Flying classroom experience for University of Limerick students

UL aeronautical engineering students with Robert Harrison of the National Flying Laboratory Centre and Dr Simon Place, Course Presenter at Cranfield University.

UNIVERSITY of Limerick students have taken to the skies aboard a unique flying classroom to learn about aeronautical engineering in flight.

The 43 aeronautical engineering students from the UL School of Engineering flew aboard The Flying Classroom to get a practical insight into aerodynamics and flight dynamics.

The classroom, which was based at Shannon Airport, is equipped with a range of advanced instrumentation and sensors that allow students to measure and analyse the performance of the aircraft in real time.

The aircraft is operated by The National Flying Laboratory Centre (NFLC) based at Cranfield University in the UK, with whom UL have a long association.

Aeronautical Engineering Course Director Professor Trevor Younge said it was an unforgettable experience for the students who learned about aerodynamics and flight dynamics in a practical and interactive way.

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“In engineering, there are lots of things that we can teach in a classroom and there are lots of things that we can simulate for our students, but to appreciate the complex behaviours of an aircraft in flight, students need to be in the air.

“We were delighted to welcome Cranfield University back to Shannon, so that they could provide this unique learning experience for our students,” Professor Younge explained.

The UL students took six flights from Shannon Airport and the flight path brought them along the Clare and Galway coastline, to an area with little or no turbulence.

During the flight, they were able to apply the concepts they had learned in the classroom to a real-world setting and gain a deeper understanding of the principles of aeronautical engineering.

Fourth year Aeronautical Engineering student Mary O’Donnell said: “It was incredible to observe aeronautical engineering in action and see what we had learned in our Flight Mechanics module applied in real life. My favourite part was experiencing the different flight modes and flying under 2g!”