12 Nanyang Poly students building an aircraft

Nanyang Polytechnic students demonstrating how the 3D immersive virtual reality centre provides a virtual airport environment.
Nanyang Polytechnic students demonstrating how the 3D immersive virtual reality centre provides a virtual airport environment.ST PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN

The School of Engineering at Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) is working on what is said to be the first student-built aeroplane in Singapore.

Since late last year, 12 students from NYP's aeronautical and aerospace technology diploma programme have been developing the 6.7m-long CH750 aircraft.

Working in pairs, they take part in every step of the process - from conceptualisation and documentation to actual construction.

"It gives them real-life experience," said NYP senior lecturer Lim Poh Ghee, an aircraft engineer with 38 years of experience in the field.

He said the project inspired all his students, and even former ones regularly checked on its progress.

Final-year student Leon Chong feels the hands-on approach will benefit students when they join the working world. "When you're working, everybody will be busy and there will be nobody to teach you. So we have to take this opportunity to learn for ourselves," said 28-year-old Mr Chong.

The plane, which can carry a pilot and one passenger, requires only 30m of runway to take off and land. It should be able to fly about 700km without refuelling, and is expected to be completed in 2018.

From April, NYP will also offer students the chance to simulate airport operations such as maintenance checks on aircraft using a 3D immersive virtual reality centre.

Zhaki Abdullah

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 10, 2015, with the headline '12 Nanyang Poly students building an aircraft'. Print Edition | Subscribe