From virtual flight to reality, eight students and their science teachers will travel to the Glasair factory to build a pair of Sportsman kit planes. The General Aviation Manufacturers Association is teaming with BuildAPlane to conduct a nationwide competition for the slots. Teams of students can compete by designing their own aircraft, using free “Fly To Learn” software provided by the competition.
Two winning designs will be chosen by a panel of GAMA-member engineers, and each of the teams of four students will win the opportunity to participate in Glasair’s “Two Weeks to Taxi” program and build a very real Glasair Sportsman 2+2 utility airplane. “Two Weeks to Taxi” is a builder assistance program allowing kit builders to use Glasair’s factory facilities and staff expertise to bring their Sportsman to ready-to-taxi status in two weeks.
The initiative is part of GAMA’s commitment to the national Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) educational focus. Association president Pete Bunce said, “This competition will give students the opportunity to explore general aviation and all it has to offer. It will encompass our industry’s need to grow engineers, maintenance professionals as well as pilots. As our world faces some very serious economic challenges, we need to expose young people to the exciting and rewarding careers that await them in the aerospace industry and ensure they have the tools they need to succeed.”
Space in the national competition is limited, and science teachers who are interested should contact Katrina Bradshaw at 804-843-3321. They can find out more at www.buildaplane.org; www.gama.aero; www.glasairaviation.com; and www.FlyToLearn.com.