Aviation boost

Flight academy ready for take off in Glasgow

Nicola Sturgeon tries her hand at a flight simulator

Glasgow Science Centre is to become home to the UK’s first Newton Flight Academy, a permanent classroom used to teach students aviation-related STEM concepts that will include three full-motion flight simulators. 

The academy is made possible through funding from US aircraft manufacturer Boeing and is being developed in partnership with First Scandinavia.

Boeing has invested more than £3.5 million in the past three years to set up a network of STEM-focused “Newton Rooms” around Europe.

The one in Glasgow will be the first full academy outside of Norway when it opens in the spring of 2022 and was announced today by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during a visit to the Boeing Innovation Forum at Glasgow Airport.

The two-day event brings together partners in Scotland and the broader aviation sector to demonstrate the role today’s sustainable technologies can play in the future of aviation and prepare the industry for a more sustainable future. 

The Forum is under the umbrella of the Boeing Scotland Alliance, which was launched in 2020 with Scottish Enterprise.

It is designed to explore opportunities to work together in Scotland, to double Boeing’s supply chain and create 200 jobs in five years.

On Tuesday, Boeing and the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland opened a new £11.8 million R&D programme next to Glasgow Airport that will explore novel manufacturing technologies for metallic components.

The centrepiece of the forum is a visit by Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator aircraft. Since 2012, the ecoDemonstrator aircraft programme has accelerated innovation by testing nearly 200 promising technologies to address challenges for airlines, passengers and the environment. 

Derek Provan, chief executive of AGS Airports, which owns and operates Glasgow Airport, said “This two-day event is about recognising the huge progress the aviation and aerospace sectors have made as we work towards decarbonising what is truly one of the most global industries and looking ahead to what else we can achieve through innovation and partnerships on our collective journey to net zero.”

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