Parkes Christian School (PCS) successfully defended its Moomba Birdman Rally title in Melbourne recently for the sixth time.
Only this time they had to share the podium with two other schools. In an exciting and very tight finish all three top school teams finished with a distance of eight metres.
Double Trouble II of PCS achieved this mark despite being tossed sideways by a gust of wind at the point of take-off.
Pilot student Thomas Unger also won the funniest moment trophy for his jump off the platform and spinning into the Yarra River.
“The launch of the aircraft was amazing,” said Laura Hall-Matthews, senior design and technology student. “Tens of thousands of people lined the banks of the Yarra River to watch each competitor launch their design and no matter the result each flight was met with a massive cheer from the crowd.”
With help from teacher Jason Wynstra, and guidance from previous Moomba aircraft designer Neil Unger, the PCS team designed a bi-plane style flying wing.
The school teams were able to raise more than $100,000 for various charities. Parkes Christian School’s money will be donated towards Drought Relief through Georgie’s Pantry. The team was also able to raise money for themselves to help them build the plane and develop technology.
This year the senior design and technology students were joined by all the Year 11 and 12 PCS students for the first time to give all the students a first-hand experience of the Birdman Rally.
They all agreed it was an amazing experience and would like to thank everyone for their well wishes and donations.
The team would also like to thank Alex Letelier Photography for capturing and sharing the amazing images of pilot Thomas Unger as he jumped into the Yarra River.
By Hayley Ballantyne