The electronic and aeronautical test facility at Milton Keynes College in the UK recently purchased an AF1300 Subsonic Wind Tunnel for teaching Level 3 Aeronautical Engineering BTEC Diploma students, which is used on a regular basis as part of the course.
Addressing the Aeronautical Engineering Skills Shortage
In response to the world skills shortage of aeronautical engineers, in 2016 Milton Keynes College began a dedicated Aeronautical Engineering BTEC. This course, headed up by Sean Hainsworth, former RAF aerospace engineer, first began as a trial. Following the course’s success, Milton Keynes College had a full cohort of 40 applicants starting in September 2018.
Wind Tunnel in the Syllabus
Students are required to complete projects that involve the design, manufacture and test of aerofoils throughout the year. As part of the course, students have a project to design and build three types of aerofoil, testing with three angles in the wind tunnel (0 degrees, 5 degrees and the critical 15-degree stall angle) and then applying three different equations (lift, drag and wind speed).
Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering
The AF1300 Subsonic Wind Tunnel is used as a standard piece of equipment in specialist aeronautical engineering facilities across the globe. For the Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering, the equipment is utilised for the following units:
• Unit 5: Mechanical Principles and Applications
• Unit 48: Theory of Flight
• Unit 68: Principles and Applications of Aircraft Mechanical Science