Meet The Team
Sir Michael Arthur KCMG
Sir Michael is Project AA810’s Honorary President. With three decades of earlier experience in Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service, including appointments as HM Ambassador to Germany and, prior to that, The UK’s High Commissioner in New Delhi, Sir Michael is now Senior Vice President of Boeing and President of Boeing International. He is a member of the Company’s Executive Council.
As such, Sir Michael is responsible for Boeing’s international strategy and corporate operations outside of the United States, overseeing 18 Regional Offices in key global markets. His responsibilities include developing the Company’s growth and productivity initiatives outside the USA, forming new business and industrial partnerships, overseeing international affairs, enhancing Boeing’s local presence, and providing global functional support.
Boeing, the largest aerospace company in the world, has worked in partnership with the British aviation industry for 80 years, and continues to grow this relationship throughout the 21st century. During WWII Boeing provided training aircraft for RAF pilots, some of whom would go on to fly the Spitfire. And like the Spitfire in its time, Boeing’s aircraft were then, and are today, at the very forefront of aviation technology.
Professor Sir Peter Gregson FREng MRIA DSc
Sir Peter is Project AA810’s Honorary Vice-President. An extremely distinguished research engineer, Sir Peter is Chief Executive and Vice-Chancellor of Cranfield University. He has previously been President and Vice-Chancellor of Queen's University Belfast and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Southampton University. He was appointed Knight Bachelor for Services to Higher Education in 2011.
Educated at Imperial College London, he has received the Donald Julius Groen Prize of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the Rosenhain Medal and Prize of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining for his research on the development of advanced aerospace aluminium alloys. He holds Honorary Degrees in the UK, Ireland, India and Japan.
Elected to Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2001 and the Royal Irish Academy in 2007, he has been a non-executive director of the Rolls-Royce Group, served on the Board of SEMLEP, the Councils of CBI Northern Ireland, the Royal Academy of Engineering, and the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils. He served as Deputy Lieutenant of Belfast from 2007 to 2013.
The Rt. Hon The Viscount Trenchchard DL
Alongside Sir Michael Arthur, President, and Professor Sir Peter Gregson, Vice-President, Viscount Trenchard completes Project AA810’s ‘Presidential Team’. In addition to this overall role, Lord Trenchard also chairs Project AA810’s Advisory Board, the principal, but not exclusive, purpose of which is the establishment of a National UK Monument to the men of the WWII Photograph Reconnaissance Unit. Commissioned into the Cambridge University OTC, he served with 4th (Volunteer) Battalion, The Royal Green Jackets until he moved to Japan in 1980. In 2006 Lord Trenchard was appointed Honorary Air Commodore of 600 (City of London) Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force. He is a Deputy Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, and a Lieutenant of the City of London. He was Chairman of the RAF Benevolent Fund from 2006 until 2013, and has been Deputy Chairman since 2014.
Lord Trenchard has pursued a career in international finance. He joined Kleinwort Benson as a graduate trainee in 1973 and spent 23 years with the firm until its acquisition by Dresdner Bank in 1996. He was responsible for the firm’s Japanese operations for 11 years and was also involved in its operations in other Asian countries. He was a Director of the Japan Securities Dealers’ Association from 1994 to 1995, and was Chairman of the Securities Committee of the European Business Community in Japan from 1993 to 1995, becoming Vice-Chairman of the Community’s Council in 1994.
He joined Robert Fleming & Co as a Director in 1996, leaving in 2000 following the firm’s acquisition by JP Morgan, Chase & Co. He then worked for Prudential Financial of the US, again spending extended periods in Tokyo. In 2006 he was appointed Director-General of the European Fund and Asset Management Association in Brussels, returning to London to join Mizuho International as Managing Director, Investment Banking, from 2007 to 2012. He has served as a Director of a number of other companies, including Dryden Wealth Management and Lotte Chemical UK. He is currently Chairman of Stratton Street PCC, since 2006, a Director of Adamas Finance Asia, since 2017 and a Consultant to Japan Bank for International Cooperation, since 2017. He was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, by HM The Emperor of Japan, in 2014. Lord Trenchard became Senior Advisor to Her Majesty’s Government on Japanese Financial Services in 2018.
Dr Michael Smith – MA DProf FRAeS FRSA
Michael is a Director of Spitfire AA810 Restoration Ltd, and Chairman of The Sandy Gunn Aerospace Careers Programme. He has many decades’ experience of leadership divided between the public and international business sectors working at all levels up to and including Ministerial and plc Chairman/CEO. Commissioned into the RAF in 1969, he undertook a diversity of appointments which included being an executive in the field as a military Legal, Finance and HR Director; and a tutor at the RAF College and the RAF Staff College. Michael has chaired many Boards of Inquiry and sat as a member of over 30 Courts Martial. Leaving the Military for management consultancy in 1990, his Service career culminated as an adviser to the UK Chief of Defence Staffs and Secretary of State on financial issues for 330,000 Regular and Reserve personnel, plus senior Civil Servants, Senior Judiciary and NHS Consultants.
He founded his first company, Griffonage, in 1993 specialising in executive & NED search, adding coaching in 2006. Focusing on aerospace, defence and Formula 1 motorsport he conducted over 10,000 hours of interviewing, coaching and consultancy at senior executive level, primarily in the UK, USA and Continental Europe. Realising the value of that company in 2012, he undertook a period as a Visiting Professor then, in 2015, with three other international executives, founded Experience Tells Ltd which continues today.
Michael holds a Professional Doctorate in Senior Executive Coaching & Team Learning, and an MA in Business Coaching. His Doctoral thesis was entitled A Learning Team Approach to Executive Recruitment, Coaching & Consultancy. In 2012 he authored, and had accredited, a post-graduate course entitled Internal Coaching for Business Solutions. This was followed by the peer-reviewed publication Two Coaches Operating as a Learning Pair. He is a Fellow of the CIPD, of the RAeS, of the IoD, and of the RSA. He is a Liveryman of the City of London, and the 2018/19 Master of the City Livery Company - The Fan Makers. Consequently, he remains a member of that Company’s Court.
Tony Hoskins – ACP Engineering Workshops & Executive Director, Spitfire AA810 Restoration Ltd
As well as running several aviation businesses which incorporate both aircraft restoration and carrying out contract RVSM renewal work for a global aerospace company, Tony also works in the Warbird restoration industry. Having started in aviation engineering in 1994, and forming the first of his businesses in 2006 his experience includes both small general aviation aircraft, right up to wide-body commercial aircraft during his time as a Licensed Line Engineer with a major UK based airline. As well as having made several major engineering TV documentaries shown globally, Tony is a four times published author on military aviation history. Tony holds a PPL and enjoys flying vintage aircraft. Outside of work he enjoys vintage and classic cars, steam rallies, pub lunches and is always researching ‘the next book’.
Christopher Smith BA (Hons)
Christopher Smith is a non-executive director of the Board of Spitfire AA810 Restoration Ltd and, when ACP Ltd converts to a charity later in 2020, a Trustee of that charity; he is responsible for providing financial oversight to the whole AA810 Project. Christopher has more than twenty years of auditing experience and is a senior audit partner with Grant Thornton UK LLP and, as such, is the firm’s National Head of Audit Technical and Head of the firm’s Financial Reporting Advisory Group in London.
Working with a mixture of private and listed clients (London Full List, AiM and TSX) in the UK and internationally he has considerable experience of working in various jurisdictions and advising on accounting matters affecting different countries and sectors. Christopher is also a key member of the firm’s UK and global mining team with considerable experience of the oil, gas and mining sectors.
Adrian F. Jones MA, FCA
Adrian read History at Cambridge, and then joined Arthur Andersen (gaining his ACA qualification). After a short period in South Africa, he worked in a variety of financial roles at Belron International (the parent company of Autoglass) for thirteen years - the last seven, as Group Finance Director of an organisation with a turnover of $1.7bn, over 13,000 employees, and operating across 17 countries.
He subsequently worked for two Family businesses, handling FD, CEO, and Chairman type roles across a number of non-synergistic operations and countries. For the last three years, he has operated in a consultancy capacity, working on projects of his choosing. His skills cover fund raising, acquisitions and disposals, and strategy formulation.
Adrian is married, lives in Ascot, Berkshire, and has three grown up children. He still actively participates in sports, but of a gentler persuasion - golf, skiing (both water and snow), running - and regularly visits the Principality Stadium in Cardiff to watch the Welsh Rugby Team.
Mark Johnson BSc (Hons) FRAeS
Having graduated in Production Engineering, Mark’s early career was as a pilot, with his ‘ex-RAF’
father, constructing, displaying and promoting ‘Quickie’ home-build aircraft. He moved on to a
successful 35-year career in aerospace manufacturing and after working his way up to MD level of
multi-site businesses, in 2004 Mark founded Sigma Components, and established manufacturing
businesses in the UK and China.
Having built Sigma to over 800 employees and over £50m turnover serving blue-chip customers such
as Rolls-Royce, Airbus, Safran and Meggitt. Having a desire to start a Non-Executive career, in 2020,
Mark handed the business to a new CEO, whilst remaining on Sigma's Main Board of Directors as
Mark lives with wife Judith in the Midlands and has 2 adult children. He has a passion for aviation
and yachting and spends a lot of time travelling on his boat ‘Dreams to Reality’.
John McGregor OBE
John spent his early working life in the Chemical industry and, following thirteen years with
Smith and Nephew Research and Development, set up his own company, Contamac Ltd, and
built a laboratory in his garden shed where he developed and produced materials for contact
lenses. Having established the company, its rapid growth resulted in three relocations and
significant expansion during which a number of new materials were developed and marketed.
With the company trading globally, and the employment of 130 staff, came the receipt of two
Queens’ Awards for Enterprise, the first for Export, the second for Innovation.
This was followed by appointment as an OBE and further expansion of the company into Bio Medical
Engineering then, turning full circle, expanding further to the manufacture of specialist
chemicals. The company was acquired by HaoHi Biological Technology in 2015.
John retired in 2020 after handing on the Managing Directorship to his son whom he believes
can fill the position better than he ever could. John lives with his wife in Saffron Walden and
enjoys having their five children, six grandchildren and two great grandchildren living within
ten miles. John has had a lifelong interest in aviation and shooting which he is now
addressing enthusiastically having the time to do so.
Al Pinner MBE BSc
Al was educated as a boarder at Stamford School from 1973 to 1983 before going up to Kings College London to read Physics and Electronics. He joined the RAF in August 1983 as a University Cadet and on completion of his degree he went to Initial Officer Training. Following flying training Al was posted to be the first ab initio pilot on No 1 Harrier GR5 course at RAF Wittering. Completing the course he was posted to No 1(F) Sqn and at the end of the tour was selected for the Qualified Weapons Instructor course before posting to No IV(AC) Sqn at RAF Laarbruch in Germany. During his tour at Laarbruch he flew on the first RAF Harrier II operational missions over both Iraq and Bosnia in those respective conflicts.
Subsequent tours were on exchange to Canada on the CF18, during which he was promoted in 1998, and a tour as a Flt Cdr on IV (AC) Sqn at RAF Cottesmore followed during which time Al’s tally of operational sorties surpassed 100, encompassing the roles of Reconnaissance, Close Air Support, Air Interdiction and Air Defence. Following this tour he was posted to No 20(R) Sqn again at RAF Wittering as a staff QWI, and subsequently was trained to become an A2 QFI on the Harrier. Al became OC BBMF in Jan 2006 after 3 seasons as a volunteer fighter pilot. After leaving the RAF Al moved into corporate jet operations and flies a Gulfstream G650 for a private client. He has around 8000 flying hours, of which over 3900 have been on single seat fighters.
Captain Clive Philips – Training Captain with a UK based airline.
Clive has always had a passion for aviation from early childhood and at the age of 17, thanks to an Air League and RAF flying scholarship he achieved a pilot's licence. After leaving school he began commercial flying including light aircraft flying instruction, aerial photography, air taxi flying and maritime fishery protection flying. He has now operated Commercial Air Transport flights for the last 21 years operating for a number of operators, and his current roles include trainer and simulator examiner and is also responsible for the operational standards at his airline’s main base. He believes the aerospace industry is very important to the UK and that it is therefore vital to engage with young people to ensure continued success.
Norman Fraser LLB – Project AA810 Legal Counsel
Norman brings 21 years of legal experience advising banks, lessors and PE funds on a range of finance and corporate matters. Founding his aviation specialist law firm in 2010, Norman advises on the acquisition, financing and leasing of aircraft and engine portfolios.
Onor Crummay (MSc, Oxon) – Educational integration, Pilot Officer CCF RAF Section.
Onor is the Head of History at a top independent school in London and has responsibility for coordinating the educational integration of the ACP with youth organisations and schools. An adult instructor in the RAF CCF section, Onor’s fascination with history and aerospace stems from a life-long passion for the Spitfire and its iconic place in British history, and she is passionate about engaging young people with the opportunities in the aerospace industry as well as the legacy of the Spitfire. She pursued both an undergraduate degree and a masters in history with a focus on the RAF in 1940, as well as the global reach of the First World War and the atypical experiences of the conflict which have further enhanced her subject knowledge and interest.
Outside working life, Onor is a passionate military historian, surfer, and mountaineer. She has run several marathons, led battlefield tours, and is a self-confessed ‘aviation enthusiast’ frequenting many airshows.
Fernanda Lewis – Liaison with Youth Organisations
Fernanda Lewis is a uniformed adult volunteer with the Royal Air Force Air Cadets; currently a Warrant Officer RAFAC she is the Officer in Charge at 33F Battersea Squadron in London. The squadron has a long history having been formed as an Air Defence Cadet Unit in 1938, with approximately 45 young members they are an active London Air Cadet squadron. By day Fernanda is a milliner running her own business, Fernanda Lewis Millinery, creating bespoke handmade hats and headpieces for special occasions, weddings and the races.
Paul Thomas – MSc (Hons) ACP Website Maintenance
Paul Thomas is the Head of Computer Science at a top Independent boys’ school in London having responsibility for maintaining and updating the ACP website. Through improper advice in school years, a pilot career was believed beyond his reach. An application into the RAF in his early twenties ended part way through due to a delayed application and falling outside of age criteria for pilot entry. After serving as a response officer for Surrey Police he moved into a career in education.
Working at an independent school and volunteering in the CCF, a chance encounter with a flying instructor gave him an affordable opportunity into aviation. In 2014 he finished the final exams for a PPL and currently flies PA-28’s and Cessna 172’s from Fairoaks airport in Surrey. Through his early experiences of trying to find routes into the aeronautical industry, he has a keen interest in the ACP and ensuring young people of today have the accurate information needed to follow their passion.