The Hanna Trophy

Awarded for an outstanding contribution to the art of display flying of historic, vintage or modern fighter aircraft.

2022 Awarded to:  Stuart Goldspink

Stuart Goldspink is a third-generation aviator.  His Grandfather was in the Balloon Regiment that later became the Royal Flying Corps.  His Father was a wartime Air Sea Rescue pilot, and also flew DC3s on the Berlin Air lift, before becoming a Captain with BEA on the Vickers Viscount.

Stu learned to fly in New Zealand aged just 17 ½, and on his return to the UK he towed gliders at Dunstable to build the hours needed for his commercial license.  By the time he turned 21, Stuart was on the path to becoming a commercial pilot.

GOLDSPINK Stuart01He worked for Bowker Air Services, aged 23, as a crop spraying pilot for eight years flying the Piper Pawnee.  It was here that he started building his first aeroplane, a Pitts Special, which he went on to display and compete. He later flew the charter Boeing 757 the ‘Black Pearl’ around the world.

These days, walk up to any group of vintage aircraft owners, aviators or display pilots, and you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone who has not heard of Stu Goldspink. Almost without exception, each would warmly describe him as an aviator and a gentleman. 

At the young age of 65 years, Stu wields an incredible enthusiasm and passion for flying that radiates and ignites the inner aviator within the people around him. His enthusiasm and generous manner cemented him as an important crew member within a number of the biggest and most reputable vintage aircraft operators in Europe. 

Despite retiring from a lengthy career in commercial aviation, Stu is never far from an airfield.  At Duxford, Stu flies for The Fighter Collection and the Aircraft Restoration Company, flying and performing elegant displays in Spitfires, Mustangs, Hurricanes, P-40s, Bearcats, Corsairs, Curtis Hawks, the list goes on.  At Old Warden, Stu frequents the familiar list of Second World War fighters but expands his talents to both First World War and even Edwardian era aircraft.  There are very few people on the planet that can say they have displayed a monoplane, bi-plane and triplane at one event and on a single day. Similarly, this incredible pilot can also list another rare line on his flying CV. Stu is one of the very few individuals that will fly aircraft of three different generations, again at one event and on a single day, where he has displayed aircraft such as the Hawker Hurricane, Sopwith Camel and Bristol Box-kite. 

At a number of these airfields, Stu goes by a number of nicknames; occasionally ‘Stumpy’ is used affectionately by those who know him. But sometimes you will hear him referred to as ‘Mr Hurricane’.  Stu is often the go-to man for most Hurricane flying, including test-flights and displays, in fact Stu has flown 12 of the Worlds 17 airworthy Hurricane’s and Sea Hurricanes, excusing only three international examples and those operated by the Royal Air Force’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.  Stu’s knowledge and experience on the Hurricane is and has been invaluable to those starting out on the type. 

With nearly 50 years of flying behind him, Stu could be known for his knowledge, his aforementioned enthusiasm and passion, but above all most will note him as being a true gentleman. I have never seen him more the 20 feet away from an aircraft, he flies daily as if a Doctor prescribed him to do so, but despite being one of the busiest flyers I have ever come across, he always - without fault - has time for those around him.

The first real Warbird that Stu flew was the 1928 Nieuport 2 which can only be described as a fine air show machine.  He progressed to WW2 aircraft after being asked to fly for The Fighter Collection at Duxford.  Here he discovered his favourite aircraft of all time; the P47 Thunderbolt, which he regularly displays with great aplomb. He can also be found displaying various aircraft in New Zealand as the UK season winds down.

For his many decades of outstanding contribution to the art of display flying of historic and vintage fighter aircraft, Stuart Goldspink is a worthy recipient of the Hanna Trophy.

Stu Goldspink - The Hanna Trophy

Previous Winners:

2013  John Romain

2014  John Beattie MBE

2015 Squadron Leader Duncan Mason RAF

2016  Flight Lieutenant "Charlie" C V Brown

2017  Brian Smith

2018  Lee Proudfoot

2019  Nigel Lamb

2020  Air Marshal Cliff Spink CB CBE RAF(Retd)

2021  not awarded

2022  Stuart Goldspink