Businessman who built a replica Mew Gull as it was raced when Charles Gardner won the 1937 King’s Cup air race
PUBLISHED: 12:14 03 June 2014
A businessman who founded a high tec East Cambs company 24 years is to retire – allowing him to spend more time with hobbies that have included building a replica of the monoplane that won the 1937 Kings’s Cup air race.
David Beale will become chairman of the company he founded – Innomech- allowing commercial director Tim Mead to succeed him as managing director.
Mr Mead will now oversee all operational activities of automation consultancy GB Innomech (Innomech) of Witchford.
A company spokesman said: “The management change is also the final stage of a succession plan that was started two years ago when David Beale decided to work part-time, enabling him to spend more time pursuing other interests on his approach to retirement”
One of Mr Beale’s key achievements outside of Innomech has been to build a replica E2H Percival Mew Gull monoplane that was completed and flown for the first time last year.
He started with some structural drawings, a few components, a de Havilland Gypsy Queen 1 engine from 1936 and the ambition to build a replica Mew Gull as it was raced when Charles Gardner won the 1937 King’s Cup air race.
The resulting plane has been hailed as ‘a remarkable feat’ and has helped David secure two major awards from The Vintage Aircraft Club: the Desmond Penrose Trophy for ‘Vintage Aeroplane of the Year’, and the George Davidson Cup for David’s enduring contribution in helping to keep vintage aircraft flying.
Mr Beale founded Innomech in 1990 and has helped to establish one of the UK’s leading automation consultancies with a reputation for automating some of the most complex and challenging manufacturing processes.
The company develops equipment for product assembly and test in sectors such as aerospace, pharmaceutical and cleantech; one of its most recent successes has been developing the world’s first automated manufacturing system for alkaline fuel cells for industrial power generation for AFC Energy.
Innomech has also recently spun out and re-launched its manufacturing division as Nexus Intelligent Engineering (www.nexus-ie.co.uk). The division was established in 2001 when the company was appointed to repeat build and support pharmaceutical capsule-filling systems for Capsugel, and has built low volume and small batches of equipment for customers in the medical device and FMCG sectors.
Innomech is based at The Innovation Centre in Witchford and was awarded The Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2009 to recognise its sustained growth in international markets.