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Emily Aveling meets WWII fighter pilot – and sits in the Queen’s seat!

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montageEmily Aveling, who is studying A level Business Studies, A level Media Studies, A level Design Technology and A level Photography at Long Road Sixth Form College, last featured on this news page cooking with Rosemary Shrager at the Ideal Home Show.

By way of a contrast, in April Emily attended a Royal Aeronautical Society talk by Captain Eric “Winkle” Brown RN: Flying Captured Enemy Aircraft in WWII, at the Department of Engineering at Cambridge University and was able to meet him afterwards. “I’m a door greeter for the Royal Aeronautical Society,” she explains, “and this means that I can attend lectures.”

Captain Brown, who was born on 19th January 1919, has flown 487 different types of aircraft including 52 individual German aircraft. A naval fighter pilot, he moved to RAE Farnborough in January 1944 to command the Aerodynamics flight and at the war’s end was Officer in Charge of German Aircraft Reception. As a result, he had the opportunity to fly and evaluate some of the most advanced aircraft that had been seen at the end of the war. Captain Brown was also in the first group of British servicemen to enter the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in April 1945, an event which he recounted in painful detail. Over 400 people attended the lecture, and Captain Brown received a standing ovation at the end.

During the Easter holidays, Emily and her father went on a guided tour of RAF Northolt, which included a visit to the Royal Squadron and a chance to see inside the aircraft used by Her Majesty the Queen, other members of the Royal Family, the Prime Minister and other VIPs. Emily was allowed to sit in the seat used by the Queen!

Photographs Robin Aveling ©2014:
Left: Emily with Captain Eric “Winkle” Brown and his wife Jean
Right: Emily in the Queen’s seat