Centennial Wings - The Aircraft Built by Cadets
Published: 01 Aug 2019 updated: 05 Aug 2019
Twenty cadets, two years, 400+ hours build time and one test flight permit was what it took to take G-NIAC from a Sting S4 kit to the first ultralight aircraft built as part of Centennial Wings - a STEM project co-created by Boeing and The Air League.
The Centennial Wings project launched in 2016, the year of Boeing's centenary. The project's aim is to complement the existing RAF Cadet curriculum and bring STEM to life by giving cadets practical experience of aircraft engineering. The aircraft was built by 20 RAF Air Cadets (RAFAC) from the Northern Ireland Wing over two years, overseen by Sqn Ldr Aaron Coulter and volunteers from the Ulster Aviation Society. G-NIAC was completed ahead of schedule and went on display for the first time in the year of the RAF's centenary, at RIAT 2018.This year, G-NIAC is returned along with the cadets who built it, but this time with the addition of a test flight permit from the Light Aircraft Association (LAA). Already with several hours completed under its test flying schedule, the first-time project is on its way to giving more young people the chance to experience hands-on engineering.