Shaping the future of the aviation and aerospace industries involves educating young men and women through programs such as, the Schools Build-a-Plane Challenge. The program is organized by the Royal Aeronautical Society and sponsored by Boeing.
Participating schools around the UK are given the opportunity to build, and fly a real light aircraft and develop programs, and participate in activities involving industry and the local community.
Schools start by biding on the airplane building project. The winners of the the bid then purchase an S-S6 Coyote II aircraft kit from Rans Designs Inc., located in Hays, Kansas. After the aircraft is built it is certified for flight by, the Light Aircraft Association which is the UK’s principal representative body for amateur built, and vintage light aircraft. The students then become involved in selling the airplane to recoup the money for the project. The project will help students gain experience, not only in the mechanical and technical side of the build, but also with the commercial and sales aspects at the projects end.
The young builders, ages 14-18 years of age will be encouraged to attend air shows and national events to present their completed projects to the world media.
It is a great opportunity to get young people interested in science, technology, engineering and math subjects at school, and will lead to many going on to higher education and careers in aviation, space and science, and other careers as well.
One of the student built plane's has been on display during this year's Farnborough air show outside of London, and its builders had the chance to review their work with Boeing pilot Capt. Christine Walsh. What's more, Walsh is speaking at Farnborough with more than 300 students about the wonder of working in aerospace.
Rans Design Inc., and Boeing both have manufacturing plants in Kansas.