An introduction
to the project

Students at Petroc are building a plane. A team of 16 to 18-year-olds on trade, lT-level and A-level courses are assembling the plane from scratch. To finish the job, they must complete 92 work units under strict rules from the BMAA and pass detailed inspections and flight testing.

More about our project

Fancy getting involved? Contact our team!

What are we building?

The Skyranger Swift 3 is a microlight three-axis plane that is a leader in its class finding favour with flying schools and novice pilots for its easy flying characteristics and docile stall.

What may be surprising though is it also found favour with top pilots and has had remarkable success in national and international competitions. Successes include 6 Gold and three Silver in the FAI World Championships.

The full Petroc Build A Plane Story

Volunteers and Students

Based at Petroc College, Barnstaple the project is organised and resourced by local volunteers, who are veterans with a massive experience in engineering and aviation. They hope it will inspire a new generation to follow the same career by showing them they have the talent and potential to achieve something truly exceptional.

Six mentors come in two days a week to support the build. Two of the team are very experienced pilots with previous plane-building experience. We have trade and professional qualifications in aviation, electrical engineering, project management and business. The aim is to pass as much knowledge as possible to the next generation. Anyone who thinks there is a “generation gap” should take a look. Once the spanners come out the Build-a-Plane project functions as one, high-performance team. 

Learn more about Build A Plane

Charity Partner

Volunteers independently fund us, but we would ask that anyone who wants to show their support for our students and the project to make a donation to our charity partners, North Devon Hospice and Devon Air Ambulance, whose names are on our plane.

They have provided help and encouragement from day one. The Build-a-Plane project is something North Devon can be proud of, making a donation via the Build-a-Plane Just Giving link would be an excellent way for everyone to celebrate the efforts of the local people – young and old! – who are making this project happen.

Just Giving Page
Charity Partners

Organisation and Funding

The project is being run through the “Build-a-Plane Community Interest Company” – a not-for-profit business. The funding and financial risk are entirely covered by the volunteers. The project has not received any grants or donations.

When all the costs are counted, including the cost of the plane, tools, equipment, insurance and inspections it will cost over £40,000. The plan is to recover most of this by selling the plane. Any losses are guaranteed by the directors of the Build-a-Plane company.

The student plane builders are aware that in every session, they have the responsibility to build a high-quality product with no compromises or imperfections. The build is being documented to create a “project in a box” that can be used by any set of volunteers who want to give students at their local state school or college the same exciting experience.

The Build A Plane Company

AMI - Marketing for Manufacturing

AMI are the UK’s leading Marketing for Manufacturing Company. Working with over 300 clients, they specialise in digital and search based services for a huge range of Tier 1, Tier 2 and OEMs.

Ken made contact with Ronnie Ellaway, AMI’s Communications Manager, and after just one discussion it was clear this was a perfect match. AMI jumped onboard to sponsor the project with a full website build and a promotional video.

Visit AMI