Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Man Who Flies a Fighter Plane to Work

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Man Who Flies a Fighter Plane to Work

Article excerpt

Byline: NICK AMES

ITS distinctive shape and markings struck fear into the hearts of Luftwaffe pilots when they saw it patrolling the skies above England and France.

But now one of the Mustang fighters flown by Allied pilots during the Second World War has a rather different role - taking a British businessman to meetings without the stress of having to catch a train.

Rather than driving seven miles from his home in the village of Woodchurch, Kent, to the railway station at Ashford, Robert Davies, 48, simply takes off from the airfield at the back of his house to get to meetings on time.

The aircraft, originally designed for just a pilot, has even had a second seat added in the cockpit to accommodate Mr Davies' personal assistant.

"Rather than look up railway timetables all I need to find is the nearest airfield, most towns have one," said Mr Davies, a married father of two. "The Mustang can land on a grass strip easily. Its wide wheelbase makes it very easy to land.

"I can arrange for a hire car to meet me at the airstrip to complete the final stage of my journey. Soaring through the blue sky certainly beats sweltering on a packed train or sitting in a traffic jam waiting for the lights to change."

Mr Davies' work for Meggitt Defence Systems, which supplies technology to governments across the world, means his meetings are frequently out of Britain.

"I can take off and be in Berlin in a couple of hours, talk to whoever I have to and be home for dinner or a beer in the local pub," he said.

"Recently I had to go to northern France so that was so easy - just a quick hop across the channel to Le Touquet Airport and a taxi into Etaples where the meeting was held. There's no drive to the airport, parking problems, waiting time and luggage retrieval.

"Going to work in a Mustang is a real pleasure. …

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