School’s flying idea takes off

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Staff and students at Ryburn Valley High School are celebrating after being selected to build a full motion flight simulator.

The school is just one of two chosen by Prestige Boeing and the Royal Aeronautical Society to take part in The Falcon Initiative project after a competition against 10 other schools in the country.

The Royal Aeronautical Society, in partnership with Boeing, launched The Falcon Initiative to inspire and motivate 13 to 18-year-olds by providing them with an opportunity to participate in a practical, engineering and business project.

During a research visit to Sherburn Aero club in November, students were further inspired to develop their skills by becoming familiar with aircraft controls which they received by flying in a light aircraft.

Ryburn’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) club also received a donation of the body of a PA 28 aircraft from the club, which will be used to house the simulator.

Karen Allen from the school said: “The success of the project is not only due to the hard work of staff and students at Ryburn but also support provided from groups like Sherburn Aero club and the Rotary Club of Sowerby Bridge. Derek Rolinson and Stanley Topliss, from the Rotary Club, have led the way, generously donating £750 and sourcing sponsors like Hystat Engineering that made this amazing project a reality.

“Now the students and staff in the STEM club are taking this project to new heights.”

The £5,000 prize money the team received will be used to fund each stage of production so that the simulator can be made to the tight time schedule they have been provided with.

Eighteen students from all years throughout the school have until July 2017 to construct the final simulator which must be transportable so it can be showcased at air shows and used by the public.

And Allan Russell and Veryan James will head the team of eight Ryburn staff who have played the biggest roles in getting the opportunity for the school.

Karen added: “This project is a once in a lifetime opportunity, allowing students to develop communication skills, technical skills and problem solving skills that will not only enhance their education but also their career opportunities. We look forward to seeing just what Ryburn Valley High School is capable of creating.”