Tayside and Central Scotland

Pupil takes to the skies in plane built by Kinross High students

Students with plane
Image caption Students gathered at Fife Airport for the flight

A teenager has taken to the skies in a plane that was built as part of a school science project.

The Eurofox two-seater was delivered in kit form over a year ago, and assembled by pupils at Kinross High School, with help from amateur pilots.

Aaron McKay, 16 - one of more than 50 pupils involved in the project - was the first of the students to fly as a passenger in the aircraft.

The plane took off from Fife Airport, near Glenrothes, on Friday.

The Build-a-Plane project began nearly two years ago, and was designed to encourage interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects.

Image copyright Build-A-Plane
Image caption The assembled plane has been tested and meets all regulations

It is hoped the aircraft, owned by a community benefit educational trust, will now give many pupils in the area their first taste of flying in a small aircraft.

During the 10-minute flight with an experienced pilot, Aaron was given a chance to take the controls.

Afterwards he said: " It was a weird experience, something you've seen build all the way up and then eventually fly it - it was amazing."

The plane, which cost £62,000, was manufactured in kit form in Slovakia and delivered to the school in October 2017.

Science curriculum

It was assembled in a temporary workshop on the school campus, with the project overseen by Aero Space Kinross (ASK).

Funding came from a variety of sources, including rural development grants, corporate sponsorship and crowdfunding.

Head teacher Sarah Brown said the school managed to incorporate the project into its science and technology curriculum.

She said: "From the very start this project has piqued interest from both staff and pupils across the school and beyond.

"We have been in the amazing position of having the dedicated ASK team on our doorstep, to guide the entire process, but also have staff willing to give extra-curricular hours and that speaks volumes."

Image copyright Kinross High School
Image caption The pupils carefully unwrapped the wings

Aero Space Kinross is a not-for-profit charity which hopes eventually to establish a space and aviation educational centre in the town.

Director Alisdair Stewart told the BBC's Good Morning Scotland programme: "It has given the pupils at the high school the opportunity to see simple aircraft design and learn about the principles of flight

"Now we are going to transition to the sheer joy of flight."

Sponsorship from materials company WL Gore has paid for a £17,000 trailer for the plane so it can be transported to other venues as part of the educational project.

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