Another Successful Cool Aeronautics Event at RAF Halton

Jane Reilly  |  Published: Mar 3rd 2017

A total of 60 children from Longwick Church of England Primary School took part in the latest Cool Aeronautics event at RAF Halton recently.

Trenchard Museum at the base is working with the Royal Aeronautical Society to promote aerospace and aviation to a new generation under the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) umbrella. Cool Aeronautics events are free to attend and offer a fantastic opportunity for young people, the new generation, to meet inspirational people from across the industry and to engage with aerospace themed activities that are relevant to the current Key Skills 2 National Curriculum.

The children were split into six groups and took part in six different activities in the all-day event at various locations on the Station.

In one activity the children were briefed by Nigel Smith and other pilots of the Force Development Training Centre  (FDTC) on the principles of flight, and also given the opportunity to sit in the pilot’s seat of a glider.

In another activity, two RAF STEM Ambassadors from RAF Brize Norton, Squadron Leader Andrew Marshall and Sgt Carlos Maline, explained to the children about how a rocket performs before getting them to build model rockets and fire them under controlled conditions.

Sgt Paula Cil, RAF Stem Ambassador from Benson lead STIXX machine based engineering activities. The gadgets roll newspaper pages into solid rods that can be used to build things with, and used to deliver activities that incorporate aviation and STEM awareness. Paula was supported by Les Garden and Cpl Darren Culley.

Two Rolls-Royce STEM Ambassadors from Derby, Scott Bradshaw and Ian Scott, briefed on aircraft engine technology and construction of model aluminium aero engines, while Jim Wright and his colleagues from the British Model Flying Association (BMFA) lead the aircraft model making activity.

Brian Rogers and Bill McGrath, volunteers at Trenchard Museum, lead a simulator activity with children ‘flying’ a Chipmunk aircraft flight simulator and also a Link trainer simulator, made in Aylesbury by Air Trainers Limited in the 1950s, Mike Burton provided invaluable support, as did twelve young RAF recently graduated recruits.  

Organiser of Cool Aeronautics, Bill McGrath, said: “Another very successful session and the new Director of the RAF Charitable Trust also visited. Justine Morton, a retired Group Captain, took the opportunity to see the Chipmunk simulator in use which was bought by a grant from the Charitable Trust together with Rolls Royce who provided a grant of £15K for the purchase three years ago. The Charitable Trust provided a further grant to update the simulator and also provided funds to RAF Cranwell's Youth and Diversity team of £18,800 to purchase the STIXX equipment to help RAF STEM Ambassadors deliver core STEM outreach activities to children throughout the UK.”

Justine Morton tries out the simulator.
Justine Morton tries out the simulator.
Justine Morton tries out the simulator.
Justine Morton tries out the simulator.
The event team.
The event team.
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