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Bristol University Students Raring To Go On Expedition

Published: 15 Jul 2017

Bristol University Air Squadron (BUAS) students have launched plans for an ambitious Peru expedition they will be undertaking in 2018, thanks to a £15,000 prize from the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust (RAFCT).

Attending the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire, the students won the highly-acclaimed Paul Bowen Award, presented by the RAFCT, after successfully pitching their plans for a 30-day expedition to the Peruvian Andes, titled 'Ex Hypoxian Dreams.'

The group's 'Dragon's Den' style pitch, which they made to RAFCT Trustees, was praised for its creativity, during which they presented a giant-papier mache model they had created representing the exact route they plan to take.

With the model on display at the airshow, Adrian Langford, Expedition Leader, said he was keen to share plans for the exhibition at the event. He commented: "We want to get young people excited about the opportunities that are out there for them and for their parents to think 'wow' and want to get their children involved."

There will be 12 students in total on the expedition who will each go through a vigorous training and selection process, including mountaineering, fitness and altitude training.

The expedition will be no mean feat, taking 30 days to tackle four wild treks, one day of ice climbing the 30m face of a glacier and three days summiting the 5752m peak of the mountain Pisco.

With a busy year ahead of them, Adrian recalls the moment they found out they had won. He commented: "To find out we were in the final three and then to find out that we'd got it was sensational. The whole squadron has really got its teeth into it and we all can't believe how we've done it. It has been completely student-led planned and delivered from the start which has been an asset to our boss and our deputy."

RAFCT Director Justine Morton added: "Being able to provide opportunities like this to young people and enco`urage them to take an interest in aviation is what the Trust is about. Bristol University Air Squadron have done a remarkable job, from their detailed and creative pitch right through to their attendance and presentation here at the airshow this weekend. Their enthusiasm is fantastic and I wish them luck with their future plans for the expedition."

The RAF Charitable Trust, based in Gloucestershire, funds a wide range of projects and initiatives that Promote the Royal Air Force, Support its people and Encourage young people to take an interest in aviation. 

To find out more about the expedition and how you can offer support visit or email at 

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