Aeroplane meets Rob Collings – President of the famous Collings Foundation

The president of the Collings Foundation presides over one of the world’s largest historic aircraft fleets — and flies many of them himself with great aplomb

In chronicling how the warbird movement has evolved, there are multiple strands to the story, all of them intertwined. The machines themselves are but one. Just as important, it goes without saying, are the people — and they, too, have inevitably changed. Those with the direct link to the Second World War are largely gone, whether they actively helped set the scene in motion, or looked on with enthusiasm as the aeroplanes of their era took to the skies again. In turn, the growing professionalisation of the business surrounding the aircraft has driven forward standards of rebuilding and restoration hitherto unimagined, as well as pushing up prices. Given this all-encompassing transformation, how do you bring new generations in, on either side of the fence?

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