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TQ Blog: Aerospace Equipment for Solihull College

Originally published on TQ’s website on Oct 8, 2018:

Solihull College Uses TecQuipment Products for Teaching Aerospace Engineering and Maintenance Degree Students.

Solihull College and University Centre recently introduced an Aerospace Engineering and Maintenance Degree. A new facility was created, which required a substantial investment in specialist aeronautical educational equipment to teach everything from the basic theory of flight looking at drag and lift equations through to more advanced topics that look at boundary layers, pressure distribution and wake investigations. This was part of a £2.5m spend on the aviation and aeronautical facilities at the Woodlands campus of Solihull College and University Centre.

“After inviting companies to bid for the new equipment, we selected TecQuipment based on the premium specifications, competitive price, and reputation for quality of service supported by the excellent pre-sales experience,” commented Paul Matthews, Senior Lecturer and Coordinator at Solihull College.

Teaching Fundamentals of a Jet Engine

For teaching students how single shaft gas turbines on aircraft work, the College purchased a GT100 Turbo Jet Trainer. Powered by Kerosene, students can accurately replicate the behaviour of a single-shaft gas turbine that would be used in aircraft. The self-contained design allows students to learn the following:

  • Effect on thrust generation by variation in rotational speed and propelling nozzle area
  • Isentropic, polytropic and mechanical efficiencies of compressor, combustion chamber and turbine
  • Pressure ratios of turbine, compressor and nondimensional characteristics
  • Combustion chamber pressure losses and combustion efficiencies
  • Specific fuel consumption, thermal efficiency, air standard cycle, work ratio and heat balance
Turbo Jet Trainer
Turbojet Trainer uses Kerosene to replicate the behaviour of a single-shaft gas turbine.
Firing up the Turbojet Trainer.

Theory of Flight

In addition to the BSc degree course, Solihull College also offers a HNC in aircraft maintenance, and a HND.

Salman Javed, Aerospace Lecturer at Solihull College explained “Rather than the BEng version of an aerospace engineering degree that focus on the design of aircraft, the BSc is designed to be more-hands on. This focus means that practical experiments play a greater role in the learning process.”

The aerodynamics lab has an array of different pieces of apparatus for teaching all of these courses.

Aerodynamics Principles

For teaching the foundations of aerodynamics, Solihull College purchased an AF1300 Subsonic Wind Tunnel. This is part of an extensive range of wind tunnels available from TecQuipment for teaching aerospace engineering students. The AF1300 Wind Tunnel sits in the middle of the TecQuipment wind tunnels range, is compact enough to be moved around on wheels, and yet has the functionality to allow students to perform experiments to understand the following:

  • Investigations into boundary layer development
  • Influence of angle of attack on aerofoil performance
  • Flow past bluff and streamlined bodies with pressure and velocity observations in the wake
  • Performance of an aerofoil with flap, influence of flap angle on lift, drag and stall
  • Pressure distribution around a cylinder under sub and super-critical flow conditions
  • Study of characteristics of models involving basic measurement of lift and drag forces
  • Study of the characteristics of three-dimensional aerofoils involving measurement of lift, drag and pitching moment
  • Study of the pressure distribution around an aerofoil model to derive the lift and comparison with direct measurements of lift
  • Flow visualisation
The AF1300 Subsonic Wind Tunnel is a compact, practical open-circuit suction wind tunnel for studying aerodynamics.
AF1300 Paul
Senior Lecturer Paul Matthews explains the basic theory of flight to a group of students.

Advanced Aerodynamic Theory with Supersonic Studies

For more advanced understandings, the College added an AF300 Intermittent Supersonic Wind Tunnel to their laboratory. At the easier end of advanced theory students can learn about nozzle pressure distribution, analyse Mach numbers and then use the Schleiren apparatus to measure and visualise pressure and shock waves on a model.

TecQuipment offers two supersonic wind tunnel options, the Intermittent and Continuous Supersonic Wind Tunnel. For budget, easy lab set-up and result accuracy reasons, Solihull College opted for the Intermittent Wind Tunnel, which stores compressed air in tanks – in this case a line of three tanks, which induces a flow in the working section of the wind tunnel. This controlled air supply provides a more stable flow of air with filters and air dryers for accurate results that can be captured in a 5-10 second window. Once the experiment has run, the air tanks will refill for 3-5 minutes and then be ready to run an experiment once more.

The Schlieren Apparatus allows students to see density gradients as variations in intensity of illumination, see for themselves supersonic air flow around models, plus shockwaves and expansions. A series of mirrors and lenses allow the student to see the results as they happen, while a digital camera records them for later reference. The recording functionality is particularly useful when sharing the results with a group of students.

Watch the video below for more…


"We appreciate Pignat's willingness to partner with the university to customize a pilot training system that fits both our needs - and our budget. I want to thank AYVA for arranging a visit to Pignat's factory in France so I could meet the design engineers and see first-hand the attention to detail at every step of the manufacturing process. I especially want to thank my hosts at Pignat for their hospitality during my stay in Lyon. I really had a good time testing our CO2 absorption/stripping unit and seeing all the nice equipment in the plant."

Dr. John Zhang
University of Waterloo

"I am a long-time user of TecQuipment products - in particular the Modular Structures Range as well as other Materials Testing equipment. I find the modules (over 10) very easy to set up and, more importantly, my students find them extremely easy to use as they move from station to station conducting a wide variety of measurements related to structures and materials. Each experiment can be completed in 30 to 45 minutes and I can accommodate several students working in groups of three. It is a great addition to both my Basic Structures and Hyperstatic Structures courses."

Dr. Gérard Poitras
University of Moncton

"AYVA has provided us with excellent support in getting training equipment that will enhance our chemical engineering labs. We have had the opportunity to work with their knowledgeable staff as well as representatives from TecQuipment and PIGNAT. We especially appreciated Sean McLaughlin, Technical Services Manager’s time and expertise when we purchased the H83 from TecQuipment. He was extremely responsive and resourceful during the on-site installation."

Sivasubramaniam Ganeshalingam
University of Waterloo

"I’m very pleased with the fast and professional service that I’ve received from AYVA Educational Solutions. I am able to contact an AYVA representative any day of the week and receive a prompt response. AYVA’s representatives are happy and willing to accommodate any changes, modifications and suggestions. I highly recommend using AYVA Educational Services to meet your educational needs."

Sonny Hegde
SAIT Polytechnic

"Bosch Rexroth’s hydraulics bench is really great! Robust, easy to use, and it offers the possibility to expand and add components to keep up with new technologies. My students are always motivated while working with the bench and I now understand why it has such a strong reputation. It is impossible to regret this purchase!"

Marc Boudreau
Kativik School Board


"Out of all the data acquisition systems I'm aware of, nothing approaches the convenience of the PASCO 850 interface. Between the broad range of available sensors and the simplicity of starting data acquisition, a wide range of tasks that would be incredibly complicated otherwise can be automated in minutes ... We have dedicated computers and 850 interfaces at each station in our labs so that data acquisition can be accomplished easily by our students whenever needed."

Gideon Humphrey
University of Toronto

"I have worked with the AYVA team since they launched in 2008 to equip our Science and Engineering labs. They have consistently gone above and beyond to ensure that we were prepared to meet our curricular goals and deadlines. I have been impressed by the breadth and quality of the lines they represent. We have purchased both PASCO and TQ equipment to enhance our teaching labs."

Andrew Orton
Sheridan College

"In recent years, there has been a growing demand for engineering equipment in the undergraduate labs at the University of Guelph as we have expanded our program. AYVA has been proactive and assisted us diligently in addressing all our equipment needs. We now proudly showcase both PASCO and TecQuipment products in our teaching labs. The quality of the equipment and teaching material is exceptional. AYVA offers a broad range of equipment well suited to our various engineering disciplines and we look forward to exploring their extended product offering in the future."

Dr. Shohel Mahmud
University of Guelph

"TecQuipment's structures line was chosen to enhance the learning experience of our engineering students. The products were delivered in a timely manner and were easy to set up. After-sales support has been very accommodating, allowing us to modify the experiment manuals as we saw fit, giving us flexibility in learning objectives. Students have shown great interest, and have found operating the units to be easy and simple."

Riad Rajab
York University

"I have worked with the AYVA team to upgrade my Mechanical Engineering lab. We have not only been provided with excellent pre-sale service but we also received valuable support after we placed our order. We were provided access to a number of resources which we were able to use to develop our own customized labs for the students. The structures equipment from TecQuipment is being used to teach student groups in several courses at the undergraduate level. There is minimal setup required and students are easily able to switch between experiments. The excellent quality of the TQ manuals has enabled us to design our labs with relative ease. The equipment was delivered on schedule and the AYVA team has been very diligent in following up and providing us with the resources we need in a timely fashion."

Dr. H.J. Kwon
University of Waterloo

"I’m often running two lab sessions at one time in two different rooms. Being able to use the base module like TecQuipment's Hydraulic Bench and quickly be able to switch out the experimental modules makes running a tight schedule of laboratory sessions possible. With a few of my own modifications like adding quick connects and valves I can make this changeover even slicker. The AVYA experience is great! Their post-sale technical support is unparalleled."

Dean Milton,
University of Regina

"All of the students that have the opportunity to see the [Eridès] Refrigeration Trainer in operation and do their lab report based on readings really get a lot out of it. Interesting to note: Our refrigeration tech was fascinated by the unit. He is a very experienced technician, and he was simply amazed at seeing the thermodynamic cycle in action. Typically, refrigeration technicians follow pressure and temperature readings, and gauging from his reaction, they most times give little thought to the phase changes that take place inside the guts of the unit.'

Daniel Saulnier

Daniel Saulnier

"We have recently acquired six KUKA robots for our Controls and Robotics Lab at the University of Toronto. Not only we are very impressed with the quality and performance of the units, but we are also very pleased with the level of service and professionalism we encountered from AYVA. They have provided a continuous channel through which we could interface with KUKA and fulfill our technical demands from the time of procurement, through to installation, training of personnel and commissioning. It has been a textbook case on how to support laboratory work in higher education."

Bruno Korst, P.Eng.
Director, Teaching Labs

"Our mechanical engineering department recently wanted to upgrade our Gas Dynamics Laboratory in conjunction with our newly added aerospace program.  After extensive research, we decided to purchase the AF27 Nozzle Flow Apparatus and the AF300  Intermittent Supersonic Wind Tunnel from TecQuipment with all the accessories including the VDAS Data Acquisition System.  We are happy to report our investment has been well worth it.  A perfect fit for our undergraduate laboratory.  Students are raving how “cool” the units are and the relative ease to obtain accurate data.  The laboratory size supersonic wind tunnel has been a big hit.  At Mach 1.8, viewing the shock waves and expansion fans on an airfoil using the included Schlieren Apparatus has never been easier and more clear.  The people at AYVA were amazing in helping us install the equipment.  They answered all our question in a timely manner and delivered on time.  The equipment is very well designed and built to last for a long time."

Peter Sakaris,
Concordia University

"I have used AYVA wireless dataloggers in my biomedical labs and found that the reliable signal processing capability was well suited to my research requirements. I appreciated the prompt delivery and the excellent service that I received from your team before and after the sale. I am hoping to purchase additional units."

Dr. Pierre Savard
École Polytechnique de Montreal

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