• Stroud Students Soar with Boeing Aviation Challenge

    STROUD, United Kingdom,  March 19, 2014 - Boeing [NYSE: BA] and the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) congratulated students from Marling School, Stroud High School and Maidenhill School in Gloucestershire, as their student-built light aircraft G-SBAP took to the skies in a series of first student flights at Gloucestershire Airport.

    The schools’ students built and flew a two-seater RANS S6ES Coyote II aircraft from a kit as part of the Boeing and Royal Aeronautical Society Schools Build-a-Plane Challenge in association with the Light Aircraft Association.  Launched in 2008, the challenge aims to inspire young people’s interest in science, technology, engineering and maths through hands-on learning.  It also increases young people’s awareness of the aerospace sector, while demonstrating its economic importance to the UK and a wide array of career paths.

    “I congratulate the students and volunteers from Stroud in completing the build of their plane and successfully flying in it,” said Sir Roger Bone, president of Boeing in the UK.  “The project has brought together students from three different schools to achieve a common goal, and in the process develop the skills required to work effectively as a team.  It’s been great to see how inspired the students are and how enthusiastic they are to study engineering and potentially pursue aerospace careers after this adventure.”

    Marling School, Stroud High School and Maidenhill School began building the aeroplane in October 2009. The aeroplane completed its first test flight in April 2013; received a flying permit in July 2013 and today has been flown for the first time by students, accompanied by a flying instructor. To date, more than 200 students from the schools have participated in the Challenge, working on everything from electronics and engineering to marketing, web design and project management.

    “I found everything so interesting and loved learning new skills and spending time with some brilliant people,” said Liberty Gibbons, a student at Stroud High School. “I really feel like I've achieved something and am so proud when I say ‘I've built a plane.’”

    Five additional schools are at various stages of their aircraft build as part of the Schools Build-a-Plane Challenge, including Yateley in Hampshire that has flown its aircraft and Ernesford Grange School near Coventry which took delivery of their aircraft kit in September, 2012.  More schools will join the challenge in the future to build, test, fly and sell the complete aircraft to aviation enthusiasts; help fund additional kits; and ensure the long-term sustainability of the project.  “I am pleased that the students of Marling School have reached this significant milestone,” said Simon Luxmoore, chief executive of the RAeS. “By taking students through the various stages of building and then flying a light aircraft, the project brings those involved to the exciting world of aviation and aerospace. This is a ground-breaking initiative, and we thank Boeing for their continued support and enthusiasm, which allows us to introduce our exciting sector to those engineers and pilots of tomorrow.”