15 July 2022

Degree-Level Engineering Student Invited to Royal Air Force Base

Marilyn Ward

Degree-level student, Marilyn Ward, who studies Mechanical Engineering at East Sussex College Hastings tested components for the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight on behalf of local company Retrotech, specialist aircraft restorers and aero consultants.

Marilyn WardFor Marilyn’s degree project she was invited up to RAF Coningsby to see the wheel assemblies on the Lancaster Bomber and tour the facilities. The components were part of the braking system and were being evaluated for the new magnesium alloy wheels under investigation.

Speaking about her visit to RAF Coningsby, Marilyn said, "I was stunned by the size of the aircraft, having dealt with components down to microscopic detail. I was also amazed by how many top RAF engineers had read my report. This really opened my eyes to my engineering potential."

Project Engineering lecturer at East Sussex College Hastings, Peter Wheeler, joined Marilyn and they were both fortunate to see the sophisticated engineering operations in the maintenance facility for the RAF Typhoon Interceptor in the cockpit and view the head up displays.

Peter said, "The wealth of data from all the components and the airframe of each aircraft and its interpretation is so important in maintaining them to the highest standard. A real insight into the best of modern engineering practice and also a great tribute to see how the 77-year-old Lancaster is kept in superb flying condition.

"Involving our students in real issues with local companies is very important, as it gives them an opportunity to see how Hastings’ engineering skills are in use across the world."

If you’re interested in studying Engineering at East Sussex College, please visit our website here to have a look through all the courses on offer.