in Aerospace / Space / Events

Air League celebrates excellence in aviation, aerospace and space

Posted 23 June 2022

The President, Chairman and Council of the Air League have announced the recipients of the 2022 Air League honours and awards that were presented at the Palace of Westminster yesterday.

Above: Rolls-Royce Plc  were the recipients of The Founders’ Medal - the Air League’s highest distinction - awarded for the most meritorious achievement in the whole field of British aviation, aerospace and space.
Courtesy Air League

A number of individuals and organisations that have made an outstanding contribution to aviation, aerospace, and space in the United Kingdom were recognised for their remarkable achievements, with a series of awards presented by Aviation Minister Robert Courts MP.  A tri-service rotary flypast from the Army Air Corps, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy also took place over the Palace of Westminster Terrace.
The Founders’ Medal, the Air League’s highest distinction, awarded for the most meritorious achievement in the whole field of British aviation, aerospace, and space was awarded to Rolls-Royce Plc for the pioneering technological advancements and record-breaking flights achieved by the ACCEL project. Electroflight and YASA were also acknowledged for their ground-breaking work with a framed address.
In November 2021 the ‘Spirit of Innovation’, an all-electric aircraft built by Rolls-Royce broke two world speed records, averaging 555.9 km/h (345.4 mph) over 3 km, and 532.1km/h (330 mph) over 15 km. The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), the World Air Sports Federation that controls and certifies world aeronautical records, confirmed the two records in January 2022.
The ‘Spirit of Innovation’ is part of the ACCEL or ‘Accelerating the Electrification of Flight’ project. Half of the project’s funding is provided by the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), in partnership with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Innovate UK.
The aircraft was propelled on its record breaking runs by a 400kW (500+hp) electric powertrain and the most power-dense propulsion battery pack ever assembled in aerospace. Rolls-Royce worked in partnership with aviation energy storage specialist Electroflight and automotive powertrain supplier YASA. As well as a stunning technical achievement, the project and world record runs provided important data for our future electric power and propulsion systems for all-electric urban air mobility and hybrid-electric commuter aircraft. The characteristics that ‘air-taxis’ require from batteries, for instance, are very similar to what was developed for the ‘Spirit of Innovation’.
Rolls-Royce Electrical Customer Director and ACCEL Project Lead Matheu Parr said: “On behalf of the ACCEL team, I would like to say thank you to the Air League for the incredible honour of receiving the Founders’ medal. I would like to thank our partners Electroflight and YASA, for their collaboration and the Aerospace Technology Institute for their support in achieving this pioneering breakthrough.  Achieving the all-electric world-speed record was a fantastic achievement, that we hoped would inspire future engineers and crucially the advanced battery and propulsion technology developed for this programme has exciting applications to products that will be powering all-electric aircraft in the near future.”
Rolls-Royce has an incredible history of flying speed record attempts and breaking records, dating back to the Schneider Trophies of the early 1930s. The speed achieved by test pilot and Rolls-Royce Director of Flight Operations Phill O’Dell in the ‘Spirit of Innovation’ was more than 213.04 km/h (132 mph) faster than the previous record set by the Siemens eAircraft powered Extra 330 LE Aerobatic aircraft in 2017. Never in the history of the FAI record attempts has there been such a significant increase in speed over such a short time, highlighting the rapid pace at which electrification of aerospace is advancing.

Emma Mistry was presented the Scott-Farnie Medal to recognise her work in the field of air education. For over a decade Emma acted with the highest distinction as a representative and ambassador for the Air League, and was instrumental in the support, development and encouragement of thousands of young people who benefited from Air League scholarships, bursaries, and further opportunities.
Emma, a Royal Air Force Veteran, is someone many ex-scholars would consider as a friend. Emma’s unique empathy, kindness, and encouragement of airmindedness to the next generation demonstrates a clear dedication to the Air League’s vision of changing lives through aviation.
The Billy Deacon Search and Rescue Award Trophy which is generously sponsored by Bristow Helicopters and Breitling UK is in memory of Billy Deacon, a winchman who tragically lost his life during the rescue of the crew from the cargo ship ‘Green Lily’, which foundered and was lost on the coast of the Shetland Isles in 1997.
This award is focused on meritorious and selfless acts of courage undertaken by winchmen and women and winch operators in the aircraft of the UK and Ireland’s Search and Rescue region. The 2022 Award has been made to Winch Paramedic Abi Wild, aircrew at the Newquay Search and Rescue Helicopter Base.
Framed addresses were presented to recognise remarkable achievement within aviation, aerospace, and space. 2022 saw awards presented to David Mackay, recognising his illustrious career and endeavours in space as Virgin Galactic’s Chief Pilot, Kanchana Gamage to recognise her remarkable achievements and progress under the Aviatrix Project, and Travis Ludlow to acknowledge his achievement as the youngest pilot to fly solo around the world.


Other Stories
Latest News

JET lifts off with new UK CAA partnership

Youth charity the Jon Egging Trust (JET) is delighted to announce a partnership with the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) which will allow an additional 4,000 vulnerable students to benefit from the charity’s science,

Dstl demos contribution to air power

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) recently hosted an Air Systems Showcase demonstrating the impact of its research portfolio across UK military aviation.

Serco Fylingdales team awarded ‘Space Team of the Year’

The Serco Fylingdales team have received the ‘Space Team of the Year’ award in recognition of their 24/7 resolute support to space operations throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Aviation security checks accelerated

The UK Government has accelerated the national security vetting checks that all new aviation recruits must undergo, with Accreditation Checks being completed in around five days on average and Counter Terrorist Checks in under 10

NCSC urges organisations to prepare for long haul on Russia-Ukraine

Cyber security experts at the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – a part of GCHQ – today urged UK organisations to prepare for an extended period of heightened threat in relation to the Russia-Ukraine conflict as they

WDS releases ultra-low head shoulder bolt

Leeds based WDS Components Limited has released an ultra-low head shoulder bolt, designed to conserve space when a compact footprint is required.

Schiebel wf
See us at
DVD BT2704220922GlobalMilSatCom BT2006101122Advanced Engin BT2504031122Future Arm Vehicles Power Systems BT