Gloucestershire Airport, 19 March - the first student takes off for a flight in an aircraft she helped build. 

Last month, the first students from the RAes/Boeing Schools Build-A-Plane (SBAP) Challenge got to fly in a light aircraft they had built themselves as part of a pioneering (STEM) project. Watch this exclusive video where the young people from the first SBAP aircraft to fly describe what the project has taught them.  

On 19 March at Gloucestershire Airport, UK, the first two students from Stroud High School got to fly in a RANS S6 Coyote II they had helped to build as part of a four-year project. The first students in the UK to take to the sky in G-SBAP were 18-year-old Alice McEllin and Anastasia Krylova who both got to fly with an instructor pilot to enjoy the fruits of their hard work.  


Project management skills


Alice McEllin (r) and Anastasia Krylova (l) were the first two lucky students to fly in the Coyote II.

Interestingly, the Schools Build-A-Plane (SBAP) is not just concerned with teaching handskills like woodworking or metalwork in building a light aircraft. As the video below demonstrates, the students had to project manage a complex and challenging aviation programme - with certification, fundraising, marketing, publicity as well as engineering and technical roles. It therefore not only inspires young people, but also prepares them for the real world of work, with the kind of complex project teamwork and communication skills that modern aerospace and aviation jobs demand.

It is, as one of the student project manangement team enthuses, " an experience of a lifetime"  

But don't take our word for it - watch the young people involved explain it in their own words!

Five additional schools are now at various stages of their aircraft build - including Yately in Hampshire - which has already test-flown its aircraft.

More SBAP students are set to fly this year, with the aim of flying all who helped build the Marling School, Stroud High School and Maidenhead School aircraft by the end of summer. Its going to be a busy few months for G-SBAP!   


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Tim Robinson
3 April 2014