One of the workshops during the recent very successful and popular winter workshop weeks was a flying workshop. Long time maintenance employee David Madgwick taught the workshop, using an incredible self-built replica of an actual Spitfire cockpit he constructed in the maintenance shed whenever he had some free time.
The workshop lasted two and a half days and the students who signed up for it were interested in flying. One is even hoping to become a pilot himself after his years at Brockwood Park School.
David, who is a trained pilot himself, taught students about aerodynamics, the biology of the human body in flight including the effects of acceleration and deceleration on the body, optical illusion for pilots, weather & meteorology and radio systems.
In addition to the self-built cockpit he used US pilot training films and a flight simulator program that he downloaded onto computers in the Art Barn.
Apart from the flying lessons, there was also a historical component to the workshop. Students learned about what is still regarded today as one of the classic planes, the Spitfire. It turns out that the grandfather of one of the students actually flew one during World War 2. David also brought books from the WW2 period and memorabilia.
On the last day, after learning the basics of flight and how to fly on the flight simulator, students mimicked flying conditions in a Spitfire. They dressed up in actual flying garb from the period, lights were dimmed to simulate nighttime flying conditions, and for a brief time students were transported back to the 1940s.