Aviation & Aerospace

My interest in aviation and aerospace goes back to my Dad. He was an aviation enthusiast of his generation. His first job was with Sir Alan Cobham, one of our great early aviation pioneers. Dad was also a dedicated and brilliant model maker and co-founded the Dover Model Aircraft Club who met on the historic airfields behind the Castle and on the edge of the famous White Cliffs.

My elder brother and I used to spend many happy childhood days fetching and chasing the model aircraft as they soared and wheeled over the Castle and Cliffs.

We had a Combined Cadet Force at Grammar school and both my brother and myself joined the RAF section where we gained all sorts of experience. Flying for the first time, annual camps at RAF bases in the UK and Europe, firing guns and having fun, we even had a Glider that we used to fly about the school grounds on a Friday afternoon.

Dover Model Aircraft Club, Circa late 1950's
Cadet Corporal DF Bent, Dover Grammar School CCF, 1964-65

My brother went on to join the RAF and had a long and distinguished career as an aeronautical engineer. So this all rubbed off on me and became a lasting interest between my Dad and I. My path however was destined to be different, heading off to Art College and not using aviation as subject in my work until many years later. I first exhibited my aviation inspired art at the Royal International Air Tattoo, with my Art Partner and wife Carole. The response was immediate and encouraged me to continue to create new pieces. This first exhibition opened up a world of aerospace to us.