What is the Build a Plane NI project about?
The "Build a Plane Northern Ireland" schools project is a joint venture with the Education Authority and is supported by industry leaders including Boeing, Denroy Plastics, Bombardier, JW Kane, Collins Aerospace, Thales and Victrex. The programme is also supported by ADS and the Air League.
The project is based around building a Sherwood Scout, two seater, high-wing monoplane, with a tubular framework and wings covered in a specially treated fabric. Being built by young people from shared education partnerships across six, secondary-level, Northern Ireland schools, under the guidance of trained members and volunteers within the Ulster Aviation Society.
Youth plane building programmes are ambitious, challenging and inspiring, as aside from the learning experience they develop young people’s personal attributes of leadership, communication and team working. These education programmes have an excellent long term impact on the skills of Northern Ireland's future engineers and pilots, as they capture the imagination of younger people, whilst connecting them to career opportunities with leading companies.
“This project is a great example of industry working closely together with the local community to create an impactful, sustainable STEM initiative that will benefit many young people in Northern Ireland. I am pleased Boeing is investing in in the next generation of innovators in our community,” said Gavin Robinson, MP
“We at Boeing are proud to support STEM initiatives across the UK. Over the last 5 years we have partnered with the Air League and the Ulster Aviation Society on a build-a-plane project that has successfully flown. Through our contribution to this second build-a-plane project, young people from across Northern Ireland will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience of engineering and learn vital skills for their future,” said Sir Martin Donnelly, president, Boeing Europe and managing director, Boeing UK and Ireland.
BBC Newsline visited the Ulster Aviation Society on Wed 4th December, 2019 to do a segment on the "Build A Plane NI" Schools' project, built by 50 local schoolchildren from a range of schools and cross-community.
Wreckology dig — crashed Lockheed P-38G Lightning fighter aircraft
The Irish border between North and South is a place of big history and local mystery. However, a group of eager students from both sides have helped clarify one of those frontier puzzles, from mere inches below a farmer’s field in Monaghan
The prize of the wreckology dig was a mixture of metal remnants from the wreck of a Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighter plane which crashed near Clontibret in 1942. The students were from Foyle College in Derry and Ballybay Community College in Monaghan. They were supervised by project organiser Jonny McNee and a core of academics and museum specialists.
They were joined as well by two UAS volunteer members, Stephen Hegarty, Hon. Secretary, plus photographer and tour-guide co-ordinator, Alan Jarden.
The P-38G went down during the Second World War when pilot Milo Rundall of the U.S. Army Air Corps became lost on a flight from Langford Lodge to Eglinton. He baled out north of the border but his aircraft, out of fuel, crashed a few miles away in the south. The pieces recovered will be cleaned and shared by the Tower Museum in Derry and the Monaghan County Museum.
Production Editor: MARK J. CAIRNS
Camera: STEPHEN HEGARTY