After three years of hard work, Sixth Form students past and present were able to see their completed microlight aircraft take pride of place at the Headcorn Aerodrome on Sunday.
Having spent so much time working on the construction of the aircraft – delayed by countless Covid restrictions – the young engineers, who worked on the joint project with partner school The John Wallis Church of England Academy, were proud to see their finished plane displayed among a whole host of other aircraft.
The Sixth Formers – who were joined by three Benenden Seniors who had worked on the aircraft earlier in its development – were delighted to be able to sit in the plane, and to see their names inscribed on its control panel.
Reflecting on the lessons learned throughout the project, Six One (Year 12) Natalie said: “I’ve learnt about how a plane works – the most fundamental thing – but also about the importance of teamwork (even though that sounds really clichéd).
“It’s really hard to be precise and to get every detail right. Obviously that’s really important because it’s a plane and you don’t want anything to go wrong!”
Her teammate, Rosie, added: “I really enjoyed seeing how the plane is put together, because we don’t often get the chance to see things before they’re finished and complete. It really put into perspective how much effort goes into these things that are in our day to day lives.”
The gathering also marked an occasion for the students and staff present to give thanks to everyone involved for their continued dedication and hard work.
This engineering project – the second time Benenden has constructed a microlight, following its successful project in 2018 -has been 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 in collaboration with John Wallis.