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Gallery: Ex-pupil returns to Orwell Park School to take aerial photos of his old haunts using his ‘flying saucer’ invention

The new pre-prep school stands proud behind the Victorian Water Tower, with the headmaster's HSE converted from an18th century orangery on the left. The river Orwell in the background. The new pre-prep school stands proud behind the Victorian Water Tower, with the headmaster's HSE converted from an18th century orangery on the left. The river Orwell in the background.

Sunday, March 2, 2014
9:00 AM

A former student at Orwell Park School returned to take aerial photographs of his old stomping ground using a contraption of his own invention.

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The Victorian brickwork of the schools observatory built by Col Tomline sets off the modern lines of the drone.The Victorian brickwork of the schools observatory built by Col Tomline sets off the modern lines of the drone.

Elliott Norris is an old boy of the independent school, just outside Ipswich, and head of the company Doozee Aerial Systems Ltd.

He brought along a drone that he and his company have created to take pictures of the Orwell Park house and estate.

His company, which is based in a building at the old RAF Bentwaters airfield outside Woodbridge, aims to make aerial views more affordable for companies and estate agents.

The drone, piloted remotely by Peter Ayriss, was built using eight electric motors powering propellers on the arms, and is licensed to fly up to 400ft high and 1,640ft from the controller.

It is almost silent in use and views from the camera are sent back to the controller.

Already pupils from the school have dubbed the drone ‘the flying saucer’ due to its appearance.

The photoshoot took place after Orwell Park was approached by businessmen Elliott and Peter, from Doozee Aerial Systems, to take advantage of the idyllic setting of the school.

Headmaster Adrian Brown said: “Mr Norris’ memories of the school, the park and in particular the amazing environment which pupils enjoyed, and still enjoy, to the full when he was here, led them to make contact with us and resulted in the stunning photos.

“We are delighted with the photos, which show at their best the historic building set in 110 acres and the school site, which has developed over more recent times, enjoyed by generations of Orwell Park pupils.”

Another member of staff at Orwell Park School said the drone was the latest chapter in the school’s history which included witnessing many technological innovations.

“It’s an amazing machine and it shook me rigid. The pilot can hover it, take it up 60 feet and stop it dead in mid-air,” he added.

“The kids were fascinated by it. They wanted to know how it all operated, how it was powered, and they were asking all the usual questions about how it went and how far it went.”

Pilot Peter described the views over the school as “fantastic” and “incredible” and thanked the school for being so hospitable.

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