Flying Start Challenge is an engineering competition in the South West of England run by nine aerospace companies: Airbus, Atkins, BAE Systems, GKN Aerospace, Leonardo, MBDA, Rolls-Royce, Safran Landing Systems and Triumph. It is held for students at local schools to help them develop key skills and increase awareness of the excellent careers available in engineering.
The aim is for teams composed of 4 students to design, build and test a model glider that they will present at the regional Fly-Off. At the Fly-Off each team will have the chance to fly their glider against schools from the same region. Teams will then be judged on the distance flown and on a poster presentation detailing the design decisions made.
In recent years, emphasis has also been placed on the use of recyclable materials. The winning team from each of the Regional Finals secures places for themselves in the Grand Final. This is held at the Fleet Air Arm Museum in Yeovil where the teams compete against each other in a series of engineering challenges organised by the companies involved.
Representatives from a local ‘host’ aerospace company will provide support to the students throughout the whole duration of the challenge, covering aspects of design, manufacture and test as well as practical help and advice in the building phase.