THE Sandy GUNN

Aerospace careers PROGRAMME

The majority of the men who flew AA810 had an engineering background; indeed for some their career progression was halted permanently with their commitment to defend their country which was newly at War. Sandy Gunn was studying to be a diesel engineer when he joined the RAF in 1940; he would never return to realise his career prospects.

Now, 100 years on from his birth and recognising the severe shortage of future engineers in the UK, and indeed the western world, on 27 September 2019 at Cranfield University Airfield, the Spitfire AA810 Project launched the Sandy Gunn Aerospace Careers Programme (ACP). The purpose of the Sandy Gunn ACP being to:

  • excite young people’s interest in engineering generally via the medium of aerospace;

  • inform them of the current and potential related career opportunities available;

  • explain the routes into those careers;

  • build a support network of like-minded individuals that will help maintain, and further, the purpose of the ACP as each member progresses their career.

  • The ACP will utilise a travelling presentation road show with ACP staff and industry speakers which will move around the UK to spread relevant and up-to-date industry information. Additionally an annual workshop will be held where those interested in discovering the hands-on skills required to restore WW2 aircraft can do so in the project’s workshop.

ACP presentations commenced in the Autumn term of 2021 in London and will travel around the midlands and northern England during the rest of the year. The Spring and Summer schedule for 2022 is now being finalised.  Attendance at the presentations will be at the discretion of the host schools and colleges involved; attendance on the workshop will be by national competition. The first workshop will take place in October 2022 and applications for these workshops opened on the 27th September 2021 and will repeat each year.

Speaking of the ACP Sandy’s nephew Alastair commented:

“Too many of the old skills are disappearing fast and some have already been lost forever. It is really important to me and to the industry that these skills are developed and kept alive for future generations and are not allowed to die.

My uncle gave up his career in engineering to join the R.A.F.V.R. and serve his country, I am extremely delighted that this program is named after him and that it will assist today’s young people with their education, an education that was cut so tragically short for Sandy.”

More information is available from the ACP dedicated website www.acp-aa810.co.uk