David Curtis awarded 2020 Liz Inwood Taildragger Scholarship

24-year-old David Curtis was awarded the 2020 Liz Inwood Taildragger Scholarship for 2020!

24-year-old David Curtis was awarded the 2020 Liz Inwood Taildragger Scholarship for 2020! - Credit: Archant

24-year-old David Curtis from Northumberland will use the scholarship to gain the necessary skills required to fly the Evans VP1 Volksplane he is restoring

The highly popular Vintage Aircraft Club ‘Liz Inwood Taildragger Scholarship’ for 2020 has been awarded to David Curtis, a 24 year old pilot flying from Eshott in Northumberland. In addition to flying the local club’s Cessna 150, David has been assisting in the airfield’s engineering hangar working on their rare Morane-Saulnier 315, Chipmunk and Auster AOP6 aircraft.

The Scholarship, named in memory of the late Tiger Moth pilot and flying instructor Liz Inwood, is funded by donations from the Vintage Aircraft Club, Light Aircraft Association and the Inwood estate. It is aimed at young pilots who wish to convert from typical flying club nose wheel designs to older tailwheel types, potentially opening the door to flying a wider range of vintage and classic types. David will be awarded five hours flying to assist in learning classic ‘taildragger’ handling, which now forms part of the now-required differences training for older types.

“Despite the challenges posed by COVID, the Vintage Aircraft Club has continued to grow with more than 300 members involved with classic and vintage aircraft” said chairman Anne Hughes. “This year’s Scholarship attracted a very high quality of entries, obviously keen to develop the skills to operate the older type of conventional undercarriage aircraft, or ‘taildraggers’ as they are more commonly known. David stood out with both his hands-on approach and clear enthusiasm.”

David said: “Being involved with unique projects at Eshott sparked the desire to restore my own aircraft; as a result I am currently rebuilding an Evans VP1 Volksplane, which I purchased non-flying and without an engine from Old Warden. The reason for choosing this was the affordability of both the purchasing and ongoing operation, along with the pleasure of flying open cockpit. The project is progressing well and I am looking to begin recovering the wings in the coming weeks. The scholarship will then equip me with the skills necessary to fly the aeroplane on completion of the rebuild.”