Aviation industry bosses from around the world will gather at Cotswold Airport later this month to see a live demonstration of a revolutionary new piece of equipment that can recover crashed aircraft.
AMS Systems Engineering, which has a unique demonstration facility at the airport near Kemble, will put the turntable through its paces at the event.
The turntable – the size of a Mini car – has been developed by AMS engineers specifically to recover large, wide-bodied aircraft such as the A380 Airbus ‘superjumbo’, the world’s largest commercial airliner.
AMS’s first customer for the turntable is BA, which has it based at Heathrow.
AMS has been developing aircraft recovery systems for 25 years. As well as the turntable, its innovations include a recovery sledge system, and it is the market leader for the manufacture of recovery airbags
While the firm’s headquarters are in Farnham, Surrey, AMS uses its Cotswold Airport facility to train delegates from around the world on a ‘crashed’ aircraft.
A team from AMS will be demonstrating the turntable along with other aircraft rescue systems it has designed, in front of an audience of invited industry chiefs.
The event on June 17 will use a large, wide-bodied jet – one of the aircraft it has available for its air rescue equipment training.
AMS managing director Scott Knight, pictured, said: “We want to be able to showcase a live demonstration of recovery equipment at our AMS training facility.
“We have the only facility in the world where you can simulate a crashed aircraft then train people hands-on in how to recover it. Certainly, for training purposes, nobody else is coming close to being able to crash and recover a large plane, like an Airbus A380 or Boeing 747.”
The firm will host the annual meeting of the Aircraft Recovery Task Force of the industry body IATA (International Air Transport Association) in Windsor on June 18 and 19 – the first time this has taken place outside North America.
AMS was established in 1988, bringing together industry experts with more than 50 years’ experience between them. The company manufactures and supplies its hi-tech aircraft recovery equipment to airlines and airport authorities around the world and has customers on every continent.
Its equipment is used at many UK airports including Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham, and Belfast. Worldwide, AMS’s clients include many Middle and Far East airports and airlines, and the US and Canadian air forces. Its armoury of recovery equipment includes airbags, slings and sledges, as well as its new turntable. The company also trains delegates in the use of equipment, at its Cotswold Airport.
The firm was recently given an IATA 10th anniversary award to mark the length of its membership.
Scott Knight added: “Hosting the IATA conference is a real honour for AMS, coming as it does in our 25th anniversary year.
“As well as demonstrating the turntable, we also wanted to show off our training facility, where we’ve trained more than 1,100 delegates to date, from all over the world. We train them using AMS equipment, but they can go back to their airports and use their own equipment or they might buy it from us. At the same time, we can also send teams to other locations to train people.
“There’s nothing to compare with the training we offer, because no one else offers the students the opportunity to practice on real aircraft in a crashed position like we do.”