Thorite – Royal Air Force Museum’s C-130 flies again
Thorite was recently approached to help inspire future pilots and aircrew at the Royal Air Force Museum at Cosford, Shropshire. Staff at the RAF Museum approached Thorite because of problems with an interactive display at the museums Fun ‘n’ Flight educational area. Fun ‘n’ Flight houses several fascinating displays which are mainly aimed at a younger audience which demonstrates the technology involved in aircraft design & flight.
The most popular display by far is the Lockheed C-130 Hercules military transport plane, where this scale model simulates a parcel drop into a given target area, which is great at developing teamwork for younger visitors, as it is almost as if they were a real-life aircrew.
The display was first installed in 1997 and a normal day will see the C-130 fly anything up to one hundred ‘sorties’ and it will do this seven days a week. During air shows or other events, this can easily increase to two hundred ‘sorties’. Museum staff have calculated that the model has now flown the distance to Afghanistan & halfway back.
Unsurprisingly, after so many flights, reliability issues had surfaced. Museum staff contacted a local specialist who was unable to resolve the problems. This was when Thorite was approached for help.
Thorite’s Pneumatic Applications Manager, Mik Rhodes visited the museum and immediately isolated the problem to the control panel. A series of buttons control the simulation and, after twenty-two years, they were no longer young person proof.
Working with the museums Fun ‘n’ Flight Technician, Peter Bunting, a completely new control panel was designed and built, meeting all the exacting requirements of the simulation. The original control panel had to remain in place until the new system could be installed because the museum is open every day, but late last year the new panel, along with IMI Norgren control valves and a complete wiring system was installed and has worked faultlessly since.
Thorite is IMI Norgren’s largest distributor, specialising the in design and development of pneumatic and electro-pneumatic automation control. For more information please contact Thorite on 0800 034 5850 or visit www.thorite.co.uk