The aim is for teams composed of four students to design, build and test a model glider that they will present at the regional Fly-Off. Each team then has the chance to fly their glider against schools from the same region, with teams judged on the distance flown and on a poster presentation detailing the design decisions made.
The Flying Start Challenge is accredited by Industrial Cadets at Bronze Level.
Teams register each September with mentors from the aerospace industry including Leonardo, advising on designs. Regional Fly-Off events take place in early February, followed by the Grand Final a month later, hosted by the Fleet Air Arm Museum in Yeovil, where the regional winners compete against each other in a series of engineering challenges.