Students at Newcastle College University Centre are busy helping to rebuild a new addition to their fleet of aircraft, that has landed in its Aviation Academy as part of £2million investment project.

Newcastle College Aviation Academy already provides its Aviation students with dedicated, specialist facilities and multiple training aircraft, based just off the runway at Newcastle International Airport. The new seven seater Beechcraft Premier 1 business jet features a modern cockpit, housing high-tech flight management and avionics navigation systems for students to work on. 

Nicola Cooke, Director of Engineering at Newcastle College said “It’s really exciting that we’re able to add a new jet to the facilities at our Aviation Academy. One of the main benefits is being able to offer our learners access to modern aviation equipment that reflects the current industry standard, allowing learners to navigate the cockpit and equipment bays and gain experience of the latest technology, first-hand. It also allows our experienced tutors to teach any number of aircraft malfunctions on demand. I’m very excited about how much our students are going to get out of this investment.” 

Alfie Cuthbert, currently in the first year of his degree in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering, is delighted with the investment. He said: “The new jet is different to the ones already here at the Aviation Academy because it has a new glass cockpit with updated avionics. I want to be a B2 engineer, so this is going to really help me as I can study the new up-to-date avionics inside. I can’t wait to get to use this jet for the next two years of my learning." 

This new equipment is just one part of a wider £2million investment into leading-edge STEM equipment and facilities at Newcastle College University Centre, which was awarded funding from the Office for Students (OfS) late last year. 

In addition to the jet, the funding will also provide the Aviation Academy with avionic training simulators and navigation trainers, offering learners the chance to experience flying an aircraft and get to grips with navigation instruments and glass cockpits without ever leaving the ground. 

Nicola concludes: “I’m proud to be part of bringing this investment to Newcastle College University Centre. I truly believe that this new equipment will give our students the edge they need to succeed in industry when they complete their studies.” 


Watch a short video of Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Level 5 student Michael Heatley talking about his time working on the new jet