National Aircraft Competition comes to Cov

Official Competition Poster

TWO TOP test pilots are coming to Coventry in June, as the University hosts the Aircraft Design and Handling Competition 2010.

This is the first time the competition has come out of London. Teams from universities throughout the UK will be competing in the event, which will take place on Friday, 11 June within the Faculty of Engineering and Computing.

Organised by the Merlin Flight Simulation Group, this unique annual event is not just an aircraft design exercise. Marion Neal, Marketing Director at Merlin said; “In order to design an aircraft, it has to be able to fly and as a result, all entries for the competition are ‘flown’ and assessed on one of Merlin’s flight simulators, at Coventry University, by experienced test pilots.” 

The teams will have to fly their aircraft model in one of Coventry University’s flight simulators, task on which they will be judged by test pilots Dave Southwood, from Empire Test Pilots School (ETPS), and Dave Mackay, from Virgin Galactic.

The judging in the competition consists of two parts. Alongside flying in the simulators, the students will also have to produce a display of project material and technical information, i.e. posters, presentations and aircraft models.

Coventry University’s student Charlotte Collins, won last year’s competition, gaining the £1,000 prize money. The University hopes 2010 will make another winning year, as Chris Bland, Head of Department for Systems Engineering explained; “We are delighted to be hosting the event at Coventry University, especially as it will be the first time the competition has come out of London. Our students are looking forward to the challenge of competing against the other universities and it would be the icing on the cake if the home team were victorious.”

Also taking part in the day, alongside the judges, Dave Southwood and Dave Mackay, John Farley, ex-Harrier Chief Pilor, will be there to provide a running commentary on the proceedings.

Merlin’s Marion Neal concluded; “We are looking forward to coming to Coventry and I must thank our sponsors and the Faculty of Engineering and Computing at Coventry University for making this possible.

“Not only is this competition fun for the students who enter, but many of them may well be looking to have a career within the industry and to have a win like this on their CV is an excellent calling card.”

To check out Merlin’s official website click here.

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