Benenden’s project to build a second microlight is nearing completion. Here, David Wellman, one of the project leaders, provides an update.
Two lockdowns and a short period of social distancing (around two years!) has prevented us from moving as quickly as we had hoped on our microlight build. Sadly, during this period, we also lost one of our microlight staff team members, our dear friend Angus Buchanan, a former Benenden parent and long-time member of the school community, which meant that we were without one very valuable team member. We were however very fortunate however to have retained Pete Holmes and David Wellman who have continued to work on the Skyranger Ninja to keep things going until, in the Summer Term of this year, Matt Commander was able to get a student team back together striving for completion.
It is fantastic to have the girls back on the project. The aim of the project has always been to ensure that the girls and not the staff get the job done! This particular build is a joint effort between Benenden and The John Wallis Church of England Academy who have worked very hard and to an extremely high standard. Many CAA inspectors have said as much and have praised all the students involved very highly indeed. We think we’re getting very close to testing and flying the Ninja in the Spring and hopefully flying it out to Headcorn from Top Lax. Exciting stuff!
This year saw the engine being installed, both wings built and attached and all the control surfaces fitted and working. We are all very proud of everyone’s efforts and are pleased to be able to say that this time we’ve all built a light aircraft. At the end of our sessions Angus would always say “well done us”, so we have registered the plane G-WDUS in his honour.
Well done us indeed!
Many thanks from the Microlight staff: David Wellman, Pete Holmes, Matt Commander and Angus Buchanan.