SABRE team members put together an interactive, fun and informative afternoon’s workshop focused on sustainable aviation for “ACCESS to Bristol”, a widening participation scheme.
The event took place on 26th February 202. In total, 20 students (aged between 16 and 17 years old) took part in the workshop. They met key eligibility criteria, for example, attending a state school, potentially being the first in their family to attend University or living in a neighbourhood with a low rate of progression to higher education.
The workshop began with a short aeronautics lecture motivating the challenge of making aviation more sustainable, highlighting the challenging physics underneath this problem. It also introduced some of the promising new technologies being researched by the SABRE team to address the environmental impact of rotorcraft.
There was then a “Design, Build, Test” activity which required the students to apply the principles outlined in the lecture in order to build an efficient aircraft wing. This involved dividing into 4 teams, with each team having to decide how best to
compromise between the competing demands of structural and aerodynamic efficiency as they designed and built their own wing from balsa, birch plywood, paper, and hot glue. These wings were then tested for stiffness, mass, and aerodynamic performance. The winners, “Team Hindenberg”, achieved the best balance between the requirements while also having a very well-built wing.
The students were completely engrossed in the activities of the afternoon and designed and built some excellent wings. They had an engaging, enjoyable and instructive time and left keen to learn more about aerospace.