Remember when we were just little kids, always trying to build planes, tents, houses, literally anything? We would sneak behind our parents’ backs and bring out our inner scientist and inventor. We used to convince ourselves that if we invent a battery, the world would give us the next Nobel Prize. Well, these teenagers built a plane, and it worked; they flew all the way from Cape Town to Cairo.
Last Monday, the 8th of July, a plane built by a group of 20 South African teenagers arrived in Cairo. The 4-seater, Sling 4 plane, built in only 10 days, was constructed from a kit manufactured in South Africa by the Airplane Factory.
The group departed on the 15th of June and arrived three weeks later. Next week, they’re expected to head back to South Africa on a commercial flight.
The aim of the trip was to inspire youth across the world to chase their dreams and prevent any past events from stopping them. The teenagers’ plane landed in many places during the flight, such as Namibia, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, and Malawi.
“I wanted to do something bigger that will inspire people around the world. I’ve got a huge love for aviation because my mom is an aircraft engineer instructor, and my dad is an airline pilot. When I heard about the initiative, I thought how about having 20 teenagers building a plane, and then we fly it across Africa”, 17-year-old pilot Megan Werner said.
The crew wasn’t alone during this flight; another Sling 4 plane, flown by professionals, accompanied the teenagers. But sadly, this plane broke down in Addis Ababa and the teenagers had to continue their flight with no supporting plane. However, they managed to arrive safely on their own.
What these teenagers have accomplished is truly inspiring, and we hope more kids will look up to them.
By Yara Tarek