Northern Ireland air cadets building aircraft for RAF centenary

17 squadrons of the Northern Ireland Wing of the Air Training Corps are undertaking an extraordinary project – to build a Sting S4 light aircraft in time for the 2018 Farnborough Air Show. 2018 will also mark 100 years of the Royal Air Force which was formed on April 1st 1918. The project is being supported by Boeing which itself is celebrating 100 years of being in the aviation business. Sir Michael Arthur, the president of Boeing Europe and managing director of Boeing UK told the Telegraph;

It is fitting that on the day of Boeing’s centenary when we are looking ahead to the next 100 years of aerospace innovation, we announced this new educational programme to benefit ATC cadets in Northern Ireland. These young men and women are the future of our industry and I could not be more proud that we can support this engaging, hands-on STEM initiative.

The Air Training Corps (ATC) has helped foster an interest in the RAF and aviation at large in young people for 75 years. It was preceded by the Air Defence Cadet Corps which was formed in 1938 before the issue of a Royal Warrant in 1941 established the Air Training Corps as it is today. In 2015 the Duchess of Cambridge assumed the title of Honorary Air Commandant of the Air Training Corps and at present there are around 1,009 squadrons within the organisation.

The aircraft the cadets are building, the Sting S4, is a single-engine, two-seat ultralight aircraft designed in the Czech Republic which first flew in 2010 and has been delivered to the cadets in kit form. The cadet’s assembly of the aircraft will be mentored by volunteers from Boeing and the Ulster Aviation Society.


NEWS: Duchess of Cambridge becomes Honorary Air Commandant of the Air Training Corps

Kate Middleton Air Training Corps Cadets

The Duchess of Cambridge speaks with Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty (

The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, has been named the new Honorary Air Commandant of the Air Cadets, a position previously held by Prince Phillip. She will represent the RAF’s youth organization, the Air Training Corps, of 42,000 air cadets ranging from ages 12 to 19 as well as having a say in the management of the 15,000 adult volunteers.

Commandant Air Cadets, Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty said;

We are absolutely thrilled that Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge has agreed to be our patron. Her links to the (Royal Air Force) family are already well-established and her desire to support youth development is well-recognized around the world.

Air Commodore McCafferty was referring to Kate Middleton’s husband, the Duke of Cambridge and heir to the British monarchy, Prince William, who served as an RAF search and rescue pilot flying Sea King helicopters.

For more information on the Air Training Corps click here.