Starling supports flying classroom


Starling Aerospace has contributed its technical expertise to a ‘flying classroom’ project in the UK that aims to facilitate the training of the next generation of aerospace engineers.

Working in partnership with Cranfield University’s National Flying Laboratory Centre (NFLC), Starling completed a six-month programme of modification and re-certification for all 35 seats in the NFLC’s Saab 340B aircraft, which is the latest educational asset to join the university’s fleet.

The project required a bespoke solution for the fitment of computer tablets and other equipment to each seatback in the flying classroom. Starling was responsible for the complete design, fabrication, modification, re-certification and installation process. The flying classroom enables aerospace engineering students, from more than 20 universities and Cranfield, to gain flight test experience as part of their research studies.

Operating from Cranfield’s Global Research Airport in Bedfordshire, the Saab 340B creates new research capabilities, including enabling projects that test the development of advanced aerospace technologies and flight operations.

“Supporting Cranfield’s training programme of future aerospace engineers has made this an exceptionally rewarding undertaking for Starling and one that required a complex array of technical challenges to be overcome, regarding bespoke design, parts manufacture and stringent re-certification,” said Coralie Wigg, Starling’s co-founding director. “Our team of design engineers and fabricators rose to these challenges with great professionalism and we were very proud to have partnered with Cranfield in support of its endeavours.”

“Starling Aerospace delivered a fantastic ‘future-proof’ solution to accommodate the Microsoft Surface Pro tablets in the headrests of the Saab 340 cabin seats, for our flying classroom tutorials,” said Richard Jones, aircraft technical manager, NFLC. “We were equally impressed with the durability and finish of the synthetic leather together with high standard of workmanship achieved by the whole Starling team.”

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Izzy has been part of the Business Jet Interiors International team since its second issue, and the editor since 2011. She also edits Auditoria and Railway Interiors International. Outside of work, Izzy is rediscovering her love of art by learning how to paint with watercolors.

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