We were delighted to have been recently hosted by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) to exhibit the X-Plorer 1 at the annual instalment of the Royal International Air Tattoo! Vice-presidents, Ross and Hamzah, were joined by team advisor, Alan, to speak to the public about what it is that JetX does, how the IET promotes engineering particularly among younger people and generally about all things aerospace. Given the nature of the event, there was no shortage of aviation enthusiasts and students of all ages interested in our use of additive manufacturing.
The team arrived on Thursday to begin setting up the stall with our information leaflets and brochures, as well as the X-Plorer 1 and the all-new "desktop fan"; a scaled replica of the fan design that is found on the X-plorer 1 EC currently housed at the University of Sheffield. Once set up, the team took a behind-the-scenes walk about the Techno Zone before the air tattoo opened to the public on Friday.
After an (extremely) early and wet start to Friday, the weekend of flight was underway. However, due to the temperamental British summer, no air displays took place. To remedy this, we were instead delighted to meet and have a chat with Tim Peake in the Techno Zone. Whilst Hamzah and Alan got their picture with him and signed one of the annual reports, Ross only managed to almost walk into him as they passed through a door. The remainder of this day was spent talking to the public and fellow exhibitors alike, with interest from both equally.
On Saturday, air displays finally began. Highlights included a centenary celebration of British Airways with a Boeing 747-400 flanked by the Red Arrows and an opportunity for Ross to see a childhood favourite; an Apache attack helicopter.
With Ross having left late on Saturday, it was up to Hamzah and Alan to close out RIAT 2019. After an exhausting weekend, there was no respite to come with Sunday being the busiest day of the three. Nonetheless, they survived as we almost ran through our entire stock of 3D-printed keyrings!
Be sure to check out an interview from Hamzah, recorded kindly by Colin McKenzie of the IET Aerospace Network discussing what JetX is, what we do and why we do it, available here. The team loved their time at RIAT 2019 and are keen to explore further opportunities in the future alongside the IET, promoting engineering to the younger generation and the general public. We would also like to thank Robert Allison and Robert McLaughlan of the IET for their help in making this possible, as well as all the volunteers and organisers for this great experience. You can find out more about the institution's goals and activities by following the link below.
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