As part of a nine day intersession, and as a sequel to the four day Up In The Air intersession last year, students were able to design and fabricate their own radio controlled aircraft. With the extra few days we were able to expand the scope of our experience and had an excellent time. Festivities included:
- Design & Fabrication – Students had a full nine days to build! This meant that there was ample time to build, break, build, redesign, crash, and otherwise optimize their aircraft. This generous build time is only possible because of the generous material donations made by the members of the Silent Electric Fliers of San Diego, Academy of Model Aeronautics, Neu Motors, Castle Creations, and Hitec RCD. Without their support we would be building out of popsicle sticks and rubber bands.
- Flight Training & Test Flights – The Silent Electric Fliers went all out this year and sponsored two mornings at the model airfield. Students received expert hands-on training with club supplied aircraft and were able to test fly their own planes. The first day of test flights proved wildly instructional and led to some amazing results for the second time around. The club even hosted a BBQ!
- Marine Core Air Station – Through a few strokes of luck, students were also able to get up close and personal with active F-18s, fly in the official F-18 simulators, and also get a private interior tour of an active C-130. More on this visit here.
The student-built aircraft varied wildly but they fell into these primary categories:
- Kit Builds – Students found air frame kits in our donation pile and were able to get them assembled and situated with electronics.
- Scratch Build – Flite Test provides free templates for aircraft that can be built entirely from Dollar Tree foam board, tape, and hot glue. Student also chose to build the FT Delta and a customized version of the FT Flyer. Many students even designed and built planes based on their own designs.
- Frankenplane – My personal favorite. With the continual support of the local community, my classroom had become a graveyard of RC plane parts. Some students chose to scavenge the rafters and put together their own Frankenplane.
Enjoy the photos and video!