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The strength behind Typhoon

Paul Rowe and Graham Hicks
With a top speed of 1,320mph and an ability to carry a load equivalent to 30 elephants on its wings, there is no doubt that the Typhoon packs an impressive punch.

It’s no surprise then that there’s an abundance of strength in the workforce behind it.  At our Warton site where the aircraft is built, one of Britain’s Strongest Man Graham Hicks adds strength to the design of the aircraft whilst at the other end of the spectrum World Bodybuilding Champion Paul Rowe helps keep it in the air in his support role for the aircraft.

Morecambe bred Graham Hicks has recently returned from competing in the World’s Strongest Man championships in China.  You’ll need to wait till it airs on TV at Christmas to know how that went.  He returns having begun competing seriously just three years ago when he entered his first strongman competition in the weight category for under 105kgs.  Just a year later Graham won the Champion title for the under 105kgs and he’s continued to go from strength to strength.  Graham now competes in the open weight category. At 5ft 10 and 21stone he competes against guys over 6ft 5 and 30 stone.  All that whilst holding down a full time role at BAE Systems.

Paul Rowe of Fulwood, Preston is competing for the Mr Universe title later this month. Earlier this year the bodybuilder collected the Mr North West title and followed it up with the Mr Britain crown. He won his world title in Italy in June. A former RAF man, Paul was the 1990 British Powerlifting Champion in the under 90kg category. He switched to bodybuilding as a way of enjoying a similar sport without the high risk of injury that the dynamic powerlifting brings.

The 50-year-old, who works as part of the Salam Support team, usually trains twice a day. He said:

“Being world champion is great but to be honest the competitions themselves are so objective that all you can do is prepare yourself to the best of your ability. It’s about knowing you did everything you could to give yourself a fighting chance.”

With a relentless drive to improve and a growing number of world class titles, it’s no wonder that Graham, Paul and Typhoon are all holding their own on the world stage.