A team of female aeronautical engineers are planning to put their skills to the test when they compete in Red Bull’s madcap Flugtag competition on the 27th November.
Team Urea are attempting to build a homemade plane, using techniques learned at the Higher Colleges of Technology, to take part in the Dubai Creek event.
Flugtag sees teams attempt to fly homemade, human-powered flying machines off a pier and see how far they travel before plunging into the water. Dubai last hosted the popular event in 2007.
The all-Emirati team comprises captain Sundos Al Matroushi, 19, Maryam Moosa Eissa, 20, sisters Manal Rafee, 19, and Amal Rafee, 21 and pilot Saeed Ahmed Al Bishry, 23, the only male team member. They have self-funded the project and tracked down materials.
The plane must be no larger than 8m in wingspan and can’t weigh more than 180kg. Teams must make their plane from scratch to ensure they do not use modified hang-gliders, for example.
Al Matroushi believes this is the perfect opportunity for them to prove themselves. She said: “We learn all these skills in class and then have all these materials at hand, so it’s very exciting to be putting the two together to create something away from the study books.
“We have been building for more than a month now and it is basically putting pieces together, but involving a lot of scaling, measuring, cutting and using our engineering brains.”
Eissa, 20, is very excited. She said: “We are here to prove Emirati women can excel in the aviation industry”.
Amal Rafee added: “Girls can do anything they want to do with dedication”.
Al Bishry, 23, knows he will get a soaking, but says he wants to try to beat the world record, set in 2013 in Long Beach, California, in an event attended by more than 100,000 people.
He said: “My team is incredible, we are like family, working together to make sure no one makes a mistake. I have been watching videos, spotting little mistakes that can spoil it, to make sure we do not face any problems. However, I have full faith in my team and that they will do a splendid job with the plane”.
On behalf of BAWS, we wish Team Urea all the best!
Head over to Redbull for more information regarding Flugtag, 27th November 2015!