Festival of Flight was to celebrate 70 years of flight linked
to the University. Cranfield University is located near to Bedford,
Bedfordshire and is now primarily a research centre as you would
expect from a University. The campus not only has a runway suitable
for a vast array of aircraft to land and take off bit is also
having built a purpose built hanger that will be a huge laboratory.
Financially backed by Rolls Royce & Airbus amongst others.
The tour guides explained how the hanger / lab was going to
work with wing sections and engines along with smaller learjet
types being able to fit into the 40metre x 40 metre floor area,
as long as it is under 6 metres high. The complex has the largest
XXXXXX crane of its type in Europe.
to the airshow, parts of the campus were open to the public
view what else goes on at the site. Including what can only
be described as 3D printing but with metal rather than plastic,
the metals used include titanium and aluminium which are both
used in the aerospace industry. Rather than waste 80% of the
material in manufacture they now use 80% and waste just 20%!
was a vehicle area, which included cars such as a Morgan +4,
a 2002 Formula 1 Race car from BAR Honda (Jacques Villeneuve).
These were viewed by HRH the Duke of Kent prior to the airshow.
the tours complete it was time for the airshow, with so many
aircraft planned it was going to be a good afternoon of flying
displays. The organisers had sold out of their planned 5000
tickets, which was good despite the low cloud that was across
most of the UK. The show started with a very unusual combination
of an Extra 300S flying with a scale model doing the same routine,
this was so unusual to see and you can see why it won so many
awards since the display started.