A group of students have built their own full-sized working aeroplane.

Engineering students from Devon worked with mentors to construct a microlight aircraft from scratch.

The Build-a-Plane project, based at Petroc Further Education College in Barnstaple, was carried out during weekly sessions and during holidays.

One of the students involved, Tillie Baker, told BBC Radio Devon it was "incredible" to take to the sky in the plane she and her fellow students had created.

Miss Baker flew with a pilot and was able to briefly take the controls of the aircraft, which is a microlight three-axis plane.

Speaking to BBC Radio Devon after the 40-minute flight on Monday, the 17-year-old, said: "It was just out of this world."

"When we took off I just felt like, literally, my jaw just dropped and that was basically it, like, the whole flight. It was incredible.

"I think the whole experience, knowing that I helped build it and the feeling of taking off as well, and being off the ground and have that feeling... you can't describe it. It's amazing."

The project team has been made up of students aged 16 to 18 who are doing trade, T-level and A-level courses, working alongside mentors including experienced pilots and aircraft builders.

Miss Baker said the weather during the flight from Belle Vue Airfield in Torrington was "glorious", with views across Exmoor and the city.

She added that, prior to the flight, the last time she had been sitting in the plane was when she was installing and testing the radio and headphones.

'Really proud'

Her mother Amelia, who watched the flight, said she was "really proud" of her daughter, whose dream is to be a pilot and engineer in the Royal Navy.

She said her daughter's passion for engineering began when she did a BTEC in engineering at school, going on to do T-level engineering at the college.

Jackie Theakston-Thomas, faculty manager at Petroc, said the project was "a fantastic opportunity" for students.

“This was an excellent project that has made many learners stand out from the crowd in their future progression routes," she said.

The plane is to go on display at events over the summer before being sold, with any profits going to charity partners North Devon Hospice and Devon Air Ambulance.

The names of these charities are on the plane.

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2024-05-23T10:38:45Z dg43tfdfdgfd