Cape Town – A group of teenagers will be leaving on a journey from Cape Town to Cairo with their own self-assembled plane which took them three weeks to build.
Twenty teenagers from different backgrounds all participated in the construction of the Sling-4 aircraft which was completed in June last year.
Another few teenagers who have their pilot licences will be flying the aircraft with a senior pilot.
The team is set to embark on their journey on June 12.
The Sling-4 aircraft seats four individuals and there will also be a support plane flying with the aircraft.
Teen pilot and founder of U Dream Global, Megan Werner, 17, said: “When we started building the aircraft, we didn’t know anything about aviation and we had to learn about all the tools and learning to read the engineering drawings was also quite a challenge.”
U Dream Global is an non-profit organisation that aims to support and transform the lives of young people.
The teenagers will visit various cities and villages during their five-week journey through Africa. The destinations to be visited include Namibia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Egypt. They will also make a stop in Uganda, Rwanda and Zambia on their way back.
“We will also be giving inspirational talks to the locals at the different destinations and will offer them a first time experience on the aircraft because many of these people has never seen or even been on a plane before,” Werner said.
Fund-raiser manager for the U Dream global Cape to Cairo project, Simon Manda said: “These teenagers have built something that will create waves in Africa.
“They are showing everyone what South African youth are capable of even though some of them come from difficult backgrounds.”
The team would like to raise funds to help cover the costs. A campaign has been launched on the crowdfunding platform, BackaBuddy where they hope to raise R350000.
To donate towards this project, visit https://www.backabuddy.co.za/cape-to-cairo