Event postponed until the Tuesday 4th of June due to availability of the NFLC aircraft – as a result of unscheduled maintenance of the aircraft being undertaken at a location away from Cranfield, on the original date.

Join us at Cranfield airfield for a talk and guided tour of The National Flying Laboratory Centre’s flying engineering laboratory, a chance to see around and within the aircraft.

The National Flying Laboratory Centre (NFLC) operates Cranfield’s three aircraft, including the Jetstream 31 flying engineering laboratory, a facility virtually unique in the European academic sector and used to support teaching, research, and consultancy.

More than 1600 aeronautical students from over 25 universities around the world fly in the lab's Jetstream each year as part of their degree course. This fully instrumented aircraft supplies passengers with real-time data about a range of performance parameters, allowing students to become flight test engineers during their flight.

This event comprises a tour of the flying engineering laboratory and a talk about the aircraft and centre.


  • Tea and Coffee
  • Tour of the aircraft
  • Talk which will take place within Cranfield University
  • Q&A session following the Talk


Professor Nicholas Lawson holds a Chair in Aerodynamics and Airborne Measurement and heads the National Flying Laboratory Centre. He is also a Chartered Engineer, a member of the Royal Aeronautical Society and a member of the Society of Flight Test Engineers.

Professor Lawson joined Cranfield University as a Senior Lecturer in October 2003. Prior to this he worked at our Shrivenham location for four years lecturing in aerodynamics, thermofluids, missile and aircraft propulsion at the Defence Academy after completing a 4 year post-doctoral position at the University of Melbourne, Australia. His PhD was completed at Loughborough University with Rolls Royce plc.

Professor Lawson has extensive experience in the development and application of particle image velocimetry (PIV) and laser Doppler anemometry (LDA) to high speed, large scale, non-Newtonian and multi-phase flows. Past applications have involved work for Rolls Royce plc, BAR F1, Jaguar Racing and MBDA. His current research focus is on the application and development of advanced instrumentation for aircraft and airborne research, where the application of fibre optic sensors in-flight is a key focus of his work.

He holds a commercial pilots licence with MEP IR and instructor ratings, a Jetstream 31/32 type rating and is one of the pilots flying for the National Flying Laboratory Centre. He is also one of the demonstrators lecturing and instructing students on flight dynamics short courses in the Jetstream 31 flying laboratory.’

  • Date: Tuesday 4 June, 18:30 - 21:00hrs
  • Time: Arrivals and refreshments from 18:00. Tour start at 18:30
  • Venue: Cranfield apron and Cranfield University, Cranfield, Bedfordshire, MK43 0AL – Room to be confirmed
  • Parking: There is a sizeable car park behind the AIRC Building, which guests are welcome to use

Members and non-members welcome. 

This event is organised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Bedfordshire area.

The NFLC’s remit extends to research, and consultancy for a wide range of organisations. We offer consultancy services to larger companies such as BAE as well as more specialist companies such as Meggitt. Our capabilities include:

  • Flight trials of customers’ experimental equipment
  • Flight testing technologies associated with unmanned air vehicles
  • Flight clearance testing of aircraft modified for special roles
  • Measurement and analysis of an aircraft’s characteristics for use in future airborne equipment
  • Development of advanced airborne instrumentation including fibre optic sensors

Who should attend

General Public, staff and student body


The event is free to attend

How to register

For more information and to book a free place click here