Spitfire Scholarship: Winners Announced
Two candidates have been selected to take on The Spitfire Scholarship for injured service personnel. Nathan Forster and Corporal Alan Robinson will begin training out of Boultbee Flight Academy this autumn. Launched by Prince Harry in February this year, the Spitfire Scholarship for wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans has been supported by The Royal Foundation’s Endeavour Fund, and is being deliveredby the Boultbee Flight Academy.
Nathan and Alan were chosen after successfully completing the rigorous selection process which involved initial flying training with two disabled flying charities, Aerobility and Flying for Freedom as well as a weekend of flight and aptitude testing aided by expertise from RAF Cranwell’s Officer and Aircrew Selection Centre. Prince Harry had the opportunity to meet Nathan and Alan during a visit to Boultbee Flight Academy in the summer.
They will now begin training and will follow a similar flight training programme as WW2 pilots culminating with both pilots taking a solo flight in a Spitfire, to help mark the 75th anniversary of The Battle of Britain in September 2015. The Scholarship draws inspiration from the pilot Douglas Bader who flew throughout the Second World War with 20 individual aerial victories despite losing both his legs in 1931. Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader DSO DFC flew his final sortie from the same airfield where the Boultbee Flight Academy now stands.
“We have been utterly overwhelmed by the response to the Scholarship and the incredible people that we have met during this process meaning it was extremely difficult to choose the final two. It remains an inspirational project both in terms of the people involved and what they will achieve, that being soloing the Supermarine Spitfire. And, of course, none of this would possible without the very generous support from The Royal Foundation’s Endeavour Fund, Rolls-Royce, Scott Investment Partners, the Royal Air Force, and the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.’
Matt Jones, Managing Director Boultbee Flight Academy.