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RIAT Hosts Boeing Centennial Wings Reveal

Published: 11 May 2018

The Royal International Air Tattoo will host the 'reveal' of Boeing's new Centennial Wings programme on Friday, July 13. 
Centennial Wings, backed by Boeing, the Royal Air Force and the Air League will see dozens of Air Cadets build - and then fly - an ultralight aircraft. 

The STEM initiative was launched last year to mark Boeing's 100th anniversary, with the completion date set for the RAF's centenary celebration at the Air Tattoo this summer.

The programme enhances the existing RAF Air Cadets' curriculum by inspiring youngsters to study science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) through the hands-on practical application of classroom theory.

Sir Michael Arthur, president, Boeing Europe and managing director, Boeing UK and Ireland said:  "These young men and women are the future of our industry and I could not be more proud that we can support this engaging, hands-on STEM initiative."

Approximately 20 Air Cadets from the Northern Ireland ATC Wing comprising 17 Squadrons* are assembling a Sting S4 ultralight aircraft from kit following the advice of Squadron Leader Aaron Coulter volunteers from Ulster Aviation Society. Boeing engineers are also mentoring the programme, based in Lisburn. 

The cadets will spend more than 400 hours planning and building the aircraft so that it can be certified to fly by the Light Aircraft Association. Once approved, the Sting S4 will be used for flying training.

Squadron Leader Campbell said: "I am delighted with the commitment and progress of the ATC cadets here in the Northern Ireland Wing. Thanks to Boeing and the Air League the group will be able to develop further the vital technical and life skills they have gained through the Air Cadet curriculum." 

This is the first time Boeing, the Air League and the Air Cadets have joined forces in supporting the evolution of talented young people and the future of civilian and military aerospace in Britain.

The reveal on July 13 will see the finished aircraft placed on static display in the Techno Zone - where the STEM subjects are brought to life through interactive exhibits and activities.

Sandra Keen, the Air Tattoo's Techno Zone Coordinator, said: "In order to pursue a career in engineering, young people need to be actively interested in the sciences from an early age. 

"Hopefully the Techno Zone and initiatives such as Centennial Wings will fuel their passion and spark their imagination."

*Note: the 17 squadrons are: 72 (Omagh), 806 (Larne), 814 (Portadown College), 817 (Lisburn), 825 (Bangor), 833 (Antrim), 1134 (West Belfast), 1136 (South Belfast), 1137 (East Belfast), 1919 (Newtownabbey), 2004 (Ballynahinch), 2062 (Carrickfergus), 2178 (Hollywood), 2241 (Regent House School), 2349 (Ballymena), 2350 (Coleraine), 2390 (Belfast Royal Academy).

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