Reach for the sky
Graduate James Thompson has found his dream job – restoring historic RAF fighters from World War Two.
James gained a BSc(Hons) in mechanical and manufacturing engineering and set his sights on a job that enabled him to use his practical skills.
At the same time, a Suffolk based company, Hawker Restorations, was looking for an apprentice to join their skilled engineers who keep most of the remaining Hurricanes fit to fly.
Hawker’s story appeared in a local newspaper and it was spotted by James’s auntie – and the rest is history.
He told the Suffolk Free Press: “I have always been passionate about aeronautical engineering and to find that there was an opportunity to work for one of the most respected aircraft restoration companies in the world was just brilliant.
“Here at Hawker I am putting to practical use the skills I learnt at university – using drills and lathes, and milling and welding.
“We design and make some of the components, so it is a very hands-on apprenticeship and the older chaps have been incredibly helpful.
“It is a privilege to be able to work on old aircraft that have played such a significant a part in history.”
Of his degree course, James said: “It fuelled my enthusiasm for aircraft engineering. The university gave me the opportunity to progress into a specialist career where I get to use both my head and hands.”