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Bristol University Students Raring to go on Expedition

Published: 30 Oct 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).

The students won the 2017 Paul Bowen Award after successfully pitching their plans for a 30-day expedition to the Peruvian Andes, titled 'Ex Hypoxian Dreams'.

An annual prize of £15,000, with a runner up prize of £10,000, is awarded to RAF University Air Squadron which plans an adventurous training or leadership development expedition that, in the opinion of the RAFCT Judging Panel, demonstrates the best spirit of adventure, enterprise and challenge.

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-mâché model they had created representing the exact route they plan to take.

Speaking at July's Royal International Air Tattoo, expedition leader Adrian Langford said he was keen to share plans for the expedition 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 encourage 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 at the Air Tattoo. Their enthusiasm is fantastic and I wish them luck with their future plans for the expedition."

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

The BUAS expedition team are pictured at the Air Tattoo with Secretary of State for Defence, the Rt Hon Sir Michael Fallon

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