Alison Frances Fisher MBE

Aircraft Engineer

A colour photograph of a woman wearing camo RAF uniform, surrounded by complicated machinery in what looks like the inside of an aircraft. She is pointing a lit torch at some of the machinery and is looking slightly away from the camera. She has dark red hair tied into a ponytail.

RAF Aircraft Technician (Mechanical) Alison Fisher from 207 Squadron inspecting an F-35B (Image courtesy of RAF via Alison Fisher)

  • BORN 1967, Oldham, Lancashire, England
  • WORKED Joined the RAF in Dec 1984 and have worked there ever since. I’ve travelled all over the globe Including all across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the USA and Scandinavia with operational tours in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Cyprus
  • HONOURS I was awarded an MBE in the 2017 New Year’s Honours list.
  • MINERVA SCIENTIFICA PROJECT Minerva Scientifica Birthday Celebrations (Feb 2021)

PODCAST

Here I am with Science Historian Dr Patricia Fara, Emeritus Fellow of Clare College Cambridge, discussing what it’s like to be an RAF Engineer in contrast to the life and work of Aircraft Instrument Engineer, Corporal Lilian Bader(1918 – 2015) from the WAAF.

Artistic Connections

I like all kinds of styles of music, especially 80s stuff. I used to play the violin in an orchestra which I loved, and I taught myself to play keyboards. Now I’m learning to play the electric guitar so it’s quite nice to get back into music.

MUSIC

SOUND FILES COMING SOON

Education

I left school with 6 GCEs including Maths and English, but didn’t go to college or university.

Inspecting an F35B with one of my team at 207 Squadron (Image courtesy of Ali Fisher)

Occupations

Airframe mechanic
I applied to join the RAF as an airframe mechanic as this was the only opening in the engineering field, and I chose the RAF as both the RN and the Army didn’t have any openings for females in the engineering field. I spent 6 months training to be a mechanic and 4 years later another 12 months training to become a technician. I have since completed several engineering courses on various aircraft including Harrier, Tornado, Puma, Sentry E3D and Lightning F35B as well as becoming an aircraft engineering repair specialist.

Engineering Warrant Officer of a Flying Squadron
I am responsible for all the standards and practices on the squadron & the welfare & professional needs of around 150 personnel. I check all the work and have the authority to sign off aircraft as serviceable and make sure that any defects are correctly maintained.

Time to take the Tornado GR4 for a spin. (2017) The painting on the side commemorates the Gulf War. (Image courtesy of Ali Fisher)

Scientific Achievements

I consider achieving the rank as Engineering Warrant Officer my biggest STEMM achievement as I am one of only 4 female engineers in the RAF at this rank. I am also the first female engineering Warrant Officer to be in charge of a flying Squadron.

I am hoping that this will pave the way for other female engineers to strive for the same and it also shows there is no discrimination for females in this environment.

Did You Know?

I am a black belt in Taekwon-Do and compete nationally, and I am also a Level 2 Boxing Coach.

A colour photograph of a woman wearing navy blue RAF uniform smiling and holding a small, open, notebook. Her uniform consists of a blue blazer with 3 chevrons embellished on the arm, a series of badges on her left breast, and a narrow-brimmed hat in the same blue material with a black band and a gold RAF sigil. She is also wearing a shirt and tie, and is standing in front of the window of a gold stone building.

Receiving my MBE at Buckingham Palace, March 2018 (Image courtesy of Ali Fisher)

An Inspiring Woman

Amelia Earhart and AMY JOHNSON as pioneers of females in the aviation world. More so Amy Johnson, as she was the first woman in the world to qualify as an aircraft engineer and was an ATA pilot during the Second World War.