Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Christmas update

Since our last update a massive amount has changed, not just to the plane itself, but the greater impact it will have on a wider range of young people in Bristol

The build managed to get to a stage where the construction manual, parts diagrams, part location manual and common sense just didn’t work together!! We spent quite a long time ensuring that all the parts necessary for the next chapter of the build were ready and to hand before we started.

This chapter of the build is all based around the cockpit and includes not just the foot brake and rear flap controls, but the elevator joysticks, turning controls and… a thin wooden floor! The main cockpit structure was delivered pre-welded, so all we have to do in effect is kit out the space inside. There are thousands of different parts which all go together in a particular way to make the aircraft fly correctly so we needed to make sure we got it right!

Some of the parts were really tricky to put together however we rose to the challenge. Students used their knowledge of engineering tools and processes to accurately measure, mark out and fabricate some of the special small bespoke pieces, whilst others simply had the pleasure of bolting together individual components like a Lego kit!. As well as creating the rudder and brake pedals, we have now recently started to manufacture the control sticks which make the plane go up, down, left and right in the air. These are very important parts and as such, we are taking our time to make sure things go perfectly.

The other main development is that the weekly extended learning sessions are to be… extended!! We have come to realise that an hour a week is just not feasible, so, every Fortnight on a Tuesday, our students will start the build at 12.35pm and have a full five and a half hours to concentrate on the build until 6.00pm! This will also allow our partner school, The Orchard school, to bring their students down and have a much longer build session than before. The new longer sessions will start every Tuesday week B in the new year.