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QEPrize

Karine Murray: From dreams of being an astronaut to becoming an aerospace engineer

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I was sixteen when I first learnt precisely what an engineer is, and it was then I decided it was the career for me. Having always wanted to be an astronaut, and being interested in technology and how things work, it didn’t take me long to realise that this is what suited me best. My interest in space and my experience as an Air Cadet meant that by this point I was firmly set on aerospace engineering and I took part in a Headstart course where I got to meet people that also wanted to be engineers. Then, through the ‘Year in Industry’ scheme, I did my gap year with an automotive engineering company, experiencing hands on engineering and solving real life problems.

Will the windowless fuselage become the plane of the future?

Aircraft cabin concept surrounded by the panoramic views of the windowless aircraft and showing the possible touchscreen and interactive entertainment offered by the wall and seatback displays.

Imagine soaring through the air at 500 miles per hour, 36,000ft above the ground, and a mere arm’s reach from the cloud tops you see stretching in every direction.  As the sun begins to go down, the entire cabin is lit floor to ceiling with the dazzling sunset, and even the passengers sitting in the aisle seats are afforded the 360o view of the runway as the plane glides in to land.

This is exactly the daydream that UK based innovation and technology centre CPI want to make a reality.  The conceptual design sees fleets of conventional aircraft joined by passenger planes featuring a windowless fuselage.  While being sealed into a darkened tube may sound like the stuff of nightmares to the nervous flier, CPI’s vision dispels all of these images. 

Come take a trip in my airship

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On 6 May 1937 disaster rocked the airship industry, stopping it in its tracks and taking 36 lives, as the LZ129 Hindenburg was engulfed in flames.

With their origins dating back to the late 1600s, it was not until a hundred years later that the first model- a balloon driven by a hand-powered propeller- took the skies.  Throughout the 19th century there was a great excitement surrounding the dirigible airship, and inventors raced one another to evolve the idea into a commercial success. 

Airbus tests high-tech concepts with 3D-printed mini aircraft

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A small-sized pilotless aircraft made using 3D printing (additive layer manufacturing) processes is showcasing Airbus’ pioneering and innovative spirit.

Airbus is using this mini aircraft project – known as THOR (Testing High-tech Objectives in Reality) – as a test bed for futuristic aircraft technologies: from 3D-printed structural parts to advanced aerodynamics and even artificial intelligence. 

QEPrize Trustee receives the Order of Merit from HM The Queen

Sir James Dyson OM CBE FREng, Professor Dame Ann Dowling OM DBE FREng FRS, HM The Queen, and The Rt Hon Professor Lord Darzi of Denham OM PC KBE HonFREng FRS FMedSci

Professor Dame Ann Dowling OM DBE FREng FRS, Trustee of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering Foundation and President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, yesterday formally joined the highly prestigious Order of Merit. She received the honour at Buckingham Palace during a private audience with Her Majesty The Queen.

Bloodhound sets a date for supersonic record attempt

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After a brief hiatus, the team behind BLOODHOUND Supersonic Car have announced that in October 2017 they will return to take on the World Land Speed Record set by Andy Green in 1997.

Twenty years after the RAF fighter pilot set the record of 763.035mph, becoming the fastest man on earth, the BLOODHOUND team have received the essential funding to complete the car.  The recent signing of major deals has secured the future of the supersonic project, and the countdown has officially begun to high-speed testing at the Hakskeen Pan in South Africa in the autumn of next year. 

Dawn Elson: From aviation to entertainment engineering

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Dawn Elson is the Engineering Director for Merlin Entertainments Group. She has responsibility for the engineering strategy, standards, procedures and compliance of a global portfolio of around 120 theme parks and attractions. We spoke to Dawn to find out more about her engineering career and background in the aerospace industry.

Sierra Nevada Space Corporation chase their dreams of commercial space travel

Dream Chaser Image c.o.NASA

Earlier this year, NASA selected US company, Sierra Nevada Space Corporation’s (SNC) Space Systems, to provide cargo delivery, return and disposal solutions for the International Space Station.

The multi-year contract would see SNC’s ‘Dream Chaser’ undertaking at least six cargo delivery missions to the space station, and would provide NASA with direct access to the ISS until 2024.