Young aviation enthusiasts from Broughton Primary School checked in to the Airbus plant to prepare for an upcoming project focused on developing pupils’ digital skills.
The Plane in a Day project encourages school children to build a model of an aircraft in a day and was inspired by the building of a Wellington bomber in just over 24 hours at Broughton during World War Two.
The propaganda stunt was pulled off by a predominantly female workforce at the height of the conflict in 1943 and film footage of the achievement was shown in the USA to demonstrate that Britain wasn’t beaten by the Blitz.
The pupils taking part in the project are also filming the building process and will be adding some retro touches to make it look like a wartime film.
As part of the day’s activities, the youngsters dressed in traditional 1940s style dress and, through the magic of digital photography, were able to travel back in time and pose for a shot with the original Wellington at Broughton.
The pupils also got a glimpse into the future of aviation as they got to grips with some virtual reality (VR) equipment, experiencing simulations of flying on the very latest commercial aircraft, including Airbus’ state-of- the A350 composite jetliner.
Sam Marshall, 10, who took part in the event, said: “It was an amazing day. My favourite part was the virtual reality because you got to go to different places and fly on different planes. It was also really cool having my picture taken with the Wellington.”
During World War Two, there was a 6,000 strong workforce at the Broughton factory, over half of which were women filling the vacant positions left behind by male workers to fight on the front lines. They gave up their weekend to work around the clock and finish the Wellington LN514 in record-breaking time.
Class teacher Stephen Anderton said: “It’s been a fantastic morning, the kids really enjoyed themselves and it was great to see them really engaging with all the activities, especially the VR equipment which was so immersive. It also ties in really well with our creative schools project which is focused on developing digital competency.
“Not only did the pupils have fun but they also learned a lot about the history of the Broughton site, including the building of the Wellington, and the theory of flight.”