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 in Quarter 4 of each year, with mentors from the aerospace industry including Leonardo, advising on designs. Regional Fly-Off events take place in March, followed by the Grand Final in May, hosted by the Fleet Air Arm Museum in Yeovil, where the regional winners compete against each other in a series of engineering challenges.