A team of our finest engineers went to RNAS Culdrose on Tuesday 27th November, to attempt the Merlin MK1 Rescue Task. The Royal Navy Merlin HM Mk1 helicopter has been in service with the Royal Navy since 1998 and there are 4 Squadrons, all based at RNAS Culdrose.
The task was for the team to design, build and test on a model scale, a system required to rescue a Merlin helicopter that had made a forced landing in desert conditions. The sandstorm and heavy landing had caused the undercarriage to fail and it could no longer take off. The multi-million pound aircraft now required land base rescue.
The motorised model had to be able to demonstrate total aircraft recovery within a time limit of 3 minutes. Our team designed a crane that lifted the Merlin helicopter enabling a trailer to be pushed underneath it and managed to complete the challenge in the time allowed.
While the team were there they also were given survival training which included a simulated parachute jump and the chance to try out an inflatable life raft.
Jacca Stephens (aged 14) said:
“The Merlin MK1 Rescue Task was a really fun challenge to undertake and it made me realise how engineering relates to real life circumstances. Although the task took a long time to complete we found it enjoyable and attainable.”