Farnborough Airshow – Day 5 Futures Day highlights

Added on 27 July 2010 by Tim Robinson

The RAeS Publications team report from the final day at #Farn10

While aerospace executives were still celebrating from the bumper orders placed during the airshow, Friday saw Farnborough host a special careers and youth day called Futures Day. Up to 3,000 young people descended on the show to learn more about the exciting world of aerospace and the potential careers in aerospace, defence and security. With a chance to get hands-on with the SCS Bloodhound Supersonic car, check out the Mars Rover, or see the Schools Build A Plane microlight, there was no danger of boredom. The event was supported by A|D|S, Airbus and the South West RDA among others.

The day kicked off with the official opening ceremony in the Futures Day Pavilion, which was hosted by TV presenters Angellica Bell and Michael Underwood. This included speeches from Alex Dorrian, president of A|D|S, Charles Champion, executive vp engineering, Airbus and, most exciting of all for the young people present, a talk from Jean-François Clervoy, an ESA astronaut who urged them to follow in Captain Kirk’s footsteps and ‘boldly go’.

After that, the day consisted of a treasure hunt, with young people visiting stands and exhibits to win prizes, which included a session flying an A320 full flight simulator.

The Futures Day also saw Boeing and the Royal Aeronautical Society announce the next third and fourth lead schools of the Schools Build A Plane challenges – the winning schools being Bridge Learning Campus from Bristol and Ercall Wood Technology College, Telford. Indeed, Yateley School’s RANS S6 Coyote microlight, the first build of the Schools Build A Plane challenge, was a major attraction for both kids and adults during the day.

Airbus, too, was also inspiring young people with the launch of its ‘Fly Your Ideas’ 2011 competition – a contest for university students to come up with concepts for eco-efficient air travel. The top prize is €30,000 with the final to be announced at next year’s Paris Airshow.

Other stands to check out included The Air League, Cobham, GAPAN and MBDA, where some 50% of young apprentices are female.

The excitement continued with the ‘world final’ of the Tri-Nation Youth Rocketry challenge between France, UK and the US. The objective was to get a (non-hard-boiled) egg to an altitude of 825ft and then return it to Earth safely.

The French team, unfortunately has damaged its rocket in pre-competition testing, but were sportingly lent a spare rocket from the US so they could fly something during the day – although this flight would not count in the final fly-off.

Thus it was down to the UK and US to go head-to-head for the title of best ‘young rocketeers’. The UK went first and a perfect launch was marred only by the return payload unluckily hitting the only concrete road in a large grass field. The US went second and after a misfire on the igniter, launched a perfect flight. Once altimeters and eggs had been checked, the results were in – the US team had taken the trophy, with the UK coming in second Congratulations were due to the winning team, and commiserations to the unlucky losers.

And finally…

‘Futures Day’ at Farnborough 2010 undoubtedly can be regarded as a great success. While the trade show was winding down, the aerospace industry had joined forces to inspire the next generation of engineers, scientists, pilots and aviation professionals. And where better than at Farnborough where the future of aerospace was on show this week?

from the Royal Aeronautical Society

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