HRH The Prince of Wales experiences BAE Systems’ VR Cave

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HRH The Prince of Wales visited BAE Systems’ Academy for Skills & Knowledge in Samlesbury this week and experienced the firm’s ‘VR Cave’.

During the visit of the facility on Tuesday, HRH donned glasses in the VR Cave to see a 3D representation of the Academy's hangar.

BAE Systems Skills Academy is training up factory employees old and young to take advantage of cutting edge manufacturing technologies. The centre opened its doors in December last year and the 3D Cave allows engineers to dismantle a Typhoon fighter jet without setting foot on the production line.

HRH then toured the workshop where the firm’s apprentices learn manufacturing and engineering skills, guided by a training and apprenticeships manager.

Before hitting the Cave, HRH also met a range of people. Hosted by chairman, Sir Roger Carr, managing director, Chris Boardman, and Dave Holmes, manufacturing operations director, HRH met:

  • Rick Clement, a former serviceman who was injured in Afghanistan in 2010 and now works with veterans charity, Blesma, which is the site charity for Samlesbury and Warton, and members of the Prince's Trust which we support to provide opportunities for disadvantaged young people
  • Year 3 and Year 4 pupils from Balderstone County Primary School who were taking part in a project on biomimicry in the Academy's Education Station

Following the VR Cave experience, HRH then spoke to number of BAE apprentices before finishing in the Academy's aircraft hangar where BAE Systems’ Apprentice of the Year, Blossom Hill, presented him with a specially-engraved gyroscope.

The visit formed part of a tour of the North West.

BAE Systems Skills Academy is among a number of factory tours due to take place at Works Management’s Manufacturing Management Conference (MMC) in June, and delegates will have the chance to experience the technology for themselves on the tour.

To find out more about MMC, visit

(Image credits: BAE Systems)