During his first term at university, J. PAUL HODGSON wrote to A.V. Roe & Co. (Avro) to request work experience. He was duly offered a ‘vacation apprenticeship’, for six weeks in the summer of 1963. By the end of that, Paul had become a signed-up undergraduate apprentice with the Avro-Whitworth Division of Hawker Siddeley Aviation, as Avro had just become. A thirty-seven-year career in the same organisation (much changing, as the industry struggled with rationalisation and re-organisation) and an eight-year spell of part-time lecturing in aircraft design at Manchester University followed. Seventeen years after retiring as an aircraft Chief Designer with BAE Systems, he found himself starting to write the story of the British aircraft industry. Paul is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. He has served on the society’s council and is a past-chairman of his local (Manchester) branch.