Coventry welcomes high flyers for international competition

University news

Wednesday 30 May 2012

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Coventry University will play host to IT FLIES, Merlin Flight Simulation Group’s annual Aircraft Design and Handling Competition 2012 in June.

Teams from universities throughout the UK, including three from Coventry University, and one from the USA will compete in the event which takes place on Tuesday 12 June at the Faculty of Engineering and Computing.

Organised by Merlin Flight Simulation Group, this competition is not just an aircraft design exercise as all entries are 'flown' in Coventry University’s state-of-the-art engineering flight simulator.

Marion Neal, the Marketing Director from Merlin said:

This is a brilliant opportunity for students to produce a design which actually flies.  Competitions were originally judged on paper with no proof that the aircraft would ever be able to fly. It is so important that students appreciate the practical side of aerospace engineering – many of whom will be looking for positions within the aero industry and designing the aircrafts of the future.  Coventry University’s superb Aerospace Laboratory is the perfect place to hold the event.

The competition is judged in two parts:

Students are asked to give an oral presentation of their project (around 10 minutes) to the judges and audience, followed by the ‘flying’ and assessment of their aircraft designs by the test pilots.

The judges on the day will be Dave Southwood, tutor at the Empire Test Pilots’ School, and Graham Archer, Chief Test Pilot at Cobham PLC.

Chris Bland, Head of Department, Systems Engineering said:

We are very pleased that the IT FLIES competition will once again be held at Coventry University. This enables students to meet some of the UK’s best test pilots and have their aircraft simulation models scrutinised at the highest level. The detailed presentation to the panel of judges also lets them practice important skills that employers need.

The winner team will receive £800 in prize money from Merlin Flight Simulation Group. Coventry University students lost out last year to the University of Dayton, having won for the two previous years, and are keen to gain back the title.

IT FLIES UK has been running for over 10 years, and now UK students have the amazing opportunity of competing at the US version which is held at the University of Dayton, Ohio each April.

The competition starts at 9am on Tuesday 12 June in the Aerospace Labs, Faculty of Engineering and Computing, Alma Building, Alma Street, Coventry.

For further information contact Sarah-Jane Dean, Coventry University on +44 (0)24 7688 8245, or Marion Neal, Marketing Director, Merlin Flight Simulation Group on 01403 711 799,