Starting in March 2023, the Flight Simulator of the WW1 Aviation Heritage Trust will be funded by the UK Government through the Civil Aviation Authority STEM programme to visit 48 Primary Schools in Essex to inspire Years 5 & 6 to seek a career in aviation and to deliver outreach.
The Simulator is a 1915 design originally developed to assist budding pilots to learn to shoot at moving targets from a moving platform. Set up on a firing range, the pilots cocked their Lewis Machine Gun and manoeuvred the simulator cockpit to hit the targets. One hundred years later, the freedom to fire live rounds no longer exists so the Trust with DCMS funding has integrated a VR game using an Oculus Rift headset with the simulator. This gives the trainee pilot the chance to fly a range of missions in the simulator – air combat, to bombing and gunnery, balloon busting to night Zeppelin attacks.
The STEM Day also includes a quiz about the life and times of the inventor of the original simulator, Major Lanoe Hawker VC, DSO, RFC. Hawker was legendary pilot, leader, and inventor who achieved an astonishing reputation in 2 years of almost continuous service in N France before his untimely death at the hands of the Red Baron in November 1916. The Quiz is a Q & A session to improve the pupils’ knowledge of the history and technology of the era and gives them a benchmark to fully understand the amazing progress made in every walk of life in the last hundred years since. It also serves to highlight to the younger generation the Trust’s educational purpose. This will ensure that the children are aware of the courage and sacrifice of so many in the Great War that underwrites their democracy and freedoms today.
We will also bring details of the Poetry Plane. The Poetry Plane is a replica Nieuport 17 (one of ours) that will take off from England in July 24 with its special cargo of poems to be fluttered from the sky over N France. The poems written by schoolchildren and inspired by the war poets such as Wilfred Owen will be delivered to their French counterparts who in turn will write their own poems to be flown back in the spirit of friendship. The works, written on seeded bio-degradable paper allow the poems to grow into flowers, symbolizing peace in commemoration of WW1. The children who are not on the Simulator could read some of the works of the WW1 poets and write some of their own which we will fly to France in due course.
We have the funding for 48 STEM Days. All you have to do is book the day that you wish us to attend with your details in our booking’s software. The days that are available are shown below in aqua in the calendar below. if you choose our day and then proceed to our booking software to fill out the details that we need. Once we have checked the availability of the Simulator Operators and Quizmasters, we will confirm your booking.
The Trust’s STEM Day will begin with the Simulator arriving at 0800 to be set to work for a start at 0900 finishing at 1500. These times can be adjusted to accommodate individual schools’ schedules. We can engage with 60-80 children per day divided into 2 sessions before and after lunch at midday. There is the potential to link two schools together on the same day if they are in close proximity to each other and if the class sizes are small enough to fit within our parameters. Each session will be further sub-divided into 2 groups of 15-20. One group will fly the simulator and one will complete the Quiz which will be run 4 times in the day. At the end of the Quiz they will be invited to draw a picture of a particular aerial battle which will be explained at the end of the Quiz. The best drawing will receive a prize. The other half can read and write poems about war. We will need a space 8m*6m near a 240-volt supply with vehicle access and a classroom with computer and projection facilities linked to the Internet.