Airbus is challenging students in UK schools to build a model aircraft capable of transporting a hen’s egg as far as possible on a playing field or other grass expanse, and landing it intact. The annual challenge, called ‘Project Eggs Factor’, forms part of the company’s recently announced new sponsorship of the national network of Young Engineers clubs as part of a larger commitment with the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Best Programme. Young Engineers is a key scheme in the Best Programme, which offers young people from all backgrounds and of all ages a comprehensive range of educational enrichment activities.

Competitors must get flight distances and safe landings verified by an independent adjudicator, such as a teacher, and record their flights on a camcorder or camera phone. Video clips of the best flights will be shown on the Young Engineers website  along with a leader board, which will be updated weekly. Competitors may record more than one flight and continue to improve their aircraft and flight distance throughout the challenge, whilst the winners will be the individuals, or teams, whose aircraft travel the furthest. There can be up to four members in a team and there are three age groups ranging from key stage 2 to A Level.

Flight leadership

Aircraft can be aeroplanes, gliders, rockets or hot air balloons and should be given creative names by their designers. The egg must be clearly visible during its flight, not wrapped up in a protective material, for example. Radio controlled aircraft are not permitted and only approved materials can be used in the construction. Ignitable fuel powered aircraft are also not allowed.

Successful flights will earn flight certificates from Airbus and there will be flight leadership awards and trophies. The national winner will receive the unique Airbus Trophy. The challenge began on 1 January 2007 and will finish at the end of July 2007. Subsequently, it will run throughout the school year from September - July with current performances being announced each term.

Notes for editors

  1. About Young Engineers

    Participation in Young Engineers stimulates interest, appreciation and engagement in the practical application of engineering and technology by young people in primary and secondary education. It enables volunteer teachers and their supporters to provide exciting, challenging and creative activities that enrich the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) curriculum.

    Central to Young Engineers’ operations is its growing nationwide network of after school engineering clubs, which form a core constituent of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Best Programme. The network is funded and supported entirely by industry and professional institutions and is endorsed by Government. Patron is HRH The Duke of York, KG, KCVO, ADC.

    National sponsors are Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust, BAA, the Royal Navy, BT and Airbus; other key sponsors include ARM, Arup, EBV Elektronik, the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Dulverton Trust, STMicroelectronics, National Grid, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), Intel, Rolls-Royce, the Royal Airforce, Hasbro, BNFL, Thales, the Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation, Sea Vision UK, the Royal Aeronautical Society, TEP, SEP, Autodesk and JCB.

    The Young Engineers website provides a virtual community for teachers engaged in STEM education and offers them an invaluable resource, loaded with information and hands-on engineering activities designed both to inspire students’ minds and develop their know-how.

    An exciting programme of challenges and competitions is organized each year to create excitement and to help develop communications, literacy and numeracy skills both individually and as part of a team. This programme includes Young Engineer for Britain and YEDA, the Royal Navy Challenge, the BAA Challenge and the K’Nex Challenge. Success in each brings rich rewards in prizes and prestige for both the school and the student, which often creates a life changing experience.

    A leading aircraft manufacturer with the most modern and comprehensive product line on the market, Airbus is a global company with design and manufacturing facilities in France, Germany, the UK and Spain as well as subsidiaries in the U.S., China and Japan. Airbus is an EADS company.

    Airbus in the UK is responsible for the design, manufacture and assembly of all wings for the Airbus family of aircraft. Airbus in the UK has a workforce of around 13,000 people based at two sites; Filton near Bristol and Broughton in Flintshire, North Wales.

    More than 400 UK companies supply to Airbus and 140,000 jobs in the UK are secured by Airbus work

    Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. The fellowship – comprising the UK’s most eminent engineers – provides the leadership and expertise for Academy activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, they provide independent and impartial advice to Government, work to secure the next generation of engineers, and provide a voice for Britain’s engineering community.

    The Best Programme is the Royal Academy of Engineering’s programme of schemes aimed at encouraging and enthusing students to embark upon a career in engineering. ‘Best’ stands for ‘Better Engineering, Science, Technology’ and the Programme offers young people from the age of 7 upwards opportunities to gain an understanding of engineering and its importance in the world around us. It aims to recruit, train and retain motivated young people into and within the engineering profession to fulfill the needs of the economy and society and create mutually beneficial partnerships between industry and education. The Best Programme enjoys the participation of a broad cross-section of industry across its component schemes.

For more information please contact

Young Engineers, Chiltlee Manor, Hants GU30 7AZ, 01428 727825