Airbus is currently the second largest supplier to the RAF and biggest supplier of large aircraft. The UK is the only nation to operate Airbus Defence and Space's three flagship aircraft; the A400M, the Eurofighter Typhoon and the A330 MRTT (the Voyager).
Every UK military helicopter pilot is trained on an Airbus Helicopters product and we supply the RAF with the H125 Squirrel, H135 Juno, H145 Jupiter, AS365 Dauphin and SA330 Puma2 helicopters.
Many of Airbus' sites in the UK have an RAF heritage. Our major manufacturing site in Broughton began as shadow war factory and during World War 2 manufactured the Wellington Bomber.
Airbus is proud to have supported a special RAF 100 performance by The Parliament Choir at the Royal Air Force’s Central Church, St Clement Danes in London.
Katherine Bennett, Airbus UK’s Senior Vice President for Corporate Affairs, is a keen member of the choir and has performed regularly. She said: ‘Centenary celebrations are such a good way to work closely with your partners, I remembered this well from the Bristol Aircraft Company 2010 celebrations. The Parliament Choir seemed an appropriate organisation to partner with and the feedback from parliamentarians and the RAF has been great – it was good for Airbus to be involved.’
Among the audience were Lady and Lord Trenchard – the grandson of the RAF’s founder and first Chief of the Air Staff, Viscount Hugh Trenchard – as well as a number of MPs and Peers. David Lidington MP and James Gray MP both spoke at the event, which included a fantastic reading of the Noel Coward poem about Bomber Command entitled Lie in the Dark and Listen (reprinted below).
Several senior serving RAF officers also attended the event, led by Air Vice-Marshal Alison Mardell, Director of Legal Services. Another prominent guest was retired Air Vice-Marshal Alan Merriman – a renowned test pilot and former head of defence sales who became famous for ejecting from his Hawker Hunter jet fighter and crashing through the bedroom ceiling of a sleeping 65-year-old lady.