Cadets unveil planes dedicated to RAF heroes

Three brothers who died in RAF service have been remembered with the unveiling of new planes bearing their names.

The Aquila aircraft are dedicated to Alasdair, Roderic and Iain MacRobert who all died in their mid-20s, two of them during the Second World War.

A fourth plane was also unveiled at Tayside Aviation in Dundee in memory of Donald Jeffs, who survived a crash in a memorial plane commissioned by the men’s mother Lady Rachel Workman MacRobert in 1941.

Aquila aircraft
RAF cadets (from left) Arthur Chandler, Barney Jones-Evans and Joel Pilkington with one of the planes (Jane Barlow/PA)

The flight school trains around 200 RAF cadets every year,  many of them going on to become pilots or officers in the RAF or Royal Navy.

Managing director Jim Watt sought permission to carry the MacRobert Trust crest and the brothers’ names on the company’s aircraft.

The G-TSDA, G-TSDB and G-TSDE have been titled Spirit of Sir Alasdair, Spirit of Sir Iain and Spirit of Sir Roderic.

Flt Sgt Donald Jeffs, whose name appears on the fourth plane, was held as a prisoner of war after crashing in Denmark in 1942  but went on to live a full life.  He died in 2017 at the age of 98.

Mr Watt said: “We are honoured and proud to be unveiling these four aircraft which tell an important story of selfless bravery, sacrifice and resilience, which we are keen to keep alive in the minds of today’s cadets.

“Lady MacRobert’s strength and determination have cemented a charitable legacy which we should all remember.

“Although the RAF has continued to carry the MacRobert Crest on a bomber, the names of the three sons have all but disappeared so we felt that it would be a fitting tribute.”

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