Students Flying High With It Flies Competition Results

Merlin Flight Simulation Group’s annual IT FLIES UK competition, held recently at The College of Engineering, Swansea University, resulted in a tie for first place

by Marion Neal | Friday 26 June 2015

Dayton Team with Gordon McClymont - Test Pilot
Tied between The University of Dayton, Ohio, USA, and Glyndwr University, North Wales – the latter being a team of Airbus apprentices.

Entries were of an extremely high standard in the competition this year ,and nine teams had their aircraft designs ‘flown’ and assessed by two of the UK’s top test pilots, Dave Southwood and Gordon McClymont – who both teach at The Empire Test Pilots School, Boscombe Down.

Out of nine entries this year The University of Dayton’s simulation of The Wright Flyer Silver Bird, and Glyndwr’s simulation of a Cirrus Glider, tied for top spot.

Test pilot Dave Southwood said of The Silver Bird ‘This was a fascinating model of a modern replica of a very old aeroplane, an interesting challenge. The team compared the characteristics of their model with experimental data plus anecdotal data from pilots who had flown the replica, a very thorough approach. Sadly the replica aircraft had been lost in an accident, and it was very interesting that the flying qualities of the model were consistent with reports of the behaviour of the aircraft when the accident occurred. This appeared to be an excellent simulation of The Silver Bird.’

And of the Glyndwr Glider ‘What we always look for in a model is whether or not if flies like it looks, particularly with respect to the inertia characteristics, flying control layout and overall aerodynamic configuration.

This model faithfully represented all of the performance and flying qualities characteristics of such a glider. Novel use of initialization parameters even allowed a launch and cable-break manoeuvre to be flown. If simulators could model the lift in the atmosphere, I could have soared for hours with this model!’


Marion Neal
Merlin Products Ltd
+44 (0) 1403 711799

Friday 26 June 2015 / file under Education | Aerospace