Britain’s best kept secret..
Posted Monday, 13 June 2011 at 10:41
Having already flown in a simulator and a Hawk jet, I thought the experience of landing an Air Bus via a simulator would be a doddle... Wrong.
The new, enhanced simulator graphics and the strange disorientation you experience once the engines start up meant the perspiration had soaked the back of my neck and hair and the palms of my hands within seconds.
Predictably, the first time I took off ok, but it was very definitely a crash landing as I battled between the slow reaction of the heavy plane and the command controls which even though they tell you which way to move (hence being known as command), your brain tells you the opposite.
After my second, much more successful attempt, (ok, the flight engineer helped!) I chatted to some highly qualified students who are working on a project for British Aerospace at Cranfield University.
And that's the secret. Everyone in the UK thinks of Cranfield as a Business Management MBA University - and it is - one of the best; however, over the years the college has diversified, particularly into areas of air and space research and technology, and that is the secret which more people need to know about. Cranfield is growing and has earned its place on the world stage.
It is a delight to meet some of the most enthusiastic and able students and to see departments at work developing some of the most amazing technology.
Did you ever think the day would come when we would have moving runways and planes would no longer need landing gear? Neither did I but at Cranfield, out of the box blue sky thinking is the norm, as the quest to bring down the cost of air travel occupies the minds of the brightest in the world.
Nadine Dorries MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
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