Flight Staff Cadet Sam Cooper, along with three other cadets from his squadron (1446 Clevedon), have won this years Schools Aerospace Challenge.
The Schools Aerospace Challenge is a competition run every year by the RAF and the Institute of Mechanical Engineers to find a solution to an aerospace problem. The task for the 2010 competition was to find a way to:
- make air-to-air re-fueling easier for the pilot,
- allow re-fueling of un-manned aerial vehicles,
- intruduce the possibility of air-to-air re-arming.
Entering the idea of using GPS to locate the tanker, a system of lasers and prisms to guide the aircraft onto the basket, and existing technology to allow the aircraft to communicate, the team make it through to the finals at Cranfield University. The finals saw the team take part in many activities, including a flight at the controls of a helicopter and a light aircraft, a flight in a Jetstream.
The winning team gave a presentation of their idea at an awards ceremony in London by the Chief of the Air Staff Sir Stephen Dalton. Their were presented with a Trophey and a cheque for £5000 to be shared between the team and the Squadron.
The Schools Aerospace Challenge is now once again open to applicants from both schools and youth organisations. More information can be found at www.aerospacechallenge.org