Saab 340B Image:Cranfield University

Saab 340B is a replacement for Uni’s Jetstream 31

Cranfield University’s National Flying Laboratory Centre’s (NFLC) fleet expansion became a reality this month with the transfer of ownership of its latest asset, a Saab 340B aircraft.

The University has been fundraising this year for a replacement to its ageing Jetstream 31, which operates from Cranfield’s Global Research Airport.

The unique facility provides aerospace engineering students from over 20 Universities and Cranfield with flight test experience as a flying classroom.

Helen Atkinson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor – School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing said:

“Students get to experience for themselves what they have studied and it brings their calculations to life. Its invaluable experience and provides graduates with the skills required for careers in aerospace.

“A number of stakeholders who employ graduates, including some of the UK’s leading aerospace companies and many of the universities who fly with us, have already agreed to help us towards our fundraising target – along with the major upfront commitment from Cranfield itself.

“Now we need our friends and alumni to help us to complete our fundraising campaign for this important national flying laboratory and classroom.”

The larger aircraft will accommodate more students on each flight, creating new research capabilities.

Further funding is needed to complete modifications to support the next generation of aero-engineers. The modifications will ensure the aircraft is upgraded from a standard commercial plane to a fully bespoke facility.

Its delivery to Cranfield University is expected mid-2020.

Sixth Queen’s Anniversary Prize

This week, the University announced it had been awarded its sixth Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its work supporting aero-engineering students through the use of the NFLC facilities.

The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes are the UK’s most prestigious form of national recognition open to a UK academic or vocational institution.