Defence College Visit

The Defence College of Aeronautical Engineering provides high quality and up-to-date aeronautical engineering training to members of each of the three armed services in order to meet the needs of tomorrow’s front line. Headquartered at RAF Cosford in Wolverhampton the City can be proud of this world class engineering facility. Today the members of the Club had the opportunity of visiting the College to see the work which is being carried out.

The sight of twenty Jaguars, single seat attack-bombers, lined up under one roof was one to excite everybody, especially schoolboys and Rotarians, young and old.  Aeroplanes, which also included Sea King helicopters and Tornado fighter-bombers, serve as a classroom for RAF students where they are taught avionics, weaponry, air-frame and jet engine maintenance. Students, who come from all over the world, can also have a cockpit experience: climb into the mock-up plane, settle in the  cockpit, start up the engines (with sound effects) taxi then take off while all your actions are viewed by instructors on two very large screens. There was a long queue of Rotarians dying to have a go!

Cosford was originally built as a disposal field and assembly plant for planes built in the Midlands but sent out to Shropshire to avoid concentrating too many assets in one place during wartime. RAF Cosford is now the principal centre for flight engineering training in the UK. There were plans to move it to South Wales, since shelved, but now a move to RAF Lyneham is mooted.  The CEO of Wolverhampton Council, an ex RAF man, said that it was daft idea. So let’s hope the politicians both national and local can prevail so that it stays put, is expanded, so to reinforce the manufacturing presence and prestige of our City and surrounding area.

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