Fernando Alonso visits Williams!

BsrIGzWIEAEVUk8Sir Frank Williams is a massive fan of aviation. Last week he went to RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire to see an air display before flying out to Hungary. Amusingly, this fixation with flying means that some wires might get crossed: not least because it resulted in Fernando Alonso visiting the Williams factory. No, it wasn’t the Ferrari Fernando Alonso, but rather Fernando Alonso the Head of Flight and Integration Tests of Airbus.

This Alonso has done more than 3,000 hours as a test pilot with planes such as the A318, A320, A330, A340, A340-600 and A350 XWB. He was one of the crew of the first ever A380 flight. He has been with Airbus since 1982 when he began his career as a performance engineer, after graduating as an aeronautical engineer.

Frank Williams is still waiting for the day when the other Fernando Alonso comes calling, but he says that the door is always open if the Ferrari driver wants a chat…

27 thoughts on “Fernando Alonso visits Williams!

    1. I am working for a living… When I got o races I need to concentrate on making money. The blog does not do that.

      1. Good news. I wasn’t accusing you of being lazy or anything, was genuinely concerned as we hadn’t heard from you.

        Hope you’ve had a productive weekend.

        John

  1. Hi Joe,

    That headline grabbed my attention, I wish Ferbando would move to williams, but suspect he is ‘stuck’ with Ferrari for the rest of his career.

    My question is random, but has been on my mind.. Do F1 Journos eat as often as they like & for free at the teams hospitality units? Or is there a limit? Also, which team has the best food/atmosphere?

  2. Brilliant. You had me going there; for a moment I was thinking “Oh no, Joe’s gone all tabloid” but this makes sense.

    Test pilots in all their forms have my total admiration.

  3. Damn!!! Wrong Fernando Alonso……still it might have been worse for Sir Frank, it might have been the Right Madonaldo revisiting in the hope of a fast & reliable car for 2015!

  4. YOU, sir, are a mischievous heart breaker! Hook, line , and sinker. Well played too bad it’s not April 1!

  5. He could have popped in for a cup of tea. He should come back in August when the only other airworthy Lancaster visits from Canada (we have one here in the BBMF) and the Vulcan is also rumoured to be dropping in. I’m sure he knows all about that. Apparently we are expecting 30,000 visitors in our village (though officially it is now a town. Bedlam! (Sir Frank and co were treated to displays both WW2 planes and a Typhoon, which is unbelievably noisy. The Spitfire (later model) flat out can just about fly with a Typhoon on the verge of stalling.

    It would be interesting to measure the reaction time of both Mr Alonsos.

    1. My commiserations. The town where I work has just finished its air show. The whole town becomes (mostly) one gridlocked traffic system for a week.

      Enjoy the Vulcan, its airframe life expires at the end of 2015. So we won’t see it much longer.

      I few years ago I went from the company who had just signed one of these Fernando Alonsos to the one that still employs the other. Most folks make career progression by going the other way. 😦

      The Airbus A400M chief test pilot was named Ed Strongman, nobody would believe that as an F1 driver’s name. πŸ™‚

      1. You wouldn’t believe “Scott Speed” or “Will Power” as racing driver names either…

          1. Some would say that Hoover would fit right in with the current era, while others say that Vroomen would have liked the V8s.. πŸ˜€

      2. Yes I read about the Vulcan too, but don’t understand the airframe life bit, as the USAF has B52’s that are 60 yrs old, and could still be used operationally? If that is the case then why should the Vulcan be grounded? Also, it’s such a shame that Vulcans and Victors were not saved for their historic past as part of our aviation history. And the Typhoon of old, not the new one, was a tremendous aircraft. Pretty much faster and bigger/heavier than any Spitfire model, and I think it was said to be the only British fighter that could match the German FW190?

        1. It’s not just the age, it’s the amount number of loading cycles and the amplitude of those loading cycles. In other words, it’s how big the forces that have been applied, and how many times they have been applied.

          It’s also how much rework you want to do. If you have to remake the entire airframe, is it still the same aeroplane? Even assuming you have the cash to do so.

          Many of those BUFFs (B52s) that are aged have been reworked or spend long parts of that 60 years parked at Davis-Monthan AFB.

          Never mind the V-bombers. I’m still sad that there are no flyable Mosquitos left.

          Typhoon was a tremendous aircraft, as was the Tempest, but both were much later designs than the Spitifire. They were used to hunt Me262s and V1s late in WW2.

          Must stop now before Joe tells me off for non-F1 stuff. πŸ™‚

        2. Its actually the engine life that’s up next year not the airframe. Apparently there are no new (free) engines knocking about.

      3. Happily it isn’t the airframe life that is coming to an end, but the current duty cycles of its engines. Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be anyone out there who refurbishes old jet engines any more so the Vulcan is going to be limited to static display until they can find someone who will or else source old Olympus 200 or 300 units with enough time left on the clocks…

        1. That does contradict what “Flight” appeared to be saying. But then again ‘Flight”, like “Autosport”, aint what it used to be.

    2. The Canadian Lancaster flies out of an airport 30 miles or so from where I work, and it occasionally does a circuit out and back. It’s always moving to hear the drone of those four Merlins, and then see that unmistakeable silhouette overhead…

    3. Rpaco: The final prep is being done on C-GVRA for its flight to the UK as we speak. So far everything is running along on schedule. They just announced that there is another seat up for auction for the return flight back to Canada. Yeah, I don’t have a spare 100K€ either. πŸ™‚ Many people are saying that the next auction will go for more then the previous closing price. I heard one of the supporters who was responsible for seeing that this aircraft could come to the UK by guaranteeing any losses would be covered (I hear they are very pleased with where the fund raising has gone and the budget appears to be covered) has been invited to meet the Lanc in Iceland on the outbound flight from Canada and for him to continue to the UK on board. I think that’s great. I’ve blown my holiday budget going to Le Mans this year or I would have flown over to attend one of the shows to hear those mighty Merlin’s all together. It’s a shame ‘Just Jane’ isn’t flight worthy – would have been great to see three of them in the air. You mention the Typhoon; a great many Canadians in the RCAF flew Typhoon’s in the war – we have a soft spot for this aircraft in addition to the Lanc. Sounds like a great August to be in the UK!

  6. lol Should be said also that this Alonso does not have the fastest or the second fastest or even the third or fourth fastest Airbuses to test, but he himself agrees with everyone in the journalistic world that he is the best.

    As for the Ferrari Alonso, I do hope he pursues the Williams mirage [ ] just as the Scuderia is poised for a great revival under the driver who last brought it glory. πŸ™‚

    buenas noches

  7. There’s got to be a few Lewis Hamiltons out there ready to visit Williams that would be more than happy to visit Frank for a tour.

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