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Annual Aircraft Design and Handling Competition

Merlin organise an annual, unique Aircraft Design and Handling Competition. Entries are invited from university students either as teams or individuals. The Competition is held in early June each year at different locations, and entry forms and information are available from

This is not just an aircraft design exercise - the point of the Competition is that to design an aircraft - it has to be able to fly! Thus all entries are 'flown' and assessed on one of Merlin's Engineering Flight Simulators by experienced Test Pilots.

The Competition is judged in two parts:-

A ten minute presentation on their aircraft design to the judges by each entry.

The 'flying' and assessment of the aircraft designs in one of Merlin's simulators by two test pilots.

IT FLIES UK 2018 will be held at The University of Manchester on Friday 8 June

After last year's very successful international competition, Manchester are keen to host the Event again.

Charles-Antoine Lassonnery (Charly!),who is current President of their Flight Simulation Society, which is very involved in the Competition administration at Manchester said:-

'The Flight Simulation Society of Manchester University feels honoured to host the IT FLIES competition once again this year. After last years tremendous success and impressive presentations, we expect nothing more than the best for this year's competition. We are happy to see familiar faces from Dayton and HvA again and will look forward to sharing our know-how and seeing what they have brought to the UK this year. We are currently drafting new models and ideas. The diversity in design choices this year is greater than ever, ranging from heaviest of lifters, to the fastest fighters while not forgetting the classic commercial airliners. But all come with a twist, a must for nearly all our previous and future concepts. The improvement to Merlin's flight software, Excalibur III has made the modelling experience smoother than ever and has helped us explore new areas. These areas being, non-uniform aerofoil cross-sections and a hefty amount of playing around with the VTOL. We look forward to seeing you all very shortly!'

Poster - Competition 2018

Download poster (PDF format)

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