Schools Build-a-Plane Challenge

The Royal Aeronautical Society and the Boeing Company launched an ambitious, innovative project, the Schools Build-a-Plane Challenge in 2008.

G-YTLY takes to the skies and completes successful first flight, celebrated by the RAeS, Boeing UK and the LAA at Farnborough, 12 April 2013 and marking a major milestone and UK school first!



The programme aims to provide young people in UK secondary schools with the opportunity to build a real light aircraft from kit and give them hands-on experience of the aircraft build process, understanding along the way the scientific and engineering principles behind flight, as well as developing commercial skills such as project management, problem-solving, team work and communication, with the ultimate aim of taking a flight in the aircraft once it is complete.

Please note: we are not currently seeking any further schools to take part in the Schools Build a Plane Challenge. This is so we may focus on the management of the six builds that are already part of the project.

However, we would be happy to discuss how a school or other youth group may begin such a project and how to acquire support from local organisations, as many schools around the country have done.

We are looking to initiate a parallel flight simulator design & build challenge early 2015. Please get in contact if you would be interested in taking part in this new initiative.

SBAP aims

1. Motivate young people in the areas of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) through a real-life experience.2.

2. Encourage young people’s awareness of the aerospace and aviation sectors, demonstrating their economic importance, and the wide array of related career paths that the sector offers.

3. Enhance RAeS’ and Boeing’s links with the local community.

4. Inspire teachers and promote interest in STEM subjects across the teaching community.

Schools work as a consortium to enable as wide participation as possible and play a key role in disseminating the project to other young people in their local areas and nationally including underrepresented groups and those in disadvantaged areas.

There are now 6 projects underway: the first led by Yateley School, then Marling School, Bridge Learning Campus, Ercall Wood, North East Wolverhampton Academy and Ernesford Grange.

Other exciting developments from schools' wider educational programmes throughout the project include a flight simulator built by Ernesford Grange Community School and housed in a real aircraft.

The schools have been involved in numerous events to promote their successes including the Farnborough Air Show, the Cosford Air Show, the Flying Show and Big Bang Science and Engineering Fair, as well as running their own events for the local community, helping develop not only their STEM knowledge and skills but also teamwork, communication and confidence.


Take a look at our promotional video to see how it has inspired teachers and pupils to date:



Schools Build-a-Plane Project Officer

+44 (0) 20 7670 4332
M: +44 (0) 7827 159053  

Thank you to our sponsors: