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Talk on Experiential Learning in Flight Dynamics and Control

posted 5 Dec 2011, 19:58 by John Stavrakakis
Dr. Peter W. Gibbens gave a seminar today in SIT. An outdated Boeing 707 simulator with 3 DOF/hydraulics was acquired by the University Aerospace Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering Dept. They have re-engineered it by swapping out all the old instrumentation and analogue cables for teaching students with experience on their control systems designs. He showed that, through experience of design process, students had achieved a higher understanding of the course and theory.

There was no significant emphasis on 3D graphics. But I did learn that they use two LCD screens on the outside of the cockpit that face down, reflect off a beam splitter, and fit onto the curved surface of the window. This gives the realistic view of the outside from all angles (though I am not certain about that). 

The main focus of these seminars is teaching and learning. With the positive outcome of students understanding more, they are proposing to use the simulator in other courses. When I asked him about alternative ways to use the simulator for enhancing learning, he said there is not enough time for organise all the students inside the simulator. So naturally, I asked if this maximum utilisation problem of using the module for prioritising student understanding of course content was considered..."maybe not to that level" :P