The Aerospace Experience Summer School has taken place at the School of Engineering at Cranfield University since 2001. Although hosted at Cranfield, the Schools Aerospace Challenge Summer School is not a Cranfield course.

It’s an exclusive opportunity to enter the world of aerospace, including the chance to fly and to gather flight data on-board the National Flying Laboratory’s Jetstream ‘flying classroom’. Along with practical design and management exercises, there are presentations from top industry guest experts and visits to some of the best aviation sites in the UK (and some indoor sky diving!).

This five-night stay is a unique opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the opportunities available in aerospace and engineering, and to begin to make contacts in this exciting world.

The content of each Aerospace Experience Summer School Week varies from year to year. The Directors make every effort to provide as broad an experience as possible for the students during their time at Cranfield. The following list shows some of the topics and events of recent years:

  • Meet & Greet on arrival, a chance to get to know everyone
  • RAF Career Opportunities briefing by RAF recruiting staff
  • Basic Aerodynamics review
  • Life in The Red Arrows briefing
  • Visit to Hybrid Air Vehicles
  • Aircraft Stability and Control principles
  • SABRE engine technology briefing by Reaction Engines
  • Eurofighter Typhoon design considerations briefing
  • Jetstream “Flying Classroom” exercises
  • Construction Exercises
  • Aerospace Growth Partnership briefing on current opportunities
  • Escape Systems briefing
  • A life in Airline Operations briefing
  • Gas Turbine Engine design development history lecture
  • Visit to Marshall Aerospace, Cambridge
  • UAV Operations visit to RAF Waddington
  • Management Strategy Exercises
  • Aircraft Carrier Operations briefing
  • Air Crash Investigation visit and practical exercise
  • Wind Tunnels visits
  • Indoor Free Fall – Airkix Milton Keynes
  • Design Submission Review (one-on-one debrief)

Teams are accommodated in Mitchell Hall and all meals are provided. The day normally starts at 09:00 and ends around 17:00. Early starts may be required when teams travel to visit other facilities.

Sport and recreation activities take place each evening under the guidance of dedicated graduate apprentices from some of the sponsoring companies, who attend the whole week to mentor and support the teams

Joining instructions will be sent by email to all team captains no later than Friday 15 June 2018, so it is important that team captains notify of any changes to their contact details.

For details of previous winning teams see the Winners section.


Arrive by 17:00 on Sunday 29 July 2018

Depart 15:00 Friday 3 August 2018