An aircraft built by South African teenagers has successfully landed in Egypt six weeks after it set off from Cape Town.
The four-seater Sling 4 plane was assembled by a group of 20 students from vastly different backgrounds. The crew landed in Namibia, Malawi, Ethiopia, Zanzibar, Tanzania and Uganda during the 12,000km (7,455 mile) trip. Pilot Megan Werner, 17, founder of U-Dream Global project, said she was thrilled by the accomplishment.
"I'm so honoured to have made a difference around the continent at the places we've stopped. "The purpose of the initiative is to show Africa that anything is possible if you set your mind to it," she added. Another Sling 4 plane, flown by professional pilots, accompanied the teen flyers, whose goal was to give motivational talks for other teenagers along the way.
The teenagers built the aircraft in three weeks from a kit manufactured in South Africa by the Airplane Factory. Construction included assembling thousands of small parts. Megan's father, Des Werner, who is a commercial pilot, said it would normally take 3,000 man hours to assemble a Sling 4.
The impressive feat had its challenges, Megan said. In the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, they could not get fuel. "When we eventually got it, the support aircraft started leaking fuel so they couldn't fly with us and only two people - Driaan van den Heever, the safety pilot, and I carried on," Megan said. "We were concerned about flying across Sudan because of the political unrest in that country."