Model future fighter jet takes flight at Manchester

Aerospace MSc students from The University of Manchester's School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering have successfully flown a model inspired by last year's announcement of the Tempest programme at Farnborough Airshow.

The students were required to complete the design and build within two weeks, and to perform a flight demonstration at the EPSRC CASCADE collaboration workshop, which was held between 17 and 21 June 2019 at Snowdonia Aerospace Centre in Llanbedr, North Wales.

Their aircraft uses foam board for the entirety of its structure and is powered by an electric ducted fan. It has a wingspan of two metres and all up weight of 6kg.

Currently, the whole of the UK aerospace sector is gearing up for Tempest - the future fighter jet - which is set to be released in 2035. Companies including BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce, as well as the Ministry of Defence, are restructuring to prepare for the years of research, development and manufacturing ahead.

The Tempest programme promises to be the pinnacle of British engineering - and The University of Manchester is keen to be involved. The successful test flights of the students' model aircraft demonstrate some of the aerodynamic characteristics of an aircraft with a Tempest-like shape.

The MSc students involved have since been studying these characteristics in an effort to help with the research required for the next generation fighter jet.

A video of the students' successful flights can be seen below:

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