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Test pilot inspires next generation of engineers

Ed Strongman

Ed Strongman

Press release issued: 24 March 2010

Ed Strongman, the test pilot for the Airbus A400M, an ambitious new military transporter project, returned to the University last week [Thursday 18 March] to give a lecture about the project.

The test pilot for an ambitious new military transporter project that had its first flight in December 2009, the Airbus A400M, returned to the University last week [Thursday 18 March] to give a lecture about the project.

In his talk, Ed Strongman, Airbus’s chief military test pilot and Bristol Electrical and Electronic Engineering graduate, described the design features of the A400M and the flight-testing that has been completed to date.  Due to the worst weather in 75 years having been experienced in Seville, where the aircraft is assembled and tested, the flight-testing so far has been less than planned. 

Whilst the project is multi-national, Bristol plays a key part.  It is the first large aircraft to fly with a wing constructed largely of carbon composite materials, designed and built by Airbus in Bristol.  It also has four advanced turboprop engines that are more powerful than any engine of this type in the western world and Rolls-Royce in Bristol is a primary partner. 

Dr Mark Lowenberg, Head of the Department of Aerospace Engineering, said: “The talk was a tremendous inspiration to the students in the audience and an excellent example of the cross-disciplinary collaboration needed in order to integrate such a variety of advanced systems into a successful new aerospace product.

“It was fitting that the lecture was linked to BAC100 – the celebration of the start of the aerospace industry in Bristol by Sir George White in 1910.”


Further information

Please contact Joanne Fryer for further information.
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