Flying Start Challenge 2023

On Thursday 9 March we took nine Year 9 students to the Jet Age Museum to compete in this years Flying Start Challenge (, a national competition run by a prestigious selection of engineering companies, including SAFRAN. The students have been involved in workshop sessions run by graduate engineers from SAFRAN in school since November, learning about the theory of flight and modern engineering design and manufacture.

They were tasked with designing and building a hand launched glider to a precise specification and within a theoretical budget. We entered three teams:

Project Skylark – Sam Humphrey, Archie Nassif and Oscar Giacalone
Bunny Ears – Charlie Bratley, Olumayoaw Oderinde, Mark Daniell and Arjun Jain-Bar
Little Sams – Patrick Dinnis and Owen Inglis

During the day they took part in a range of STEM based activities, got a tour of the Jet Age Museum and presented their glider to a panel of engineers before completing in the Fly-Off event.

All teams did amazingly well throughout the day, but the Project Skylark team triumphed, coming third against tough competition. In addition, we later found out that Bunny Ears had been placed fourth overall.

Both teams now get to attend the Grand Final at Bristol University in May, competing against schools from across the South West with the chance to be named overall winners of the Flying Start Challenge 2023.