Making Memories… Giving Hope

Fun at Farnborough Air Show!


At the end of each exhausting Farnborough Air Show some of the lovely staff of UTC Aerospace Systems (UTAS) kindly offer to spend an extra day on site, to host a charity at their corporate pavilion. This year CHICKS were lucky enough to be the recipient of the offer and as a result children who had been supported by CHICKS were able to spend a VIP day at the air show, with their parents.

After some ‘fun’ finding the nominated gate, the families were treated to a late breakfast in the UTAS pavilion and the wonderful STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Ambassadors from Rolls Royce came along to show the children how to put an aircraft engine together!  

Then it was off to the Southampton University display, with more STEM stuff, plus a chance to try on an Icarus suit. The suits are being developed by Southampton Uni students hoping to break records for distance and time in sky diving, aiming for 20-25 miles of flight and hitting altitudes of 45,000ft. Their visitors kept their feet firmly on the ground though.  Find out more information about the project here

The next stop was the Boeing Centennial display, as Boeing celebrates 100 years of aviation history.  There was a huge screen which could display anything from an aircraft to a space rocket taking off, with all the associated sound. Judging by this picture the sound was pretty realistic and LOUD!

The finale of the scheduled stops was a private tour of the Boeing Stearman, the Spirit of Artemis, thanks to pioneering aviator Tracey Curtis Taylor. Tracey flew nearly ten thousand miles in the open cockpit plane from Cape Town South Africa to Goodwood here in the UK. She overcame adversities from terrible weather, a mechanical break down and difficult bureaucracy to witness first-hand both the beauty and brutality of Africa.

After lunch with UTAS in the pavilion everyone was able to either sit and watch the flying from the private balcony or wander around the show site. Both children and parents loved with the day’s VIP treatment.

An opportunity was also offered by AIA, hosted by a US Air Force Colonel to visit the Department of Defense Corral – which enabled an up close view of the US Air Force fighter jets, helicopters and carrier aircraft.

We have to thank UTC Aerospace Systems for their generosity and support on the day, Julies Mears, Sherry Bergstrom and Jo & Michelle Bingham to mention but a few. The same thanks to Harriet Wollerton, Amanda Stainer plus the team at ADS and FIL for all the logistical help, also the US Corral and a special mention to Tracey Curtis Taylor and the once in a lifetime experience that Boeing offered the guests. Finally thanks to Southampton University (good luck with Icarus) and of course the wonderful STEM ambassadors from Rolls Royce, as there are now a few more children enthused with the possibilities of a career in aerospace.

As one of the children put it, “this is not just a day out, it’s like my birthday!” Thanks to all involved in giving CHICKS children some magical memories!


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