Flight simulation competition hosted by UWE

Issue date: 06 June 2005


Issue date: 06/06/05

Aviation Students from eight UK universities will gather at the University of the West of England for a flight simulation competition using UWE’s state of the art ‘Melin521 Engineering Flight Simulator’on Tuesday 7 June at 10.30. The fifth Merlin Aircraft design and Handling competition is a unique event as it is the only competition where students have their designs ‘flown’ by a test pilot. This is the second time that Bristol UWE has hosted the competition.

The students teams competing in the competition are from the Universities of Bristol UWE, Kingston, Salford, Bath, City, Hertfordshire, Manchester and Brunel.

The student teams have designed aircraft that will be ‘flown’ in the simulator by ex Harrier Chief Test Pilot, John Farley. John will talk to each team before he flies their design and then evaluate their designs for ground handling, take off, initial climb out, cruise stability and control, final approach and landing.

Teams have deigned a range of different aircraft including a tailless glider and a heavy lift V/STOL aircraft. Students will also present project material including posters of technical information, lap top presentations and models of aircraft. The presentation material will be displayed all day for judging and the flying will be watched by duplicating the visual display in the simulator onto a large screen in a nearby lecture theatre so that each team can watch their competitors perform.

This presentation material will be judged by Barry Swainston, Head of the Aeronautical Society’s Flight Simulation Committee and Phil O’Dell, Chief Test Pilot for Rolls Royce.

Dr John Vinney, Dean of the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics at Bristol UWE, said, “This competition helps focus the minds of the student teams. They have to think through all aspects of aircraft design ensuring that their design functions safely and the competitive elements adds a degree of realism that helps prepare students for their future careers – either in research or in industry. Delivering a solution that works on the day, in full view of your peers and senior experts is a challenging, if not nerve wracking experience, and the competition allows these aspects to be interwoven with the delivery of a technically feasible design solution – just like real life!”

Marion Neale, Marketing Director at Merlin said, “Merlin are delighted to be able to hold this unique Competition again at UWE. The venue is ideally suited to the format of the Event, providing easy access to the flight simulator, good viewing facilities for the 'flying', and plenty of space for all the industry stands.

“For Competition 2005 Merlin have made a simulation of the Vulcan aircraft. The last flight of this famous long-range, high-altitude bomber was in March 1993. Squadron Leader David Thomas (retired) will be 'flying' the simulation on UWE's MP521 simulator - the simulation has been carried out in support of the Vulcan to the Sky Trust, which is restoring Vulcan XH558 - she will become airworthy again in 2006.

“It is essential that the Vulcan pilots will be able to familiarise themselves again with the flight characteristics of this aircraft before the test flights are carried out at Bruntingthorpe, Leicestershire (where XH558 is undergoing her restoration). UWE's flight simulator provides the ideal opportunity for the first 'flight' of the Vulcan in the 21st Century!”

Industry trade stands from Airbus, Rolls Royce, Air South West, Delcam, RAF Cranwell, the Royal Aeronautical Society Careers stand and the Royal Navy Fleet Air arm will be in attendance during the lunch break giving students the opportunity to find out more about job opportunities in aviation.

The first prize of £600 worth of instructional flying from AOPA and second prize of glider lessons donated by Airbus will be announced at the end of the day.

-ENDS-

Editor’s notes

Visuals available of the Merlin521 Flight Simulator upon request from the Press Office.

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