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University unveils high-tech boost for aerospace students

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One of Swansea University’s most exciting facilities has been expanded to offer an even better learning environment for its students.

The flight simulation suite in the Department of Aerospace Engineering now boasts new equipment installed by the Merlin Flight Simulation Group and unveiled at a special event attended by staff and students.

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Dr Ben Evans, Head of Aerospace said: “We are delighted to have received our new six axis motion simulator from Merlin which, along with the additional desktop simulator, doubles the capacity of our flight simulation lab here at Swansea. 

 “This will be a fantastic benefit to all of our aerospace students at Swansea for whom access to the Merlin flight simulator suite is a critical part of their learning experience.” 

Flight simulators are among the most sophisticated software systems in existence. A flight simulator artificially re-creates aircraft flight and the environment in which it flies. This enhanced facility is perfect for the design and development of aircraft, plus research into aircraft characteristics and control handling qualities.

One of Swansea University’s flight simulators (Image: Swansea University)

The refit also saw Merlin install another MP500-1 system, making a total of five simulators within the laboratory at the University’s Bay Campus.

This suite of simulators can replicate a variety of conditions, including the equations that govern how aircraft fly, how they react to applications of flight controls, the effects of other aircraft systems, and how the aircraft reacts to external factors such as air density, turbulence, wind shear, cloud, and precipitation.

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The ability to design a variety of different air vehicles as well as different atmospheres, such as Mars, allows students to be at the forefront of new technologies.

The University’s collaboration with Merlin will see it hosting the prestigious IT FLIES UK competition in June 2023 after two years of virtual events.

Dr Evans added: “We are also excited to be hosting the competition and welcoming student teams from across the globe to use our state-of-the-art facility.”

Lead image: Staff and students mark the expansion of the flight simulation suite at Swansea University’s Bay Campus. (Image: Swansea University)

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