Awarded to an individual journalist, publication or organisation for an outstanding contribution to the promotion or public awareness of aviation in general or of any important aspect of aviation activity.
2019 awarded to: Benjamin Dunnell
Ben Dunnell is a highly experienced aviation writer, editor and airshow commentator, based in the UK. A graduate of the University of Sheffield and a former political researcher, Ben’s deep-rooted interest in — and passion for — aircraft and aviation history has been lifelong.
Ben has been engaged professionally in aviation journalism for more than a decade. He is currently editor of the highly respected monthly aviation history and preservation title ‘Aeroplane’ Magazine and deputy editor of leading modern military journal ‘Combat Aircraft Military’. Before that he was on the editorial team of Aircraft Illustrated and its successor Classic Aircraft. As a freelance writer he has written for Pilot, Flypast and others. Interviews and archival research are among Ben’s specialities.
Well-known on the air display scene, Ben has in recent years commentated at many major events. He is the lead commentator for the Royal International Air Tattoo and the IWM Duxford airshows, the East Fortune Airshow and the Abingdon Air and Country Show. Further UK venues at which Ben has been on the microphone include the Biggin Hill Festival of Flight, RNAS Yeovilton, the Shuttleworth Collection at Old Warden, the Lincolshire Aviaton Heritage Centre at East Kirkby, RAF Waddington and the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta. He has provided English-language commentary at several overseas displays, in Germany — specifically the Tannkosh fly-in and airshow, at the time Europe’s largest aviation event in terms of numbers of aircraft — and Norway, not least at two successive NATO Tiger Meet airshows.
With additional experience broadcasting live for Red Bull TV at the AirPower 16 show in Austria and BBC Radio on the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee flypast over Windsor Castle, as a DVD voiceover artist and as a guest commentator for individual display items, Ben is one of the UK’s leading aviation broadcasters. He is a member of the British Air Display Association and has spoken at both the BADA/Military Aviation Authority pre-season symposium and the European Airshow Council’s annual convention. Ben speaks German and has a working knowledge of French and has both commentated and been interviewed live in German at aviation events.
One of Ben’s particular interests is in working alongside airshow organisers and flying display directors to develop and co-ordinate themed displays and set-pieces with bespoke commentary. When appropriate, use is made of suitable music, archive recordings and ‘big-screen’ footage.
Ben Dunnell has done a huge amount, through both his writing and commentating activities, to promote all aspects of aviation and is a very worthy recipient of the Honourable Company of Air Pilots Award for Aviation Journalism.
2006/07 Richard Gardner Esq
2007/08 Hugh Field Esq
2008/09 Flight International
2010 Not Awarded
2010/11 Global Aviation Resource
2011/12 Air Commodore Graham Pitchfork MBE BA FRAeS
2012/13 Pat Malone
2013/14 BBC Helicopter Heroes Team
2014/15 Squadron Leader David Webster MBE RAF
2016 Nigel Everett MA
2017 Captain Elfan Dyfed Ap Rees
2018 David Learmount
2019 Benjamin Dunnell