The power of positive thinking and determination has pushed South African teenagers into breaking the glass ceiling. The teenagers built a plane in three weeks, from a kit that came with thousands of small parts that had to be assembled, manufactured in South Africa by an Airplane Factory. Normally, the task would take 3,000 man hours to assemble, which equates to twenty-five days.
A group of twenty students in different backgrounds put together a four-seater Sling 4 plane has already flown from Cape Town to Cairo and has successfully made its first stop in Namibia and is set for Egypt in a couple of weeks.
The idea was conceived by 17-year-old Megan who started the project. She was one of six in the group to have obtained a pilot’s licence, and the six will share flying duties.
“The purpose of the initiative is to show Africa that anything is possible if you set your mind to it. It’s just awesome to see how inspired people are by what we’ve done. It gave me goosebumps,” said the young pilot Megan Werner.
Sling 4 Plane first stop was in Luderitz, southern Namibian coastal town. The plane has a six-and-a-half hour flying range and other destinations on the way to Egypt will be in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia and Eritrea
“Looking at the plane, I am so proud of myself, I can’t believe what we’ve done. I feel like this is my baby. I cherish her. At first people in my community were shocked. They didn’t believe me when I told them I helped build a plane. But now they’re actually very proud of me,” said 15-year-old Agnes Keamogetswe Seemela.
In its maiden voyage, from Johannesburg to Cape Town, ahead of the official start of the trip, Agnes who was involved in putting together the main body of the aircraft (fuselage), horizontal and vertical stabilisers and the wings said that the plane flew so smoothly and the ariel views were breathtaking.
Professional pilots will accompany the teen flyers in a support Sling 4 plane during their trip around the African continent.