3 July 2010
In June, two students from the University of Bristol took part in the 2010 Royal Aeronautical Society/Merlin Flight Simulation Group "It Flies" Aircraft Design and Handling Competition held at Coventry University. Salman Iqbal, studying avionics, and Michael Illsley, studying aeronautical, together with Dr Askin T. Isikveren made up the Bristol Team. Drawing on their final year research projects the undergraduate students submitted a novel aircraft design that used thrust vectoring for pitch control. The platform for the innovative design was a Bombardier Aerospace Global Express XRS ultra-long range business jet. There was intense competition with seven other teams from universities around the UK being involved, including a team of ten from Swansea University, and all the submissions being judged in simulated flight tests and on technical information.
Unfortunately, due to some imperfections in the simulation model, the Bristol Team did not get placed. Despite this misfortune the design generated considerable interest amongst the judges, pilots, engineers, academics and other teams. The team received an unprecedented three Special Prizes: Most Innovative Design (Association of Aerospace Universities award); Best Technical Information (Engineering Sciences Data Unit, ESDU, award); and, Best Presentation (Messier Dowty award), giving prize money worth some £700.