Learning new things doesn’t have to be boring. Right now, with schools being closed and the challenge of keeping young minds busy whilst not being the family kill-joy, it’s going to be hard work to entertain and educate at the same time.
So, we’ve put together this resource of interesting flying and technology. A If you have someone in your family who’s always asking those questions about aircraft and flying, then here are some of the answers. There’s some smart videos covering everything from living in the International Space Station to flying gilders and drones.
Plus we have some links to some great resources that our friends and colleagues in aviation have gathered together too. So scroll down the page to find out more about every form of flying. Who knows, you might just find your next career in aviation.
Let’s start in space. Here’s a Tour of the International Space Station
Astronaut Suni Williams is an American astronaut and United States Navy officer who formerly held the records for total spacewalks by a woman and most spacewalk time for a woman. Here, she takes us on a tour of the ISS and explains what it’s like to live in space. Spoiler alert – in space, your hairstyle looks completely different to on earth!
You can read more about the ISS and see a complete collection of Suni’s videos at the main NASA website here:
Aerodynamics and How Things Fly
If you’re a hard core aviation geek and really want to know exactly how everything concerned with aeronautics works, here’s NASA’s brilliant A to Z resource of how everything works. A warning – there’s so much interesting stuff here, you will spend hours and hours learning some great facts
The Royal Air Force created this great resource covering 100 years of aviation. If you want to learn more and also stay on your schools curriculum at the same time, there’s lots of useful things on their website right here:
Bonus points – all of the RAF 100 activities and information are part of the schools and education key stage series, so you can claim you’re actually working too!
How Aircraft Fly
So you know that aircraft fly and you have a very rough idea how. It may be that you’re simply happy to breathe out when your holiday jet successfully takes of, or you may be a little more curious as to the basics of flight. Here’s a great video that covers the very essential principles of powered flight. The next time you see a fighter overhead or watch a huge Airbus A380 take to the air, you’ll know what makes it all possible after you’ve watched this video.
How to Start a Jet
Let’s face it, everyone loves the sound of a jet engine spinning up as it starts. Whether you’ve gazed out at the wing with excitement as your holiday jets starts up or you’ve been to one of our Thunder Days, you’ve probably gathered that it’s not as simple as starting your car each morning. However, once you’ve heard a good explanation of how jets work and how they start, the next time you see one, you’ll have a better idea of what’s happening in the cockpit.
Here’s a great video with explanation as a crew start a regional jet that shows exactly how jets start up and why they make the noises that they do as they start.
And once you’ve seen how it’s done in the video above, here’s another from on board our Nimrod on a Thunder Day engine run, complete with cockpit audio. If you’ve been to one of our Thunder Days you will have seen the ground start units we use, you will hear our crew using it here
What About Gliders?
We thought you’d never ask. So, if you watched the great MIT video above about how aircraft fly, then you’ll be wondering how gliders fly without thrust? Here’s a great video filmed at nearby Sutton Bank gliding centre that explains how a glider works and how they are able to stay airborne for hours and fly hundreds of miles, even though they don’t have any engines.
Dones and Quad Copters
Here’s a great video by the guys at MIT again that shows how quad-copter drones fly and how they can fly by themselves without human help
We’re going to be adding more and more resources and information here so keep checking back. And if you find an interesting website or video that does a good job of explaining some aviation related technology, please feel free to drop us a line.
If you’re enjoying this, by all means share it with your friends too.