Ross will be overseeing the engineering and compliance aspects of the People’s Mosquito project. His long career in aviation preservation and curation puts him in a strong position to ensure we jump all the hurdles the project will meet along the way. Ross is also an irrepressible and popular blogger – his aviation blog Shortfinals reaches many thousands of visitors from all over the world.
After an industrial career, involving precision engineering and material sciences, Ross Sharp was recruited by Leicestershire Museums, Art Galleries and Records Service to become their first – and only – Assistant Keeper, Aviation. Based on the Museum of Technology, Leicester, this involved responsibilities for the Whittle engine collection, Reid & Sigrist Archive and parts of the Taylorcraft/Auster Collection. G-AGOH, the 1945 Leicester-owned Auster Autocrat, which had been a former Brough engine test-bed, was also in use as staff transport and archaeological survey aircraft.
After a time, Ross moved to East Midlands International Airport as Curator, EMIA ‘Aeropark’. He planned the 12 acre site, which was at that time to the south of the main runway, and was responsible for both the curation and design of the main displays. The aircraft collection was rapidly expanded, and a unique British prototype, the Britten Sherriff, was saved from the scrapyard and preserved. Airport Open Days with vintage aircraft flying displays were held, along with massively popular Concorde charters. For his work at the EMIA ‘Aeropark’, Ross won the national award for services to air education, given by the Air Education & Recreation Organisation.
His next position was with the National Museum of Science and Industry. Ross was appointed to manage Wroughton Airfield, the home of the National Air Transport Collection. This site, and its aircraft, vehicle and agricultural collections had been almost closed to the public, and he quickly brought it back to life, giving access to the wonderful collection of airliners and other aircraft held there. Major aviation events were held, including the PFA Rally, Great Warbirds Air Display, World Helicopter Championships, and the Science Museum’s own series of events.
Following his time at Wroughton, Ross’s career took on a Service aspect, as he was appointed Deputy Air Show Co-ordinator, RAF Finningley. Working out of the Battle of Britain Air Show Office at Finningley, Ross was responsible for many facets of the largest official RAF show. As well as increasing commercial involvement, Ross’s tenure saw the international content of the displays and the vintage flying element expanded. It is often thought that the last displays at Finningley (before its closure) were amongst the very best.
Following Finningley’s closure, the Air Show Office was moved across to RAF Waddington, where Ross was involved in the planning for the first Waddington display.
Ross then moved to Farnborough, where he took up a position as Flying Services Manager for the Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC).
His marriage to an American citizen lead to a radical career change! He moved to Massachusetts, where he established his own aviation consultancy, involved in many aspects of vintage flying. He still maintains regular professional contact with the UK aviation scene, and had a long-standing relationship with the Great Vintage Flying Weekend, and many other companies.
Ross has been a member of the Executive Committee of the British Aircraft Preservation Council, a member of the National Committee of the Air Education & Recreation Organisation, and a member of both the Technical and General Aviation Committees of the UK Airport Operator’s Association. He has received several awards for his services to aircraft preservation.
To get in touch with Ross you can tweet him at @GRossSharp or email him via the Contact page.