A project to build a kitplane involving women and young people with little or no experience of engineering or aviation will be launched at FLYER Live in Telford this Friday, 2 December.
The aircraft is a Zenair CH750 STOL being supplied by Metal Seagulls, the UK agent for Zenair Aircraft. The project will be led by Patricia Mawuli Porter, a director of Metal Seagulls along with her husband, Jonathan.
Patricia’s aircraft will be built in her home workshop, just outside Rugby in the Midlands, and fitted with a 100hp aircraft engine.
“I want this aircraft to be the first step on a mind-opening journey for at least 200 women and young people,” said Patricia. “I know what it means to be given the opportunity to just participate for an hour or two in such a project, and want to make sure that my passion is shared with those who might not normally consider helping build an aircraft.”
The Porters say that women and young people on the housing estate where they live are excited about getting involved, as are women working at her local post office and supermarket!
“Building the WXYZ plane with so many ‘helpers’ is going to be a massive challenge but the benefits should be amazing,” said Patricia. “It is not just about flying, or even about building a plane. For me it is about providing inspiration and motivation to women and young people through being involved in making something.
“I believe that the opportunity to understand the importance of STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) in everyday life and applications will help all involved to view the world around them differently. It is my sincere hope that each person that pulls a rivet on this project will use it as a fulcrum against which they can find leverage for new opportunities in their lives and aspirations.”