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Old Sep 25, 2004, 10:53 AM
CAFplanekid is offline
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Midland, Tx / W. Lafayette, Ind.
Joined Dec 2002
2,949 Posts
At my school, we have a 'Things that Fly' class. It is only offered to 7, 8, and 9th grades, and it is in its own little building behind the gym. It is basically an elective that replaces Art class. They build Peck ROGs, Stringless Wonders, Brodak control line models, and small FF hand-launch gliders, and there is a club trainer (Kadet Senior) they can fly if they show an interest in continuing with the hobby. When I was in 7th grade (im a Senior now) me and a few of my friends, along with 2 teachers who have been flying RC and freeflight for a very long time started the club back up, and it was an after-school deal. It got me interested in RC and I bought my first plane, a Miss 2, to learn to fly on, and my friend bought a Kadet LT-40 we learned on. It was alot of fun for us, and after a few years the teachers were able to swing getting a class started with its own classroom. I help teach the class sometimes and may even substitute this week because the CAF Airshow is next weekend (the teacher also happens to run the airshow every year). I think the kids have alot of fun with it, but I am the only one who has stuck with it so far.

Try starting out with building the little Peck ROGs and stuff like that. Once you have the plans (a few $), you can build alot of them for really cheap, just stock up on the rubber motors and landing gear and switch them from plane to plane. Then, as they develop some amount of building skill, try building something with an airfoil around the same rubber motor. Next, building a hand-launch glider is pretty successfull. Our teacher bought one of the Graupner Pito gliders, and it flew very well, so we made templates and made our own kits. This requires sanding the airfoil by hand (Graupner kits come pre-shaped) and cutting all the pieces out on the table saw, but only takes about a dollar of materials I think, and the planes usually fly fine with a little help from the instructor with the finer points. Then they design and build their own gliders. This doesnt always turn out well, but can have some surprising results (the one I built in 9th grade flew away shortly after getting it trimmed out, just up up and gone!). Then they move on to Brodak control-line models of varying complexity (the more talented or interested students usually get the ones with ribs and a built up wing, while the more 'slacker' type gets a more simple plank balsa plane). And then you can move up to RC with the kids showing interest maybe, building something like the SR Batteries Bantam wouldnt be too hard, and maybe you could get a deal if you order a bunch for your school.

thats my experience,
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