Homework just got a lot more interesting for Launceston Church Grammar students, as the school attempts to build a ready to fly commercial plane.
On Wednesday students got their hands on the first parts of the kit aircraft, which will now be assembled into a two seat, single engine RV12.
The project continues the school’s proud aviation history, with former alumni including Qantas founder Sir Wilmot Hudson Fysh and black box inventor David Warren.
Principal Richard Ford said the project marked the first for a Tasmanian school and a rare opportunity for students to gain hands on experience.
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“We have got students here with a great passion for science, for technology, mathematics and engineering and teachers who are keen to nurture that and support that passion,” he said.
“Aviation is a big part of who we have always been and that is still the case today.”
Senior Campus teacher and project coordinator Dr Cameron Rogers said the project was expected to take about 1000 hours to complete – or between one to two years – with many students coming on board to help.
“Everyone is interested. We have students from grade 7 right through to grade 12,” he said.
“We are prioritising students who have an active interest in aviation already and letting in as many as we can. There is about 10,000 rivets in the aeroplane to put together, so that should keep them busy for a bit.”
Grade 10 students and aspiring aeronautical engineer Nicole Patrick said she couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity.
“In grade 5 I did a project on how things work and I did mine on how a jet engines, and from there I just found a love for planes and decided that’s what I want to do for a career,” she said.
“This is going to be awesome – I never thought I would be building a plane for school.”
The school hopes to find a buyer for the plane this year, to help fast-track its construction timeline.
“Securing a buyer is an important step for funding and we’re also keen to hear from members of the public with aviation experience who may be able to offer assistance so this is a truly community project,” Dr Rogers said.