ABOVE: Sir John Allison has held a PPL since just after his 17th birthday

The Vintage Aircraft Club (VAC) has announced the appointment of a new President, Air Chief Marshal Sir John Allison KCB CBE, who replaces the late David Oglivy OBE FRAeS.

Sir John says he is honoured to have been invited to become the President of the VAC, which aims to ‘provide a focal body for owners, pilots and enthusiasts of vintage and classic light aircraft’. Founded in 1964 as the Vintage Aircraft Group (before its change of name in 1974), the Club also arranges fly-ins and other events.

Although Sir John retired from flying earlier this year (with 116 distinct types flown as captain in his logbook), his extensive career in aviation commenced some decades earlier. Graduating from RAF Cranwell in 1964, he won the prize for best pilot in his entry, and also the aerobatic trophy. His subsequent career took him from the front line, flying the English Electric Lightning, to ultimately be promoted to Commander-in-Chief of Strike Command.

Also flying recreationally (including as an air display pilot), Sir John has owned and operated a number of vintage aircraft including an Auster, Luton Minor, Bucker Jungman, Yak 50, Miles Gemini and a Beechcraft Bonanza.

With membership around the 400 mark, VAC Chair Anne Hughes notes: ‘As a club we are fortunate in having such a diverse membership and look forward to achieving our 60th birthday in 2024 with a special event or two’.