Five Year 7 and Year 8 students from Hanham Woods Academy recently travelled to Aerospace Bristol to compete in the Regional Finals of the Flying Start Challenge. 

Hanham Woods with Wings team competed against stiff competition from schools all over Bristol and the south west where they took part in a quiz, poster presentation and flew their gliders next to Concorde, which resulted in a strong win and a prize of a Quadcopter drone each.

The Hanham Woods team were commended on the day by other schools and organisers for their excellent team spirit, enthusiasm and professionalism. In the months leading up to the competition they worked exceptionally well together with local aerospace engineers and will now continue modifications on their glider to take part in the Grand Final at the Fleet Arm Air Museum later this year.

Flying Start Challenge is an engineering competition in the South West of England run by nine aerospace companies: Airbus, Atkins, BAE Systems, GKN Aerospace, Leonardo, MBDA, Rolls-Royce, Safran Landing Systems and Triumph.

It is held for students at local schools to help them develop key skills and increase awareness of the excellent careers available in engineering.


Dr Joshua Lim, Science teacher at Hanham Woods said, “The students really pulled together and worked brilliantly as a team to produce a well-engineered glider and confidently deliver their poster. From day one, they’ve shown great maturity and enthusiasm for solving engineering challenges. Their well-deserved win stands them in good stead for the doing well in the grand final!”