Still Servicing Liquid Oxygen Ground Support Equipment
Saturday | 17. December 2016.
One of my first projects at MEL Aviation Ltd included servicing a 185 litre LOX trolley back in 1976
The MEL Group
Still Servicing Liquid Oxygen Ground Support Equipment
One of my first projects at MEL Aviation Ltd included servicing a 185 litre LOX trolley back in 1976. I continue to do so today with the same pride and passion. I was extremely lucky to be taught by Norman Martindale, a Geordie, a master craftsman and a brilliant teacher who was not afraid to pass on his knowledge. Norman had built the original LOX trolleys while at BOC. He was a master at pipe bending, welding and fabrication. I was only 17 at the time and extremely privileged to have been taught by Norman.
My very first on site servicing experience was alongside Gary Harvey, current Group MD and my father, the founder of MEL Aviation. We travelled to British Aerospace ‘RAF Holme on Spalding Moor’. Home of the maintenance of the Royal Airforce, Royal Navy F4 Phantom and Hawker Siddley Buccaneer aircraft.
Liquid oxygen systems were brought to the UK in the early 60’s from the USA. The system offered lightweight solutions to heavier gaseous systems used on current aircraft platforms. Logistically the system needed a completely new ground support structure, storage, distribution and support equipment. MEL Aviation Ltd has been involved with this since our inception in 1968 - supporting the RAF, European and oversea’s Airforce and commercial customers such as British Aerospace and Marshall Aerospace.

Just recently, though a smaller part of the overall business these days, I had the pleasure of conducting the recent service at Marshall Aerospace with my son Lewis. Lewis is a bright, intelligent youngster who was able to quickly pick up and understand the tasks in hand. During the service we had the opportunity to walk through Marshall’s hangars. The smell of a working aircraft hangar evoked nostalgic memories, after 40 years it still gives me a buzz.

I appreciate just how lucky I have been to work in the finest industry, with the highest standards of engineering. Having Lewis with me was an extremely proud moment! As Chairman of The MEL Group I will continue to get hands on to maintain the fine tradition of customer support. Gary and I promise to install our passion for exceptional customer support into our sons so they continue the quest.

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