Engineering is what makes the world go round and for this group of South African teenagers, that’s almost exactly what they done. The group of 20 students build a homemade 4-seater Sling 4 aircraft and it has successfully landed in Egypt 3 weeks after it set off from Cape Town.
In total, the crew landed in Namibia, Malawi, Ethiopia, Zanzibar, Tanzania and Uganda during their 12,000km (7,455 mile) adventure. The pilot (Megan Wener) aged just 17, who is also the founder of U-Dream Global project was overjoyed by the accomplishment and said "I'm so honoured to have made a difference around the continent at the places we've stopped. The purpose of the initiative is to show Africa that anything is possible if you set your mind to it.”
Although they weren’t on their own - Another Sling 4 plane was flown by professional pilots and they accompanied the teen flyers, whose goal was to give motivational talks for other teenagers along the way.
But how did they build the aircraft? Well, it took the teenagers 3 weeks to build the aircraft from a kit manufactured in South Africa by the Airplane Factory. The actual construction of the aircraft was made by assembling 1,000’s of small parts. Baring this in mind, it would normally take 3,000 man-hours to assemble a Sling 4 aircraft.
There was a total of 6 people in the group to have obtained a pilot’s license, and the 6 all shared flying duties in their homemade aircraft, which is showcases maps of Africa on both wings together with sponsors' logos.
“The safety pilot and I flew alone for 10 hours, without the support aircraft, so it was two teenagers, all by ourselves with no support," Megan said.
Credit to this group of South African students for mastering an engineering project as complex as this, the sky really is the limit for this group.