RAF Waddington News

Project X

It’s that time of year again! 10 schools from the local area have been at RAF Waddington showcasing their designs in our annual STEM event, Project X. It’s an engineering challenge we run in conjunction with the Lincolnshire and Rutland Education Business Partnership.

Fragile supplies being dropped by zip-wire
CaptionFragile supplies are dropped bu a zip-wire.
Image by: RAF Waddington Photo Section

Weeks of preparation working with dedicated Station mentors culminates in a final run where fragile supplies are dropped from a zip-wire in a “downed pilot” scenario. We’ve seen all sorts of designs over the years and good luck always plays a part during the final run, but the one which proved itself best this year was a design by Lincoln Christs Hospital School.

Project Officer Flt Lt Fox said:

From the designs I’ve seen here today its clear the students have really grasped the challenges the project presents. They should be immensely proud of their efforts. Congratulations to Lincoln Christs Hospital School who presented a credible Dragons’ Den type pitch to the judge’s panel and have clearly worked hard to perfect the design of their aircraft. Competition was really stiff this year and a very close second place was awarded to Branston Community Academy.

 Sponsored by Raytheon, a Best Design award was given to Bannovallum School for their design which the judges said showed they’d considered the safe landing of their aircraft as well as the requirement to drop supplies. Their aircraft could touch down at a safe speed and come to a gradual stop with runway to spare; something every pilot hopes for!

Sponsored by Raytheon Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School (QEGS) won the Best Dragons’ Den Pitch award. The judges complimented QEGS for delivering a confident and articulate pitch where they could show that they’d considered not just the technical aspect of the challenge but had looked back in to the history of the RAF for inspiration. 

The Kings School Grantham won the Innovation Award. The judges were impressed at how thoroughly they’d researched the subject matter and used the NASA Mars landings as inspiration. They’d also tried and tested various methods to protect their eggs (the precious cargo) before deciding on their final design.

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