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Air & Space Camp cadets get (virtually) airborne Heathrow

Updated: Feb 17

Above: Serving British Airways pilots gave up their weekend to host the visit.

Cadets from across the country have enjoyed a behind the scenes visit to the British Airways’ training HQ, thanks to the National Air & Space Camp.

Hosted at Heathrow Airport, each cadet had a 45-minute training session in a full motion flight simulator, under the instruction of BA pilots with thousands of flying hours.  

Cadets also spent time exploring with one of the newest aircraft in the BA fleet, an Airbus A350 undergoing a deep service, with engineering apprentices on hand to answer their questions and explain all the work underway.  

Above: A cadet banks right in a full motion simulator. The equipment is so realistic that cadets are able to log flying hours from their time on the sim.

The visit finished in the flight crew training centre, learning how cabin crew deal with fires during flight, experiencing a simulated emergency evacuation and using the emergency door slides.  

The day also gave the cadets the chance to learn more about working at British Airways, speak to current BA pilots and see for themselves what a career in the aviation industry could look like.  

Above: Cadets and escorting parents listen to a safety briefing before trying out the emergency slides. It's higher than it looks!

The visit was only possible thanks to British Airway’s Training Captain Ruth Smith, herself a former Air Cadet, and her volunteer team who gave up their weekend to show the cadets around and deliver training.  

Ruth said: “With a team of British Airways volunteers on hand throughout the day, the cadets had the opportunity to ask first hand lots of questions and draw on their experience and expertise. 


“Judging by the smiles, abundance of questions and enthusiasm all round, the day was a huge success.  


“As always we would like to extend our thanks to all those who gave their free time to support this important visit and help inspire the next generation." 

Above: A BA technician talks cadets through maintenance underway on an Airbus A350. BA staff were on hand throughout the day to answer the cadets' questions.

The eight cadets who attended were selected by the BA team at the 2023 National Air & Space Camp for their interest and engagement with the mobile simulator and BA’s Inspire outreach team. 

Sqn Ldr Tom Hunt, Deputy Camp Commandant for the National Air & Space Camp, said:  “We’re very excited to be back at Heathrow with BA for a second time.  

“It’s a sign of the collaboration and strengthening partnership between British Airways and the National Air & Space Camp. 

“The BA simulator and their team are always popular visitors to the camp’s industry day and these subsequent visit days are such a unique opportunity for our cadets. 

“British Airways and the RAF Air Cadets share the aim of inspiring the next generation of aviation professionals and we’re very much looking forward to welcoming BA back to NASC in 2024.” 

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