Students at Benenden have the opportunity to dedicate an evening a week to some exciting engineering projects, taking part in every aspect of construction.
Second Aircraft Project
Similar to the microlight project completed in 2018, a second project is underway in association with the British Microlight Aircraft Association (BMAA), begun in 2019. This particular build has been a joint effort between Benenden and students of The John Wallis Church of England Academy.
While ongoing Covid restrictions have caused many disruptions to progress on the current construction, the project is now in its final stages, and it is hoped that it will students will have a chance to fly in it soon before it is sold by the BMAA to raise funds for their New Horizons scheme.
At the beginning of September 2018 a group of Sixth Form students began building a Caterham Car, with help from members of staff. They built the Caterham Seven 270, a classic lightweight sports car with an open roof and a royal blue body. Every Thursday evening, two groups split off to do their part in constructing the car.
In the last session of the Caterham Car project in April 2019, the team gathered together to celebrate the finishing of the car and listen to the engine noise for the first time.
In September 2016, a team of 28 pupils began work on the microlight, devoting two hours to the project every Thursday evening. Over more than 50 weekly sessions, the entire aircraft was built by the girls themselves, under the stewardship of four staff members.
This engineering project was run with the British Microlight Aircraft Association (BMAA) as part of the organisation’s New Horizons scheme. The BMAA funds the project and the School is responsible for building the aircraft.
After passing its official BMAA safety tests, the microlight was launched at Headcorn Aerodrome in Kent. It was flown by a team of different instructors on a number of separate flights – one for each of the girls involved and one extra for the Headmistress, who was keen to experience the girls’ handiwork for herself!