Private jet charter specialist, Air Charter Service (ACS), have just launched a new programme to fund research into aviation. The student grants are being offered to students who are currently enrolled on a full-time course within the United States. Aviation Scholarship and Research Support will be awarded to those who want to undertake groundbreaking research for a scientific journal. Successful applicants will be selected by considering the potential impact that the findings could have on the future of aviation. Aviation Scholarships will also be open to students that want to publish research on the ACS website and to those who have existing research for publication. To celebrate the launch of this new initiative, let’s take a look back at some of the aviation research that has changed history.

Groundbreaking research


 Things have come a long way since Leonardo Da Vinci first drew designs of a flying model based on the flight of birds. These are three of the most game-changing developments in the history of aviation, which were created as a result of research that was groundbreaking for its time.

  • On December 17, 1903, after years of research, the Wright brothers, from Ohio, U.S.A, managed the first successful heavier-than-air flight. The Wright Flyer, which was made out of wood, traveled 120 feet over the course of 12 seconds. The Wright brothers are credited with inventing the first airplane, that had power and could be controlled. Within five years the flight time had increased to over an hour.
  • Frank Whittle is a British-born RAF officer who is credited with inventing the jet engine. As a young cadet, Whittle wrote a thesis stating that future airplanes would need to fly at higher altitudes, in order to be able to fly further and at higher speeds. He stated that piston engines and propellers would not be able to fly high enough and new rocket or gas turbines with propellers would be needed. In 1935, Whittle secured financial backing for his research into jet engines and gained approval from the Royal Air Force to create the company Power Jets Ltd. After one failed attempt, a second jet engine was built, which took flight on May 15, 1941.
  • Radar systems are essential in aviation to detect the presence, direction, and speed of other surrounding objects, and work by sending out pulses of radio waves that are reflected off the object back to the source. By 1935, the British physicist, Sir Robert Watson-Watt, had already built the first working radar system. In 1940, John Randall and Harry Boot invented the cavity magnetron, a high-powered vacuum tube that generates microwaves through the interaction of a stream of electrons with a magnetic field, using a series of open metal cavities. The device was the size of a small plate and could easily be taken on-board an aircraft. The small 10 cm wavelength meant that the antenna could also be small and were suitable to be installed onto the aircraft. The development of the cavity magnetron allowed high quality radars to be installed on all future aircraft.

New research to be funded by ACS Aviation Scholarships

If you’ve been inspired to create your own research study and your topic is aviation-related, you could benefit from an ACS Aviation Scholarship. Student grants on offer include:

  • Aviation Scholarships of up to $5,000 are available to students creating groundbreaking research for a scientific journal.
  • There is up to $500 in support on offer to students who wish to publish their research on the ACS website.
  • Up to $500 will be awarded to support existing research for publication.

What other benefits are there of the Aviation Scholarships?


  • As well as the financial support there are other intangible benefits. Students who are awarded the student grants will have access to data and intelligence on aviation, compiled by ACS, that could be helpful to your study. This may be particularly useful if your research is focused on aviation traffic, on which ACS has a wealth of data.
  • Many of the managing team at the company, including CEO, Justin Bowman, started as interns at ACS. Nurturing fresh talent is a cause that the company is passionate about, and as part of the scholarship, students will benefit from the expertise and advice of experienced aviation specialists, who can pass on their expertise.
  • The ACS name is highly respected in the industry and an aviation scholarship will look great on the CV, and sound even better at interview.
  • Aviation Scholarships are an opportunity to form connections and build up a business network before graduating. Finding a job in the aviation industry will be easier if you’ve already got one foot in the door.

Apply for ACS Aviation Scholarships

If you have an idea for research that could hold the key to the future of aviation, or know someone who might, applications for the scholarships can be submitted here. Submissions are being accepted by ACS for consideration up until December 31, 2018.

This article was written by the NUS community. If you would like to contribute your article, please get in touch.