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16th September 2009

South West teens check out aeronautical engineering

Flybe, the UK's Number One domestic airline joins leading education partners to host key Future Engineers' event in Exeter

Two hundred teenagers from 19 schools across the South West will become aeronautical engineers for the day on Thursday 17 September. Organised by Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline, the University of Exeter, Exeter College and the Royal Navy, this special event will see youngsters aged 14–18 getting up-close to aircraft  and being hands-on with their various components and encourage them to consider a career in engineering.

The visit to Flybe’s state-of-the-art New Walker Hangar at Exeter Airport  will allow the students to meet engineers at work, view the airline’s Central Workshops and the airline’s Bombardier Dash 8 – Q400 aircraft as well as a number of Royal Navy helicopters that - accompanied by a mobile Battle Damage Repair unit – will allow them to witness firsthand engineering in action.

At the University of Exeter they will find out more about the science behind aeronautics and aviation and enjoy a taste of studying engineering at University. Working with University engineers, they will build model aircraft wings, discover how the internal structure of a wing helps an aircraft achieve flight and then have the chance to test out their own models to find out which is the strongest. Using the University’s new 3D visualisation suite they will also learn how propellers and wings can be designed, prototyped and then tested in wind tunnels and flow visualisation channels. 

A Careers’ Fair, organised by Exeter College, will give students information about various engineering careers and company representatives will talk to students about the wide range of opportunities available and outline their particular needs.

Simon Witts, Flybe’s Director of Safety, Quality & Training says: “Flybe understands the importance of attracting and retaining a skilled and qualified workforce so we are looking forward to showcasing the apprenticeship opportunities we can offer these enthusiastic and talented young people. We hope they will be inspired to consider engineering as an attractive career option, especially in the aviation sector that offers solid well-paid career progression to much sought-after engineers.”

Professor Ken Evans, Head of the School of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, at the University of Exeter, says: “We are dedicated to encouraging young people to consider studying engineering at university. This event is a great way of showing them how a degree in engineering could pave the way to a very exciting career as an engineer in aeronautics and aviation.”

Assistant Principal of Exeter College, Rob Bosworth, adds: “Engineering always has and always will play a vital role in the global and local economy and technological advances for future generations. It is vital, therefore, that young people become engaged in the subject at an early age and that they can see its application to the real world. Events such as this enable this to happen and we are all delighted to be able to bring this exciting event to the South West.”