Skip to content ↓
Churchill Academy & Sixth Form

Flying Start Challenge

On Monday, Ewan Kuipers von Lande, Mark Belcher and Dennis Darwin had the opportunity to represent the school in the regional finals of the flying start challenge.

The flying start challenge is an amazing programme run by leading aerospace companies. In the weeks leading up to the event, the students had lessons with real aerospace engineers who taught them about how planes fly, the engineering involved in designing and building planes and the careers available in the industry. 


They then designed and built their own glider from a mixture of balsa wood and recycled materials, competing and winning a school-based fly-off and qualifying for the regional finals.


The regional finals took place at the University of the West of England's school of Engineering. The students were taken on a tour of the fantastic facilities at the university, which included them experiencing state-of-the-art flight and driving simulators, exploring a VR cave, learning about aerodynamic testing using a wind tunnel and seeing UWE's state of the art robotic factory lab. 


The boys then competed in several STEM challenges and had to present a poster showing how they built their glider and the theory behind it.  The boys received great feedback from the judges, and we await news about whether they will progress to the Finals!