Otago Polytechnic Engineering students fly into study

They may not loop the loop, but a group of magnificent Otago Polytechnic students are about to defy the crowds by building a flying machine! 

A Vans RV12 aeroplane kit will arrive on-site at Otago Polytechnic’s Dunedin Campus tomorrow. Bachelor of Engineering Technology and New Zealand Diploma in Engineering students are itching to get stuck into building the plane, which will take about two and a half years to complete. 

Stuart Allan, Principal Engineering Lecturer, says the plane is a great way for the students to employ what they learn in their degree. 

“The students are really interested in this project. It’s a unique, practical way to motivate them, as they can really see what they’re achieving as they go,” he says. “This will be run like a business; we’ll have a General Manager, along with Construction and Quality Managers. We’ll also include the Marketing and Business students.” 

The plane has a nine-metre wingspan with detachable wings, so it can be transported on a trailer. Its registration is ZK OPT (ZK for New Zealand and OPT for Otago Polytechnic) and it will be built and supervised under Civil Aviation rules and regulations. The licenced aircraft engineer overseeing the project is an engineering graduate from Otago Polytechnic. 

The kitset cost $70,000 which is being paid for by Otago Polytechnic’s capital expenditure budget over two years.  When the plane is completed, it will be sold and the profits will go towards the next kitset plane.

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