Here’s what is heading to schools thanks to a Northampton firm

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Glider simulator upgrade will allow more people to experience it

A glider simulator is set to land at schools and community groups in a neighbouring county thanks to a donation from a Northampton gas engine maintenance firm.

Duston-based CooperÖstlund donated £500 towards the upgrade of a glider simulator owned by Booker Gliding Club near Marlow.

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The gliding club is keen for more people to have the opportunity to use the high-tech piece of equipment, but it requires a software upgrade in order to make it more accessible for a wider group of people.

Booker Gliding Club's glider simulatorBooker Gliding Club's glider simulator
Booker Gliding Club's glider simulator

The upgrade will allow the club to take the simulator into schools and community and youth groups in Buckinghamshire. There will be a particular focus on working with girls, who are under-represented in aviation.

The glider has already been used in collaboration with Milton Keynes College for a school event, giving students a taste of aerospace engineering and demonstrating STEM subjects in action.

CooperÖstlund, which works closely with MK College to recruit apprentices, stepped in to help with the simulator upgrade and is looking forward to seeing the latest version in action.

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Duncan McPherson, CooperÖstlund’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We’re delighted to be able to support this project, which will benefit a wide range of community groups and individuals.

“We are always keen to help spark an interest in engineering and STEM subjects, and the glider simulator is the perfect way to do this.”

James Giles, Booker Gliding Club’s Community Liaison Officer, said the upgrade – which will include enhanced controls and graphics – will provide a more realistic flying experience for both novices and experts.

He said: “Gliding is an ‘invisible’ sport – very few people know about gliding and the possibilities it offers, nor do they understand the theory of flight or how weather works.

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“It is significantly more affordable and sustainable than other aerosports such as power planes and helicopters.

“With the simulator operational and mobile, we will use engaging talks to inspire future generations of pilots and engineers and so forge a deeper understanding of sustainable aviation.”

Mr Giles said they are also going to explore the use of the simulator for older people, those unable to meet the medical requirements for flight, and those with limited means.

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