Overview of the Centre

In October 2016, a topping out ceremony was held to mark the highest point of the building being reached and over the coming months work will continue on kitting the building out.

The £35 million AIRC builds on our existing expertise and will foster collaboration between industry and academia, providing capabilities comparable with the leading aerospace facilities across Europe and the world. 

Tim Mackley, a Senior Lecturer in Systems Engineering, who will head up the Centre said: “The AIRC represents a new approach to performing research in an increasingly integrated world. I am looking forward to working with our partners in industry and across academia to develop what is intended to be a key capability in aerospace research, both in the UK and internationally.”

The Centre’s uniqueness is its focus on integration in aerospace, where new aerospace technologies will be rapidly developed and tested for current and future aircraft and airspace concepts using modern simulation and visualisation techniques, creating a virtual aerospace environment for research. 

Its design emphasises collaborative working, with spaces for partner firms to carry out their research while calling on the wider facilities of the University. There is a large open area in the building for mechanical, electrical and structural type research; hangar doors will directly open on to the airfield, designed to accommodate a 19-seater aircraft like our own Jetstream 31. 

This project has been co-funded by Airbus, Rolls-Royce, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and ourselves

AIRC Factoids

  • Dimensions – 16.6m high, 67.5m long, 40m wide. 
  • Time taken to build – design and enabling works approx 12 months; construction approx 12 months.
  • Materials used – over 500 tons of steel and over 90 tons of glass. 
  • Crane used in construction – widest in the UK (40m wide) and the second widest in Europe.
  • Manpower – Over 500 people worked on the build, amounting to over 60,000 man hours