to the Design Office on the launch of the Jetstream 31 program. He attained a BSc in Engineering and Maths with the Open University. In a career spanning 45 years at Prestwick, John has been involved in Engineering and Support across a wide range of British aircraft including, Bulldog, Jetstream, ATP, HS 748, 146/Avro RJ, Nimrod and Typhoon, latterly as Head of Customer Support at BAE SYSTEMS.
Andy was born in West Africa, so he spent a lot of his childhood flying with WAAC and BOAC – his first flights were on a Bristol Freighter and an Argonaut. On returning to Cornwall, he joined the Air Training Corps and got his gliding wings. He joined the CAA, as an ATCO in 1973, and trained at Hurn Airport, Edinburgh Airport and LATCC. He also obtained a PPL, now lapsed. He spent 15 years doing tower and approach radar at Aberdeen Airport and a short time at Heathrow approach. Andy transferred to the Scottish Centre in 1992 and validated as a radar controller on most sectors. He joined the RAeS committee as Treasurer in 2013, on retiring from NATS.
Bob spent 30 years with Strathclyde Police and Police Scotland, 5 of them at Prestwick Airport in Special Branch. Retiring in 2017, Bob then worked for a year at NATS as an Aircraft Control Position Operator. He has been an aviation enthusiast all his life and is a keen aviation photographer. Bob holds a private pilot’s licence, flying a Eurostar from Prestwick.
John Russell BSc CEng MIMechE MRAeS
John was born in Renfrewshire and brought up and educated in Glasgow. His first flight was in a BEA Viscount, an event that triggered an interest in all things mechanical and aeronautical. After graduating from Glasgow, John joined Caledonian Airmotive at Prestwick, initially as a logistics analyst but quickly moving into powerplant engineering. He was Chief Engineer from 2003 until 2011. Still based at Prestwick, now with GE Caledonian, he now reports to the Services Engineering group at GE Aviation HQ in Cincinnati supporting the GEnx engine. John joined the Committee as Librarian in 2005.
Captain Rod Winhall
Born in Kingston-upon-Thames. Rod Winhall joined the ATC at school, which led to service as a Direct Entry pilot, ending on Shackletons at St Mawgan. After RAF service, Rod instructed at White Waltham for 7 years and flew for Vickers Shipbuilding's Communications Flight and later for Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) from Prestwick. After DEC was taken over, Rod joined NetJets Europe on the Hawker 800XP fleet, which was then just three aircraft; 10 years later that fleet had 46 aircraft and over 250 pilots, with Rod being one of four training captains. Portuguese rules meant retiring from flying the line at 60, and he then carried out flight simulator assessments of employment candidates; flew post-maintenance test flights at Hawarden for release to line, especially those requiring stalling checks; ferried 15 new aircraft from Little Rock, USA, to Lisbon and also flew Vodafone’s HS125-800. He has 17,645 hours on 17 aircraft types.
Living under the approach to Renfrew Airport then, shortly after, moving to a new house below the 24 approach to Glasgow, it was inevitable that aircraft interested Christine from the pram. She joined the then Department of Trade and Industry as an ATCA at Glasgow, then latterly at Prestwick Airport. On leaving ATC, Christine moved to work in operations in ground handling companies at Prestwick before retiring. From Chipmunks at Glasgow University Air Squadron to NASA crews returning from the International Space Station, it has been an interesting career.
David Carson BSc CEng FIET
By profession, Dave is an Electrical Engineer although he has always had a keen interest in aviation and aeronautical engineering. He joined the local office of the Electricity Board (SSEB) from university and had a wide range of roles and opportunities (including low level helicopter power line patrols) throughout Ayrshire before moving to the Glasgow Head Office of the business (now ScottishPower). His final role in ScottishPower before retiring was as the System Design Manager for the Transmission and Distribution networks in southern Scotland and the Distribution network in Merseyside and North Wales
Ray was born in Liverpool. Initially an ATC Assistant at Liverpool Airport and Ulster Radar, he was selected for controller training in 1970. Eight years at West Drayton followed before moving to Tiree in 1981 as ATCO/Aerodrome Manager, moving to the same role at Stornoway in 1982. After a brief stay in Edinburgh, Ray moved to Scottish Centre in 1988 and qualified on most of the civil sectors. He subsequently took on a number of training, development and operational management roles, retiring in 2009. He is married to Odile and has two grown-up children. Ray joined the Committee in 2007.
Athena Wu BEng(Hons)
In 2021 Athena worked with the Scottish Government as Sustainable Aviation champion to focus on safeguarding manufacturing, jobs and R&D in Scotland as part of the Aerospace Response Group remit. In 2018, she made a mid-career change to join the R&D team at Spirit Aerosystems after working mostly with TRL9 technologies for Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group. To date her portfolio covers platforms ranging from rockets to planes to submarines and future structures in several technical disciplines. Passionate about the Aerospace industry and effective pushing of frontiers, Athena wants to help promote agile planning and interconnectivity within the Aerospace community. In addition to the Royal Aeronautical Society (Prestwick.) she actively supports the Scottish Net Zero community, Fuel Change, Primary Engineer and the Women in Aviation and Aerospace Charter.
Giorgio was born in Spain from Italian parents and grew up in Madrid until age 12. Back in Italy he joined the Nunziatella Military School in 1967 and then the Italian Air Force Academy, from which he graduated as First Lieutenant and Military Pilot in 1974. After 25 years as fixed and rotary wing pilot, Giorgio left the Air Force with the rank of Colonel and joined the United Nations in New York as the first Chief of the Aviation Safety Unit in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) in 1996. Eight years later he returned to Europe and settled in Ayr. For the last 17 years Giorgio has worked as Aviation Advisor and Auditor, primarily for the Oil and Gas and Mining Industries. Giorgio is also a full member if ISASI, the International Society of Air Safety Investigators.
Outreach Team Member
Ian Adams MRAeS
Ian was recruited by Scottish Aviation Limited in 1953 and completed an apprenticeship in the Drawing Office. After National Service in the Far East Air Force, he re-joined the Design Department and stayed for the next 43 years! The Jetstream project was to dominate his career and he is proud of helping to build the design team that tackled the J31 and J41. He considers his work on the J41 forward fuselage as the pinnacle of his career.