1 Wing 1Sqdn.
681675 - DAVE (Ginge) ASHENDEN - 82nd Entry- ENGINE FITTER
RAF APPRENTICES - RAF HALTON No 1S of TT - Jan 1956 - Dec
Attained the rank of Leading Aircraft Apprentice. Played rugby - representing Wing and the Station
1959 - 1962: Posted to Lyneham - working on Comet 2 airliners - the only organisation in the world
flying jet - powered transports at that time!
1962 - 1964: Posted to Nairobi (Eastleigh) Kenya working on Beverley and Twin Pioneer aircraft
1964 - 1969 : posted back to Lyneham - Transport Command working on Britannia and Comet 4
aircraft - lot of traveling around the world at her Majesties expense!. Sat and passed the exam for
Associate Fellowship of the Society of Licensed Aircraft Engineers and Technologists (AFSLAET -
subsequently becoming AMRAeS ). Member of the team representing the RAF at annual UK National
Model Aircraft Championships.
1969 - 1970 : posted to Sharjah ( Persian Gulf ) - working on Wessex 2 aircraft.
1970 - 1980: Volunteered and accepted for a tour at the Central Servicing Development Establishment
(CSDE) at Swanton Morley working as an Engine and Aircraft Fuel Systems Specialist. Involved with
many different facets of aircraft engineering and industry (that is why I wanted the job in the first
place!). Became one of a team of RAF specialists monitoring the modification program at BAe
Woodford that converted Victor B2 bombers into K Mk 2 Tankers. This introduced me to a world of Air
- to Air Refuelling (AAR) This in turn put me in contact with Flight Refuelling Ltd (FRL) at Wimborne
Interesting diversion in 1977; as a Chief Technician I suddenly found myself in charge of a fire station
at Buxton in Derbyshire heading a team of 28 guys and 3 "Green Goddesses " Great man management
1980 - 2003 : On leaving the RAF, FRL offered me a position as a support specialist. Heavily involved
with the introduction of the VC10 Tankers into RAF service. Within 3 years promoted to position of
Manager-, Logistics Support, responsible for the development of maintenance policy and the associated
support equipment for new AAR equipments. This coincided with the demise of MOD Cost - Plus
contracts and I subsequently became involved with the introduction of new AAR equipment into
service with the USAF and other overseas air forces. With FRL working in the sub- contractor role to
Douglas, Boeing, and Lockheed aircraft companies I spent a fair bit of my time in the US on liaison
My long standing hobby of building and flying radio controlled (R/C) model aircraft led to a short but
interesting diversion to my career at FRL in the early 80`s The company was involved in the design and
development of target aircraft and unmanned air vehicles (UAV`s). As an experienced RC model pilot I
was invited to fly the prototype of the Phoenix UAV. I did this for the first 6 months of the program and
thus became one the very few people to fly a military UAV in the UK.
Another high light of my time with FRL was in May 1982 when I was whisked by RAF Puma to
Waddington and was able to successfully resolve a serious in-flight refueling problem being
experienced by the Vulcan aircraft; then being prepared to subsequently perform the famous `Black
Buck` bombing raids on the Falklands.
Sept 2003: Took an early and much enjoyed retirement - best decision I’ve ever made in 50 years.