RAF air cadets from Northern Ireland have completed a challenge to successful build an aircraft.
20 cadets and staff have put in more than 400 hours of work to assemble the S4 Sting.
The Centennial Wing 1 project was launched in July 2016 with the aim of building a Sting S4 Ultralight aircraft from kit to be displayed at the Royal International Air Tattoo during the RAF’s centenary year.
The project aimed to give young people the opportunity to develop their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) skills by combining hands-on practical experience with classroom theory and explore the world of aerospace in a fun environment.
This is just one of many projects, expeditions and events the RAF Air Cadets have been involved with to mark RAF100, the centenary of the Royal Air Force. During this centenary year, the RAF and the RAF Air Cadets are taking part in opportunities nationwide to commemorate the last century, celebrate today’s modern RAF and inspire further generations.
Aaron Coulter, the project officer for the build said: “There has been many challenges but this has been a fantastic opportunity.
“It looks quite simple but it’s been really complex and we have embraced the project and it’s been a fantastic journey over the past two years.
“It’s emotional seeing it here at RIAT and I know it’s going to RAF Syerston but we’ve enjoyed every minute.”
John Steer, Chairman of the Air League said: “It’s one thing to say it’s going to happen, but it’s another to say that it’s happened.
“The quality is amazing – I’ve sat inside and the quality is exceptional. The air cadets have been fantastic to produce this.”
Dave Pitchporth, Managing Director of Boeing Defence, said: “I am really enthused by this – it’s all about the legacy of RAF100.
“We want to celebrate the Northern Ireland Wing but we are also announcing the second drive this year in Scotland.”
After the huge success of the project, Boeing have announced they will support a second build a plane project in Scotland. The project will start in late 2018 with a target completion date of 2020.
Group Captain Jim Leggat, Regional Commandant for Scotland and Norther Ireland Region, said: “This is really for the RAF100 legacy of the ‘Inspire’. In terms of inspiring engineering and aviation – you couldn’t ask for more.
“It really is a big thank you to Boeing and the Air League as they have funded this project and let cadets and staff the opportunity to be involved in this hands-on, fantastic project.”