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School pupils win RAF challenge with flying colours

A group of eight Lincolnshire students are flying high after winning a plane building challenge set by the RAF.

The students from Branston Community Academy beat off competition from nine other Lincolnshire schools to come out top in the competition at RAF Waddington.

Each school was tasked with building a model plane using household items. The challenge then required the students’ aircraft design to travel along a zip wire and release two eggs along the way – but without breaking them.

The team (pictured below) was made up of pupils Brendan Bourne, Sam Holliday, Charlotte Moore, Merrin Painter, Tom Rounsley, Lily Brocklehurst, Ash-Lee Heathershaw and Jessica Taylor.

The Branston Community Academy team were the only ones in the competition to complete the task, meeting the specifications.
The Branston Community Academy team were the only ones in the competition to complete the task, meeting the specifications.

The event was organised and coordinated with military precision by Flight Lieutenant Kenny Hemlin.

The challenge was designed to simulate a mission to drop supplies to two downed airmen, separated by a mountain range.

The Branston students' plane, which was created during lunch breaks, was made from a plastic bottle, polystyrene, cardboard and rulers.
The Branston students’ plane, which was created during lunch breaks, was made from a plastic bottle, polystyrene, cardboard and rulers.

James Carter, the school’s science gifted and talented co-ordinator, said: “The pupils were under a lot of pressure but they rose to the challenge exceptionally well, especially given that it was our first year.

“We are immensely proud of the students and how well they responded. The competition was very tough but that makes the victory even more special. Our only problem now is that the team have set the bar so high for next year.”