AN INNOVATOR from Alveston, who broke unprecedented ground in the field of aircraft design, has been honoured by Airbus staff.

Employees at the aerospace manufacturer in Filton voted to name one of the buildings at the new Airbus Aerospace Park (AAP) Barnwell House after inspiring aviation engineer Captain Frank Barnwell.

The complex is part of the aerospace cluster currently under construction and will house over 2,400 personnel working on aircraft designs.

Frank Barnwell was chief engineer for the Bristol Aeroplane Company in the 1920s and 30s and helped create three of the finest airplanes Bristol has ever produced: the Bristol Fighter, the Bulldog and the Blenheim.

During that time he lived at Alveston House with his family. He was buried in St Helen’s churchyard.

Mark Stewart, general manager and human resources director at Airbus, said: "The construction of the aerospace park is a key part of our investment in the Filton site and we were delighted when our staff voted to name this key building after such an important historical engineer who had such strong connections to the Filton site.

"While we are very much a forward looking company designing the aircraft of the future we are also tremendously proud of our history and the naming of this new building after Frank Barnwell underlines that pride."

A commemorative plaque to Captain Barnwell was placed on the façade of his former home in Alveston in May this year.

Duncan Greenman, director at Bristol Aero Collection Trust, added: "Frank Barnwell was considered by his peers at the top of the British aerospace community as one of the truly great aircraft engineers and designers. On a more personal level, people who worked for him regarded him as a real gentleman for whom it was a pleasure to work." The AAP is due to open in 2013.