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Sky-high inspiration for engineering students on board New York aircraft carrier museum

Engineering students out in New York have been given a guided tour of some of America's finest and most complex military hardware.

Housed inside a giant aircraft carrier moored on the banks of the Hudson River, the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum gives visitors a close look at fighter jets, spacecraft and marine vessels.

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It is the sort of big-scale engineering which most inspires the De Montfort University students, out in New York on the university’s huge #DMUglobal trip.

Those on both the Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science courses got a close-up view of legendary craft like the Lockheed stealth jets, Space Shuttle Enterprise, F-14 Tomcat, Harrier Jumpjet and more – all arranged on the top deck of the Intrepid carrier itself, in the belly of which the main museum is displayed.

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With a knowledgeable tour guide, the students were led through the huge vessel, hearing how it had served in two world wars and Vietnam, saw the numbers of Japanese planes it had destroyed in the Pacific and how the craft was designed.

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They saw the history of military technology laid out in front of them in creative displays and were able to walk in the shadow of the mighty Enterprise, housed in a special pavilion on the top deck of the craft.

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Tanvir Choudhury, studying Mechanical Engineering, said: “I wasn’t really sure what was expecting but when I got here I saw the technology the military had in the 1960s and 1970s and was impressed by how much it has developed since then.

“The museum tour felt like reading a whole book, it was so well explained.”

Speaking on the observation deck of the Intrepid, overlooking the Hudson River, which had frozen over in the sub-zero January temperatures, Computer Science student David Dallamore said he had been impressed with the size of the museum.

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He said: “Seeing the space shuttles was amazing. There’s so much programming in them. It just shows applications of how computers are literally everywhere.

“The museum is giant – it shows so many redundant systems which are fascinating. It is an extreme application in the real world of what we are studying on our course.”

Vijay Pakka, senior lecturer in Engineering at DMU, said the visit gave students real inspiration to take home.

He said: “The students are studying dynamics and control systems in theory and a place like Intrepid will give them the opportunities to see all those theories being applied, like aerodynamics and how a space shuttle will be controlled.”

Posted on Sunday 7th January 2018

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