The West of England Aerospace Forum’s Annual Gala Dinner took place on 27th November 2019 beneath the nostalgic wings of Concorde at Aerospace Bristol.

 

The evening saw around 300 members of the south west Aerospace and Defence industry congregate to network and enjoy the premier black-tie event.

 

The guests were entertained by keynote speaker Michael Edwards, better known as Eddie ‘the Eagle’ who told his incredibly inspiring and funny story of his rough road to the Calgary Olympics.

Eddie’s resilience and fierce determination to achieve his goals infused his speech of how he overcame his lack of funding, lack of training, and in one case a broken jaw to compete in the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. Eddie ate food out of bins and slept in barns in order to achieve his dreams.

He was hugely entertaining making the audience laugh with snapshots of old tv adverts, however above all his speech was an inspiration on how to succeed against the odds.

 

The 2019 Industry speaker was Michael Curvenka, COO of Vertical Aerospace. Michael provided some background on the Bristol based Vertical Aerospace and its founder Stephen Fitzpatrick.

He showed the audience the launch of their second aircraft, the Seraph, which made them the first company in the world to release flight footage of an aircraft capable of carrying 250kg.

Vertical Aerospace are now focusing on applying the latest technologies and agile processes from F1 to the development of eVTOL aircraft. They really are driving innovation in the aviation industry!

 

The evening concluded with the charity raffle supporting the Freewheelers and the Women’s Engineering Society. With the generosity of all those in attendance WEAF were able to raise £1,400 for each charity!

 

We are excited to confirm that 2020’s Gala Dinner will be moving back into Bristol at the Bristol Harbour Hotel and will take place on 26th November!

 


Written by Weaf

WEAF are the leading networking association for aerospace and defence companies in the South West of England. Our mission is to strengthen an aerospace and defence community that fosters innovation and collaboration, and provides a platform for growth.


We achieve this by offering critical support services, sharing best practice and enabling businesses of all sizes to understand supply chain needs, creating opportunities to flourish.