RAF centenary: Veteran returns to IWM Duxford to unveil charity floatplane
- Credit: Archant
To commemorate the centenary of the Royal Air Force, a 96-year-old war veteran returned to IWM Duxford for a special event to launch the latest member of his charity’s aviation fleet and reflect on his RAF memories on Saturday.
Stuart King, who was based at what was formerly RAF Duxford in the aftermath of the Second World War as a flight lieutenant and chief technical officer, established the Mission Aviation Fellowship together which a handful of RAF personnel in the aftermath of the war – and was delighted to unveil an Amphibious Cessna Caravan 208 on the eve of the RAF’s centenary anniversary.
He said: “My memories of Duxford are fond ones – and it’s a pleasure to return to this important, historic place to reflect on past times and celebrate the future of what we can achieve through aviation.
“MAF has been a huge and vital part of my life, and I am grateful to God for how my skills – together with many inspiring men and women – have been used for good around the world.
“I have had the tremendous privilege of seeing all this happen and I am amazed that, all these years later, I am still considerably involved! This new MAF floatplane will enable more lifesaving flights to help those in desperate need in Bangladesh long into the future, and my prayer is that their lives would be transformed.”
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Born from a desire to “use aircraft for the good of those in great need,” today MAF flies to more than 1,500 remote locations across 26 developing countries, delivering vital aid to locations only accessible by air. This is more destinations than any airline in the world.
The unique and agile aircraft visited the UK for a very short time, providing the public with a rare opportunity to see an operational floatplane close to home.
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MAF currently offers the only humanitarian floatplane operation in Bangladesh, the eighth-most populated nation which is prone to some of the world’s worst flooding.
The charity has been serving the South Asia country’s people for more than 20 years, including vital relief assistance following Cyclone Sidr which hit in May 2007.
For more information about the Amphibious Cessna Caravan’s flying visit this spring, visit www.maf-uk.org/flyingvisit or call 01303 852819.