Cranfield University celebrated its 70th anniversary this weekend with a Festival of Flight hosted at the University’s Bedfordshire campus. 

Members of staff and their families, alumni and the local community all visited the campus to see behind the scenes at the specialist postgraduate institution during an Open Doors morning. This showcased the latest areas of research at the University and gave children the opportunity to see scientific demonstrations in action. In the afternoon, over 5,000 people watched an air display, with many of the aircraft on a static display having special links to the University’s heritage.

His Royal Highness, The Duke of Kent, Cranfield’s Visitor, appointed by Her Majesty The Queen, also arrived to see some of the attractions.  The Duke met the air cadets assisting the staff with the event and spoke to owners at the vehicle exhibition before visiting the static aircraft display.

Cranfield’s Chief Executive and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Peter Gregson, said: “Celebrating our anniversary year with a Festival of Flight was a wonderful way to reflect on our 70-year heritage. We showcased some of the ground-breaking research that will play a significant role in the future of aerospace and used the occasion to demonstrate other areas of research for which we are recognised internationally.” 

Professor Iain Gray, Director of Aerospace at Cranfield University, commented: “Cranfield is a unique university with our own airport on campus.  Air displays at Cranfield used to be a regular occurrence in the past, so we were delighted to open our doors and host another one. Looking forward, we want to be recognised as the number one aerospace university in Europe.”  

Cranfield has links with around 1,500 companies and organisations across the world and the event was supported by companies including Anglian Water, British Airways, Monarch, Nissan Technical Centre and Unilever.

The busy weekend concluded on Sunday with families ‘riding the runway’ raising money for Flying Start, British Airways’ and Comic Relief’s global charity partnership.  A group of around 40 cyclists then rode  to Cranfield’s other campus at Shrivenham in the Wiltshire / Oxfordshire border, which just happens to be 70 miles away.

About Cranfield University

Cranfield University is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.