View Full Version : Scrapheap challenge

Genghis the Engineer
16th Sep 2002, 10:13
This is a run-over from the thread on the Dambusters raid, which had descended a bit into discussion about Scrapheap. I was asked the following, which are worth answering (if not necessarily within the scope of this forum, but I hope I'll be forgiven as it's a spin-off from the Dambusters thread)...

So Genghis, how did you/they manage to square that "Scrapheap challenge" with safety, the CAA, BGA etc etc?

2 chartered aeronautical engineers on site, doing visual checks, where necessary load tests, and having veto on anything leaving the ground.

Also about a day of ground skimming with both aircraft (max 18") until the handling was sufficiently sorted to go any higher than you'd wish to fall.

Also, the whole thing was carefully calculated to avoid falling within any safety regulations at-all. We did things safely, but under our own control and avoiding the need to involve any officialdom.

Scrapheap challenge used to amuse, but now the components are getting a bit too obviously planted.

The whole thing was done on a genuine scrapheap (just over the river from the Millenium dome) and pretty much everything on there was from the main scrapheap. Yes, we did work out beforehand the minimum they'd need to succeed, and ensured that somewhere on the available area of scrapyard would be enough stuff, although so far as we reasonably could we did only use things that were genuine scrap. The obvious exception was fasteners (bolts etc.).

Where we saw that certain things were likely to help, and we knew they could be sourced elsewhere on the scrapyard we went and got them, and lobbed them over the wall into the on-camera area when nobody was looking. We weren't allowed to tell the teams we'd done so, and on several occasions they totally failed to spot our attempts to help. The large number of Zimmer frames that got used in the Canard aircraft were genuinely on the scrapyard - very good lighweight tubing.

And seeing identical components/solutions often coming up on the American version, one wonders even more about the "spontenaity"

I'm afraid I've had nothing to do with the American version. But, to a large extent you can control the outcome by picking your team experts (if you're using same) and what's on the scrapyard. We did deliberately in our case pick an expert in hang-glider design, an expert in fixed wing design, and were pretty confident that there was enough stuff on the scrapheap to build one of each, but not 2 of either. A little contrived, but the teams didn't know what they were doing (or even what their full brief would be) before they turned up, or that we were manipulating them at-all.

And they always finish the units just in time.

Time got a little condensed by the wonders of modern technology, but to be fair, they actually pretty well did. They were given clear steers of time remaining throughout, which helped.

Maybe we should start another thread.

Just did.


astir 8
16th Sep 2002, 11:05
Very interesting

thanks Gen

21st Sep 2002, 08:37

Any news on when this episode will be shown, or have I already missed it?

21st Sep 2002, 15:25
Oh, er...Sorry, thought this was about BEagle's aircraft.:D

21st Sep 2002, 16:20
Sorry, but this not Aircraft History or Nostalgia.

I am therefore closing it. It leaves it for those interested enough to see but I am not prepared to let it run.