BILLY KELLY / CREW CHIEF
Billy’s career in the aircraft field commenced in his early teens, when he spent many hours of his spare time as a volunteer with Duxford’s first collector, and restorer of the first Blenheim, Ormonde Hayden-Baillie. Upon Ormonde’s death in July 1977, Billy remained connected with the Blenheim when its restoration was taken over by Graham Warner, and later John Romain, right up until the present day.
Apart from a short period away from Duxford as a refrigeration engineer, Billy’s knowledge and expertise in aircraft maintenance has been gained over three decades, working for various companies based on the airfield. Early years at Duxford saw him refurbishing at least fifteen static aircraft to museum display standard, including a Spitfire Mk 1, N.A. F86 Sabre, Hawker Hunter and Spad to mention a few.
Gaining experience all the time, Billy moved on to line and general maintenance on all aspects of the aircraft to include airframe and engines. The list of aircraft he has worked on is both extensive and impressive, totaling just under 100 types, and includes a Catalina, bell P63 Cobra, DC 3 Dakota, P51 Mustang and P47 Thunderbolt.
Billy recently added to his long list of aircraft types when he carried out an airframe and engine airworthiness survey on a new build Flugwerk FW190 A8.
He has a special fondness for the B-25 Mitchell and is delighted to be accompanying pilots John Romain, Lee Proudfoot and John Sessions when N88972 makes its ferry flight across the Atlantic.