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Minecraft competition winner wows judges with RAF Station of the Future

A RAFAC Minecraft competition winner described how he spent 77 hours working on his impressive RAF Station of the Future and that he is aiming for a career in computers and technology. 

Cpl Tsang of 1099 (Worsley) Sqn was awarded a gaming laptop after being named the top entrant in the Air Cadet national competition.  

Watch Cpl Tsang's presentation of his Minecraft RAF Station of the Future

The team award was won by 236 (Bollington) Sqn with second place going to 58 (Harrogate) Sqn. The judges said the standard of entries was so high that it decided to give out six extra £100 bursaries from the General Purpose Fund (GPF). 

The competition encouraged environmentally friendly initiatives, personnel welfare, overall design of the station and quality of a presentation highlighting their design features and the reasoning behind those features. 

“It means a lot to me that I won this competition, I spent a lot of time and effort in the planning and building stage as well as the presentation,” said Cpl Tsang. 

“My squadron likes to say "what you put in is what you get out" and I find this very true. I'm hoping this can bring more exposure to 1099 (Worsley) Sqn and the ability of me and all my fellow cadets.” 

Tsang said he spent 71 hours on planning, building and refining on the sandbox video game. He then spent another six hours on the final presentation. 

He has been a cadet since 2020 and says he has enjoyed all sorts of activities such as first aid, gliding, flying, comms and sports events. 

“My best experience would have been Bronze DofE,” said Tsang. “I was able to camp, explore and navigate a previous unseen part of the UK with my friends. 

“My favourite thing about being a cadet is the opportunities that the RAFAC provides for us, which helps us bond with others, going on activities I would have never thought of trying and helping us for our future.” 

 Tsang said he hopes to put his computer skills to good use in the future. 

“I've had some thoughts on a career in software and programming, possibly becoming one of the engineers and cyber security staff in the RAF,” he said. “It's still a fuzzy blur but I know I want to do something within technology and computers.” 

Tsang received a Lenovo Legion 5 gaming laptop with a NVIDIA RTX 3070, 16GB, 15.6" FHD 165Hz and Intel i7-11800H. 

RAFAC Minecraft competition winner Cpl Tsang

Tsang’s OC at 1099 (Worsley) Sqn, Flying Officer Jacob Beaver said Cpl Tsang is an extremely committed member of the squadron, bringing good values and boosting the morale of other people around him. 

“He is hard working young person who gives his best to every activity, as seen by his extraordinary effort and commitment to the Minecraft competition. He is a valued member of our team and we are all so proud of his achievements, he is a great example to the other members of the squadron. His intelligence and innovative ideas are an asset to us and we look forward to what amazing ideas he will bring in the future.  

“This competition as a whole, has been an interesting and new way to bring about good sportsmanship and competition between cadets. Minecraft is a very popular game amongst many people, and bringing a sense of competition into it is a new and futuristic way of engaging cadets in line with Astra. I am looking forward to future online competitions of this nature." 

Gpt Capt Leeming added: “The judges were unanimous that this was the best individual entry by far. Cpl Tsang captured the imagination of the judges through his innovative use of renewable technologies blended with an exciting and thought-provoking design for the RAF Station of the Future, all presented in a highly professional and engaging manner.” 

He said 236 (Bollington) Sqn were unanimously chosen as the best team entry for their innovative portrayal of what a future RAF station could look like.  They were said to have combined new technology with a clever design to best meet the competition parameters. They received the same laptop as Cpl Tsang. 

236 (Bollington) Sqn won the best team award

"I’m incredibly proud of our Minecraft competition team," said Fg Off Daniel Cryer, who is the OC of 236 (Bollington) Sqn.

"As a squadron – we believe that success starts is in showing up. You get out of the cadet experience what you put in, so we show up for ourselves and for each other. We encourage our cadets and staff to take part in things, even if they don’t know if they’ll be any good at it. Winning this competition demonstrates it perfectly; if you show up – you might win, even if you’re brand new to the organisation."

58 (Harrogate) Sqn achieved second place by putting together by combining an impressive presentation with an equally impressive design, which included renewable technologies and cutting-edge leisure facilities. The runner-up unit received a Lenovo Legion 5 gaming laptop with a NVIDIA RTX 3060, 8GB, 15.6” FHD 120Hz, Intel i5-11400H. 

One of the judges, Wg Cdr Emma Watkins, said: “What a privilege to be a part of something looking into the future, innovating and forecasting how the RAF of the future could be Defending the Nation whilst nurturing our people and protecting our precious natural resources. As an OC BSW serving a busy and diverse Station it has been invigorating to have ideas to consider implementing today for tomorrow and beyond.” 

Wg Cdr Emma Watkins was part of the panel judging the submissions with a particular focus on the welfare provision and innovation in the future based designs. Her Wing is responsible for the provision of welfare support to all who work and live at RAF Leeming. 

The bursary winners were: 

Cadet Amy of 1079 (Tiverton) Sqn. Innovative energy technology by using bio-mimicry to suggest algae powered building lighting and recharging 

Cadet Frederick of 1265 (Horncastle) Sqn. Innovative energy technology. Used bio-mimicry in suggesting Luminophore technology that absorbs solar/UV energy in the day and glows at night to light paths, roads, runways, etc 

Cadet Flt Sgt Alex 2160 (Sleaford) Sqn. Future sustainable airbase concept. A clear vision and explanation of a 2040/45 FOB (RAF Spearhead) with low emission aircraft, AI drones, and vehicles, and many low carbon technologies 

Cadet Harry of 1026 (Ormskirk) Sqn. Future sustainable airbase concept. A Net Zero eco-friendly airbase with sustainable building design, on-site healthy food production and green areas for welfare 

39F (Barnes and Richmond) Sqn. Integrated solutions to welfare and sustainable operational support. The shooting range was well thought through. Presentation included good humour as well. 

1264 (Windermere) Sqn. ‘What is the future’ - great to begin with the question - very philosophical. Battery storage of energy, music wall and green space, very detailed graphics. 

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