The battle was fierce and full of banter, the evening was inspiring and engaging. Over 120 people chatted and chewed over new projects, current and future business together at the Top Gun Challenge event. With over 100 entrants taking part in the Challenge and many canapés and drinks enjoyed the event can truly be deemed a success.
The venue for the Challenge, a 97,600sqft food processing centre on Chichester Food Park, is Amiri’s largest project to date by size and value. It is being constructed for Kingsbridge Estates to be occupied by Natures Way Ltd for lettuce & salad processing and distribution. On handover of the project, Natures Way Ltd will be naming the site NWF Merston in memory of RAF Merston, a World War 2 spitfire squadron airfield on which the building now stands.
With a building this large, on a site with this heritage and the Guinness World record for paper plane distances standing at 207ft 4 inches – a distance achievable inside our building, the Top Gun Challenge to fly a paper plane the furthest was on!
They came in all shapes and designs. Some were old classics, shapes and folding skills dredged up from a childhood past. A frightening number, most notably from engineers pre designed by CAD teams but also a great many that were sometimes carefully, sometimes carelessly folded and flown on the night. Of particular note was Mike Warren’s Scott Brownrigg logoed plane that was seamless interfaced with our Top Gun Logos and his own personalized fuselage; Stuart Bone of PWP Architects plane that managed to stretch their ‘Built on a Budget’ to include a ‘Cloaking device’ and ‘Eject at 2m’ system; Tomicca’s battle flames really should remain incorporated into their logo and Mike Warf from RJ Watkinson & Partners appears to have drawn blood during his 406 attempts.
Mark Amey (Brightspace Architects), who was disallowed for his first attempt, actually a plane scrunched up into a cannon ball that of course shot out the back door, set the pace early on with his second attempt of 23.82m.. Gerald Murphy of C&G Properties , who was designing and redesigning on the night, looked threatening with 22.77m. But Paul Smith, who could be spotted in the crowd working up to his winning 26.21m all evening, exceeded all expectations and would have overshot our runway by 5 metres or more had there not been a wall in the way! Paul was undoubtedly the winner of the shiny ipad2.
The winner of the perhaps less keenly contested contest to win a 30 minute aerobatic flight from Goodwood, drawn from all the entrants that managed to get their craft into a Hippo Bag was Ian Power of Cyan Power. The report of his enjoyment, or otherwise, of his prize is one we are particularly looking forward to!
The coverted Biggles Award was proudly won by Shaun Lambert of PWP Architects for his phenomenal attempt of 0.8m thus living up to his own pre-event hype of having one of the best looking aircraft, without necessarily being a great flyer! A true architect!
We would like to pass on our wholehearted thanks to everyone who showed up to support and engage in the event and to Kingsbridge Estates and Natures Way Foods for joining us in their soon to be completed building.