Developing airline alert systems in Hastings

Hastings, sixth form, school, engineering

Parking sensors for aeroplanes?

Students from Ark 6th Form East Sussex have been participating in an engineering project as part of the Engineering and Education Scheme run by Engineering Development Trust (EDT) in conjunction with University of Brighton STEM Sussex. They have been working in collaboration with General Dynamics UK, an international aerospace and defence company. 

Every year planes get damaged, caused by their wings colliding whilst parking. This costs the airline industry millions every year. Students were tasked with finding a method that allowed pilots to be alerted if their wing span was at risk of touching another plane. They were given a brief to design, manufacture and test a motorised vehicle capable of detecting obstacles and alerting the operator to their presence.  

The students started their project last October and have met with General Dynamics every week after school to work on it.  They went to Canterbury Christ Church University on a residential stay to make the components.  Once there, they were able to use the engineering facilities and get advice from lecturers and technicians; they also met students already on courses  and attended a social evening. 

The students attended the University of Brighton where they were presented with their Gold Crest Award at the end of the day. This is the highest award available under the Crest; universities give added value to applications from students who take part, and it is the only non-academic qualification, apart from Duke of Edinburgh Award, which is recognised on a UCAS application.