Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Yateley School light aircraft takes off

Media captionA plane built by school pupils from a kit has taken off from an airfield in Hampshire

A plane built by school pupils has taken off from a Hampshire airfield.

The light aircraft was built by pupils at Yateley School, Court Moor School in Fleet and Kings College in Guildford.

It was designed with aeronautical engineers at Boeing and the Royal Aeronautical Society as part of a four-year project.

Oliver Vass, 16, described it as a "fantastic learning experience" while test pilot John Michie said the plane performed "flawlessly".

Mr Michie added: "The plane is very well put together."

'Incredible achievement'

Tariro Gabarone, another pupil, said: "It would be a real shame to know that this project happened in my school and I didn't take part in it.

"It's something that gave me a skill [and] gave me a confidence."

Caroline Uttley, head of science at the Hampshire school, said: "It is amazing to see it coming to a successful conclusion.

Image caption Six schools are at various stages of building planes, with Yateley the first to take to the air

"At the start of the project, it was hard to imagine building a light aircraft in a school, and at times it seemed like an impossible task."

The initiative is part of the Build a Plane Challenge, started in 2008.

Six schools are at various stages of building planes, with Yateley's the first to take to the air.

The aircraft, registered as G-YTLY, is a RANS Coyote II.

It was built from a kit by the students and supervised by teachers and local volunteers from the Royal Aeronautical Society and Light Aircraft Association.

Sir Roger Bone, president of Boeing in the UK, congratulated the students on their "incredible achievement".

"Boeing is proud to be celebrating 75 years of partnership with the UK in 2013 and this is a great addition to the celebrations," he said.

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