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G-NEWA’S First Public Flight


On 28 November 2017, The Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) and Boeing celebrated the first public flight of Ormiston NEW Academy’s aircraft G-NEWA, the fifth aircraft in the programme to achieve its Permit to Fly as part of the Schools Build-a-Plane Challenge (SBAP).

The day started with pupils, teachers, volunteers, sponsors and invited guests heading towards Halfpenny Green Airport to see pilot Graham Wiley carry out the first public flight of the G-NEWA aircraft. Graham was accompanied by the Principal of Ormiston NEW Academy Paul Farr. As the aircraft soared into the sky there were cheers and applauds from everyone watching. We were thrilled to have media coverage of the event from ITV Central and the local newspaper the Express & Star.

Everyone then headed towards Halfpenny Green Vineyards for a much-needed lunch and a hot drink. It was also an opportunity to talk and reminisce about the project. This was then followed by wonderful speeches led expertly by the Master of Ceremonies Chris Hughes, Secretary of the Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Cosford Branch. Jenny Body, Past President of the RAeS started proceedings by saying today was a mixture of happiness and sadness. Happiness that the project has been successfully completed but with a tinge of sadness that it is over as it brought so many people together.

It was a wonderful day and we at the RAeS want to say a big thank you to Graham Harris for assisting us with the organising of this event and his support throughout the project and of course the wonderful volunteers, Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Cosford Branch, the pupils, Stuart Blakemore whose passionate dedication to the build and the SBAP Challenge was shown through the number of pupils that were involved, Ormiston NEW Academy Teacher Tina Wooton, past and present teachers and Principals involved in this tremendous achievement.

It has made my school life amazing, so thank you to everyone who was involved in this brilliant project.

Ravi, pupil from Ormiston Northeast Wolverhampton Academy who took part in the G-NEWA build.