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School flies high in new challenge.

ERNESFORD Grange are celebrating being named as one of the top 10 per cent most improved schools in the country.

That's not all though. The school formally launched a project on September 5involving its students and volunteers to build a light aircraft to promote engineering and aerospace skills.

In April 2011 Ernesford Grange Community School in Coventry was confirmed as the sixth school in the country to be chosen by Boeing and the Royal Aeronautical Society to take part in the Build a Plane challenge.

The scheme provides a kit, sponsored by Boeing, to the schools to enable the building of a two-seater light aircraft called a Rans Coyote.

Under the supervision of The Light Aircraft Association and the Royal Aeronautical Society pupils, staff and volunteers at the school will build the aircraft so that at the end of the project it is airworthy and pupils can fly in it. It will then be sold to raise funds for other schools elsewhere in the country to take part in the challenge.

On September 5, an official launch event marked the start of the project ahead of the build beginning. Sponsors, both current and prospective, were invited and the school hopes to attract more volunteers to help with the build. The project will involve pupils from not only Ernesford Grange but also Foxford School in Coventry who are partners in the project and there will be opportunities for many other pupils in local Primary, Secondary and Special schools to take part in projects related to flight using the build as an inspiration.

Ahead of the arrival of the kit, Ernesford staff and pupils have focussed on the educational side of the project designed to inform and inspire pupils about engineering and aerospace careers. With the help of volunteers and funding from Boeing, they sourced a plane that is no longer airworthy and have refurbished it to house a flight simulator.

Pupils have been taught about navigation and flight controls as well as being directly involved by getting their hands dirty with the refurbishment project. A group of pupils were delighted to be able to talk about this work at the Royal Aeronautical Society in July where they were awarded a trophy for their hard work.

They also had a fantastic visit to Farnborough Airshow in July where their flight simulator was a great attraction.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Sep 13, 2012
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