Lancashire lasses flying high after BAE Systems competition offers Spitfire experience

A Lancashire aerospace worker won a flight in a Second World War Spitfire thanks to her work on a future combat aircraft.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 4:55 am

Liv Perry, who works as a project manager working on Tempest at BAE Systems’ Air sector site at Warton, got the dream flight after winning the firm's inaugural Spirit of Tempest overall award.

The Spirit of Tempest Awards were voted for earlier this year by a panel of senior representatives from the Royal Air Force, industry and academia.

They were set up to recognise those people from across Team Tempest who have demonstrated outstanding commitment and behaviours in furthering the sixth generation fighter project over the past 12 months.

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Liv Perry, who works at BAE Systems’ Air sector site at Warton, won a flight in a Spitfire T Mk IX

Liv's flight in a Spitfire T Mk IX aircraft, operated by the Aircraft Restoration Company took place at the historic Duxford Aerodrome, south of Cambridge.

She recently completed a two-year secondment at Team Tempest Headquarters in Farnborough before returning to work on the project in Lancashire, and was recognised for her work while on secondment in bringing together partners from across the enterprise to help develop early concept ideas for a Future Combat Air System.

Liv said: “I’m delighted to have been selected as the overall winner of the Spirit of Tempest Awards. To win this award is a huge honour especially to be recognised across a programme of this scale and one that involves so many talented people. It’s a moment in my career that I will never forget.”

The judges voted for individual winners from each of the four Team Tempest partner companies (BAE Systems, Leonardo UK, MBDA UK and Rolls-Royce) and from the Ministry of Defence. From those winners, the panel then chose Liv as the overall Spirit of Tempest winner.

Liv at Duxford aerodrome which played a vital role in the Battle of Britain

In addition, Lancashire engineer Robyn Considine was voted the BAE Systems Spirit of Tempest winner for her work to set up and successfully grow a Developing Engineers Forum within the project, giving engineers a platform to network and develop within the team. Robyn’s prize was a flight in a Harvard T Mk6 aircraft.

Robyn said: “Part of the challenge that the Company faces is how we transfer knowledge to the next generation of engineers who weren’t even born the last time we designed and delivered a combat air programme.

"Within the programme, developing engineers are paired with subject matter experts in their day jobs. The aim of the group is to share knowledge learnt, the challenges that we’ve faced and solutions to those challenges with the rest of the group to increase the rate of development of the members.”

Wg Cdr Colin Welsh, from Team Tempest Headquarters at the Royal Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office, said: “Team Tempest draws together over 2,000 of the very best people within UK industry and defence. We are united in our common goal to succeed, guided by our core values of trust, excellence, empowerment, strategic focus and timeliness.

Lancashire engineer Robyn Considine won a flight in a Harvard trainer for her BAE Systems Spirit of Tempest award

“Our inaugural awards allows us to celebrate those who best embody these values, regardless of their role in our broad team and we are delighted to share in the success of these incredibly deserving winners.”

The Tempest programme is being delivered by Team Tempest – combining the expertise of the Ministry of Defence, BAE Systems, Leonardo UK, MBDA UK and Rolls-Royce.

Working with international partners, the team is leading progress towards development of an internationally collaborative Future Combat Air System which will ensure the RAF and its allies retain world-leading, independent military capability for decades to come.

The programme will pioneer cutting-edge technologies, including those assisted by artificial intelligence, machine learning and autonomous systems, to meet the capability requirements of future conflicts. It will be operational in the mid-2030s.