A team of apprentices from across Marshall has given an aging glider simulator a new lease on life as part of a drive to make aviation more accessible to a diverse range of young people.
Last year, the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) launched its innovative Falcon 2 programme, a key facet of which is the Flyability Challenge – an initiative calling on schools and students aged 6-19 to share ideas about making flight simulators accessible to people with a range of disabilities or special needs.
The inventive solutions stemming from this challenge will be integrated into the Falcon 2 Flight Simulator programme, a collaborative effort for schools and colleges to craft a motion flight simulator over the next few years.
To help kick-start the programme, the RAeS acquired an aging glider simulator donated by the British Gliding Association. They entrusted Marshall Aerospace with the complex task of resurrecting it in time for the Duxford Battle of Britain air show in mid-September, and a team of apprentices enthusiastically took on the opportunity to contribute to this extraordinary STEM initiative.
Seven extraordinary apprentices took part in the project, including Aircraft Fitters Oscar Gould and Joe Taylor, Design Engineers Elodie Woods and Finn Kernan, and Alex Johnson, Jake Curtis, and Cameron Mott from Manufacturing Support.
They not only breathed new life into the old simulator but also improved it with several accessibility and functionality upgrades. From enhancing stability by redesigning the base framework to crafting a custom hinged front section for easier access, the Marshall apprentices showcased their skill, creativity and leadership, overseeing every aspect of the overhaul from inception to completion.
The teamwork involved in this project was truly exceptional with nearly every Marshall department playing a part, supported by contributions from the ground support team who provided transport to the paint shop, who in turn worked to give the simulator a heritage Slingsby glider look and feel.
The refurbished simulator made its debut at Duxford, captivating aviation enthusiasts of all ages. It has now been passed into the capable hands of the RAeS, destined to travel to national events, schools, and outreach programs far and wide.
In addition to being a resounding success in support of the RAeS Flyability Challenge, the restored glider simulation symbolises the passion and collaborative spirit of Marshall’s apprentices, as well as Marshall Skills Academy's commitment to STEM education, innovation and inclusivity.