Lisburn cadet helping Sting to take wing

Dylan Crookshanks from Dromore (centre) and other cadets who are working on the Sting S4

Dylan Crookshanks from Dromore (centre) and other cadets who are working on the Sting S4

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While many youngsters are spending their holidays chasing Pokemon or engrossed in computer games, 14-year-old Air Cadet Dylan Crookshanks has been building a plane.

A member of Lisburn’s 817 Squadron, Dylan is also a member of the cadet team of the Northern Ireland Wing of the Air Training Corps, who are currently working together to build a Sting S4 plane at Ulster Aviation Society’s Lisburn hangar.

The project, Centennial Wings, which has been supported by funding from Boeing and the Air League, is in the early stages.

Dylan, from Dromore, and 60 other cadets from across the province spend their weekends working on the plane in an effort to ensure it will be ready to fly at Farnborough Air Show in 2018 ,to mark the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Royal Air Force.

Project Officer Aaron Coulter commented on the project which is expected to take a year to complete. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the cadets who are taking part and a first for cadets from Northern Ireland,” he said.

“They have all been greatly enthused by the project; it’s not every day kids get the opportunity to build an aircraft.”

Farnborough Airshow is billed as ‘the world’s greatest airshow’ and the cadets will be in Hampshire to see their aircraft presented.

“The project team will all be at Farnborough,” said Aaron. “Our cadets travel to the Royal International Air Tattoo every year but cadets in Northern Ireland don’t get the opportunity to go to Farnborough so it will be a great experience to see the aircraft fly at the airshow and also be on display for people to look at.”