Issue 14
Monday, 28 August 2017
Charles Darwin University
Automotive lecturer Rob Tucker with flying spanners competitors Alex Riley and Eldhose Thomas
Automotive lecturer Rob Tucker with flying spanners competitors Alex Riley and Eldhose Thomas

Flying spanners set to be bigger and better

By Patrick Nelson

Charles Darwin University has begun the quest to find the fastest engine mechanics in Central Australia.

Automotive skills lecturer Rob Tucker said plans were well advanced for the Shannon’s Flying Spanners competition, which CDU will host at the Red CentreNATS car festival in Alice Springs on 2 September.

“Early signs indicate that it will be a bigger and better competition than last year,” said Mr Tucker, who has trained many of the Red Centre’s automotive technicians.

“We are interested in hearing from anyone brave enough to test their mechanical prowess in a race against the clock,” he said.

“The winning time last year was an impressive 26 minutes and 55 seconds, achieved by two diesel apprentices who won the competition with less than a minute to spare.

“They won flights, accommodation and entry tickets to the Summernats in Canberra; the same prizes which are on offer this year.”

Mr Tucker said Flying Spanners was a race to strip down and rebuild a four-cylinder petrol engine as quickly as possible.

“It is an event that draws considerable interest from Central Australia’s substantial motoring fraternity and from the public in general.”

Mr Tucker said CDU staff from the construction, metal fabrication, automotive and multi-media teams at Alice Springs campus had combined their efforts to build a special-purpose raised platform.

“This will be set up in a marquee, with seating for a public audience. Head-set cameras affixed to each competitor will provide a live video feed that will be displayed on two large-screen monitors.”

Mr Tucker said the School of Trades would set up a number of displays to showcase several VET courses on offer at CDU.

“Among the interactive displays will be a welding simulator, a civil construction simulator and a one-tonne digger.”

Mr Tucker invited anyone interested in taking part in flying spanners to contact him on 0410 765 502.