It is more than a century since the Royal Navy built a ship to be powered by the wind, but that hasn't prevented RNAS Culdrose from continuing to employ its own sail-maker - the only one in the entire Fleet Air Arm.

While there is little demand for sails in the navy these days - HMS Calliope being the last sailing corvette to be built for the Royal Navy, serving from 1887 to 1951 - the historic importance of the sail-maker’s job in maintaining British supremacy at sea means that the tradition of having such a role continues proudly to this day.

Daryl Hunter is the sail-maker at Culdrose. He took over the role as a civilian ten years ago, after previously serving 24 years in the navy.

The 50-year-old from Helston said: “The job title is historic - it’s a bit like the shipwrights here, although we don’t have wooden ships anymore – so it’s the traditional job for someone who deals in canvas, fabrics and other materials.”

In his large workshop in one of the green hangars at the southern end of the air station, complete with rolls of textiles and sewing machines, Mr Hunter is working on his latest assignment.

He has to design and create fabric coverings to fix helicopter rotor blades safely in place while the aircraft are being transferred from the flight deck to the hangar of the Royal Navy’s newest and biggest aircraft carriers. Such things are just so specialist they can only be designed and created from scratch.

Other projects on the go include everything from new bespoke tool belts for aircraft mechanics, helicopter window blinds and waterproof instrument panel covers, to repairing the covering on the captain’s chair.

“I really enjoy my job,” Mr Hunter added. “My navy career was in survival equipment, which involved a lot of material repairs and manufacture. Now I do work for the air stations of Culdrose and Yeovilton as well as for naval command in Portsmouth.

"I think there are a couple of other sail-makers in the navy, but I am the only one in the Fleet Air Arm.”