Many people will be aware that the aircraft here at the Museum are cared for by a team of volunteer engineers. Many of these skilled tradesmen are either retired air force technicians while others are still actively serving in the Royal Air Force and give up free time to take pleasure in maintaining our aircraft.
However you may not be aware of our youngest volunteer who is only just starting out in her career as an aircraft engineer. Eloise has quickly become part of the aircraft engineering team as she gain experience to propel her forwards in her ambition to be an aviation engineer of the future.
Here’s her guest blog post and comments on how she spends her time at the Museum, her ambitions and how she plans to succeed in her chosen field:
“For the past 6 months I have been volunteering at the museum as part of the live engineering team. It has all been going towards my Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award which I am currently working towards with Air Cadets.
During my time at the museum I have worked on multiple aircraft including the Victor and the Meteor. As part of the Victor team I have helped with the general maintenance of the aircraft. A very memorable moment was being in the cockpit during the 25th anniversary of her being at Elvington.
On the Meteor I have been able to get hands on with the jobs as parts have to be built and fitted to the aircraft rather than just the day to day jobs that are done on the Victor. I enjoy working on both as it give some variety to widen my engineering knowledge.
Before volunteering at the museum I did a level 2 and 3 BTEC in engineering at school so had only really done theory and small projects as part of the course. By doing all this I have made certain that I thoroughly enjoy both the classroom and the practical side of engineering.
My love of aircraft and engineering began when I was young as Grandparents used to bring me to the museum regularly as well as my parents taking me to science museums and attractions. I have always been supported to pursue engineering as a career and I decided I wanted to join the RAF that was the same. As soon as I decided this I joined the RAF Air Cadets in February 2017 and for the past 2 years I have grown in confidence, learnt things that will help me prepare for the RAF and achieved many things including being promoted to corporal and being awarded an award for academic achievement.
I have recently started the application for the RAF so my time at Elvington has gone from volunteering for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award to work experience for what will hopefully turn out to be my career as an aircraft technician. Not many people my age can say that they have had the experiences I have had at the museum and I will continue to enjoy everything I do from crawling into the small spaces the rest of the team can’t to learning how to do new things I never thought I could.
Aviation needs young people like Eloise to embrace engineering as a career and we’re very proud to be part of her journey as a successful aircraft engineer.