Cabot learning Federation Air Show - Cardboard Planes perform aerial stunts

Added 31st May 2012

This project is led by Adam Loxton an inspirational science teacher from the Cabot Learning Federation, working at the Bristol Brunel Academy. Adam set a scientific, engineering and design challenge for all 1200 Year 8 students across five of the federations Academies. 40 students from each Academy have been selected to go through to the aircraft design challenge to work with Rolls-Royce and other industry volunteers.

On the 10th and 11th July 200 students will attempt to build the best planes in terms of speed and aeronautical ability. The best planes from each Academy  will perform in tethered speed competitions and free flight events where the challenge is to loop the loop and roll.

Below is the initial design for the cardboard plane with ducted fan to simulate jet power. Motor and control systems use velcro fastening, the rest of the plane is corrugated board donated by 


Test flight for the delta wing  in high winds. 

The final Aeroplane design for the Air Show  will challenge the students to work as a team with sections that can be build independently and brought together for final assembly.

Students will explore the principles of flight, working with David Oyns from the Arkwright Scholarship Trust to create the best air-foil cross section using measurements of lift in a controlled test that replicates George Caley's Whirling Arm, a precursor to the wind tunnel.


Ideas from this engineering process to assess the best shape for a wing will be applied to simple gliders to put their ideas for the perfect wing into practice.

CLF AIRSHOW - 13th July 2012 - 5pm

This project explores the science curriculum in an exciting way but it is ultimately about inspiring students with engineering and manufacturing. The Airshow  will challenge students to present their ideas and thought processes to the public, leaders from industry, friends and family. This will be done through the production of a short movie that students will screen on the evening, presentations to the audience by the students and a series of exciting test flights. A fun event interspersed with a BBQ and refreshments.

Industry wants to work with schools and hear young people's ideas

Roll-Royce are supporting the whole process with funding and volunteers

Claverham and ARUP are supplying volungteers

DS Smith Packaging supply the corrugated board and have encouraged processes and ways working with this material MFMC. Over the last two years they have to set up real challenges, boardroom presentations and inspirational moments for young people and on occasion sparked design ideas that they plan to adapt and use.

Simon Saunders from DSSP and colleagues working on their site with students from Fairfield School Bristol


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