Bobby Irvine BAE Systems
At the Ayr Rotary meeting on Tuesday, Commercial & Procurement Manager, of BAE Systems Bobby Irvine delivered a fascinating insight to the facilities and capabilities at BAE Systems Prestwick. As part of the Air Sector business, the Regional Aircraft Programme delivery supports global aircraft fleet support capability, whole aircraft design and engineering expertise as well as premier supply chain capability and expertise in service support.
Over the years, continued Bobby, the business has had to adapt. From its Scottish Aviation roots in the 30’s, through British Aerospace in the 80’s to BAE in the 90’s when all large engineering equipment was sold to Spirit Aero Systems and the business reduced in size during 2001. However it was important to keep engineering and support alive at Prestwick. There are currently over 200 employees at Prestwick and Weybridge, many who are engineers and designers, with representatives at RAF Northolt, Cranfield and even Nagoya in Japan to support Mitsubishi Aircraft in their development.
Over 300 turbo and jet aircraft around the world which are still in service, require technical and engineering support. Bobby evidence this by showing photos of aged firefighting aircraft in USA and Australia which were redesigned at Prestwick. However, continued Bobby, the Atmospheric Research Aircraft (ARA), a great UK Government asset, which is bristling with scientific instruments, serviced at Prestwick, plays a significant role in many studies. Used by universities and governments around the world, this deceptivly plain looking aircraft, is used by Environment Canada, the MET Office and Edinburgh University, to name but a few, to measure the melting Polar ice cap, climate change and for weather forecasting. Unsurprisingly the ARA was deployed in June 2010 to analyse the volcanic ash in the atmosphere after eruptions in Iceland which caused enormous disruption to air travel across western and norther Europe.
A grateful vote of thanks was given after Bobby responded to numerous questions