Air Cadets from 126 (City of Derby) Squadron won the national final of the Land Rover 4×4 In Schools competition yesterday. The air cadet team were the only none school team to reach the final round of the competition that was held at the National Motor Heritage Centre at Gaydon. This is a major achievement not only for Derby but for the Air Cadet Organisation as a whole.
The team of 5 cadets from Derby won the Midlands Heat two weeks ago. They competed in the final with a scratch built 4×4 model vehicle, built to a Land Rover specification. This competition was set up by Land Rover to encourage young people to have an interest in engineering and electronics.
During the finals, the cadet team were assessed on 4 elements. Firstly, they were questioned on vehicle engineering. They then had to navigate their vehicle over an obstacle course made by Land Rover. The team were required to do a ten minute presentation about their project and also had to submit a portfolio to show how their vehicle was built.
The team from Derby won the award for Best Portfolio and were crowned winners of the competition overall.
Adult Sergeant Rebecca Upson was 126 Squadron’s project manager for the event. She said, “We were confident going into the final because our vehicle performed well in the heat. The cadets did extremely well to beat schools and colleges who spend many hours studying engineering.”
This is the second year that 126 Squadron has entered the 4×4 In Schools (Trak Nav) competition. Cadet Corporal Harry Hampson said, “We are so pleased to win the competition and show that Air Cadets are the best. Part of our prize is a VIP trip to Land Rover for a 4×4 experience day. We are really looking forward to it.”
In addition to the VIP experience day, 126 Squadron were presented with the National Champion Trophy which is made by a Land Rover engineer and is made from Land Rover parts. One member of the team will be awarded a £1000 scholarship for engineering at Harper Adams University. The team also walked away with Land Rover t-shirts, baseball caps and other memorabilia. The team members have thoroughly enjoyed competing in the competition and would encourage other Air Cadet squadrons to get involved next year.