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Woodbridge School student James finishes fifth in BAE Systems' 'Future Cockpit Design' competition

A Suffolk student has finished in the top five in a national competition run by a global engineering company.

James – a Year 12 pupil at Woodbridge School – was taking part in the BAE Systems’ ‘Future Cockpit Design’ competition along with 31 other teams.

The aspiring pilot, who is a member of the RAF in the School’s Combined Cadet Force (CCF), was the only cadet to finish in the top five.

Woodbridge School student James created software for 'a cockpit for the future'
Woodbridge School student James created software for 'a cockpit for the future'

The 17 year old designed software which would take satellite data from Google Maps and NASA to allow pilots to view their surroundings, targets and objectives via a 3D map anywhere in the world.

Speaking about his success, James said: “A piece of software, such as this one, is tapping into the fact that, in the future, almost all of a cockpit will be seen and accessed through the augmented reality of the Striker II helmet, the helmet that BAE Systems is currently designing.

“This will use the ‘plug and play’ approach of not having to change anything physical within the jet itself – which would be hugely expensive, compared to just changing some software.

“I was delighted that my idea placed me fifth in BAE’s national competition, and I look forward to doing more projects similar to this one, such as the RAF’s ‘Astra-Sat Space Challenge’, in the future.”

BAE Systems are a global engineering and aerospace company currently developing the next generation of UK fighter jets.

Their next competition – the Astra-Sat Space Challenge – allows RAF Air Cadets to showcase their ideas in relation to space, with the winners having their names painted on the fins of the UK’s Starchaser rocket.

Reporting by Callum Parke

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