Bombardier’s Flight Experience Challenge Is A Soaring Success

Innovative ideas literally took flight today at the final of Bombardier’s Flight Experience Challenge, held at W5 at the Odyssey Complex, Belfast.

The competition challenged school children of all ages to design, build and fly a self-propelled model aircraft, made from everyday objects, such as balsa wood, paper clips, lollipop sticks and elastic bands.  Teams were marked on the design, construction/use of materials, distance of flight and the overall decoration of their aircraft.

The competition was launched in April, with 85 teams from 24 schools from all over Northern Ireland taking up the challenge.  Many different designs and materials were used, but after intense judging by manufacturing and materials engineers from Bombardier the winners from each category were:

Key Stage 2               
Rachel Vaughan and Rebekah Wilson           
Rockport Prep School

Key Stage 3               
Anton Arrighi and Michael Crossan           
Glengormley High School

Key Stage 4/5            
Ashley McKeown and Hayley Sherwin
Glengormley High School

Special Schools           
Craig Stevens and Gregory Devon
Longstone Special School

The winners will be flown to the world-renowned Farnborough International Air Show in July as VIP guests of Bombardier Aerospace.  Their schools will also each receive £1000. 

Congratulating everyone who took part, Colin Elliott, Vice-president, Engineering and Customer Support, said:  “Today was an excellent illustration of industry and education working together.  We were very impressed with the designs the teams came up with and their use of materials, and it was very difficult to pick the winners.  These young people have clearly demonstrated that they have the potential to become future innovators in aerospace.  We would also like to thank W5 for their support in helping us hold this competition.”

The competition is linked to Bombardier’s extensive educational outreach programme in Northern Ireland, which includes sponsored displays at W5, the X2 Flight Experience Exhibit at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum at Cultra and the Flight Experience CD-ROM, which uses the principles of flight and aerospace business-related topics to teach many aspects of the school curriculum.  All the initiatives are aimed at encouraging young people to consider aerospace as a future career.

About Bombardier
A world-leading manufacturer of innovative transportation solutions, from regional aircraft and business jets to rail transportation equipment, Bombardier Inc. is a global corporation headquartered in Canada. Its revenues for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2006, were $14.7 billion US and its shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD). News and information are available at

Bombardier and Flight Experience Challenge are trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries.

For information:
Stephen McGrath
Weber Shandwick
028 9076 1007