F1 and a 747
Posted Friday, 6 March 2009 at 16:50
This has to be the best job in the world. The photo is of me landing a Boeing 747 this morning. Oh yes I did!
Well, I'll own up - it is the 747 simulator at Cranfield University; and this morning I have spent time with the Vice Chancellor, and Deputy Vice Chancellor, getting to know more about what happens at the University, which tops world league tables for so many things.
In addition to the flight simulator, I visited the workshops where F1 cars are driven at high speed into concrete walls. From Aerospace to soil, Cranfield is leading edge not only in how technology is developed, but in how it is applied in everyday life. It is the home of UK F1 testing.
The fact that so many F1 drivers walk out of horrific crashes is as a direct result of research undertaken in Cranfield.
I watched an amazing video of the Boeing X48 test flight which took place recently at Dryden air base in the US. A futuristic looking plane which combines wing and body in one unit with engines on top and wing sails. Looks like something from a science fiction movie. It gives you a buzz to know it was developed here, in Cranfield, in conjunction with NASA and the US Air Force.
Cranfield is a major employer in my constituency. Excluding the overseas students, the University is responsible for around 2,000 jobs. Given that it also hosts the world famous management school, I would think they are jobs that are going to remain fairly secure for some time.
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