The plane has now been on its first test flight and we should be taking delivery of the main structure early next week! We’ve been working hard to ensure the test rig (the whiffletree) will be ready for its arrival.
Samantha Biddlestone, assistant welding technician at Nuclear AMRC, has been working alongside us in the structural testing workshop to weld together various components which make up the whiffletree structure.
Samantha was a former apprentice at Nuclear AMRC and is also the step-daughter of our Mission Controller, Shane Smith. Shane was keen to get Samantha involved with the project when he discovered parts of the whiffletree would need to be welded together.
When asked why he enlisted Samantha’s assistance Shane said “I’ve worked in the university since I was 21 and in civil engineering most of the test rigs are welded together. I actually did most of the welding on the majority of the big test rigs in the civil engineering laboratories but if I did the welding on the whiffletree parts it would be nowhere near the standard that Samantha can do. She’s good – really good, and I’m not just saying that because she’s related! We needed someone like her to make sure the whiffletree looks the part but also works as we need it to.”
Samantha is thrilled to be part of the project. Not only does it allow her to develop her skills and work collaboratively with other AMRC groups, it also gives her the opportunity to be involved with an exciting project that’s new to the AMRC.
Top right: Samantha Biddlestone welding parts of the whiffletree
Bottom right: Samantha looking a bit grubby after a welding session.