Building Fool-Flying Noob
I have many hats.
Father, Husband, Engineer, Mentor, Climber, Friend, Geek, Dork and the somewhat recently added Wolf Den Leader of Cub Scout Pack 745 in Eastover, NC. With this hat comes training. Late last year I attended the best Leadership course I've been to. Wood Badge. Highly recommend it, but that isn't why I'm writing this. As part of this leadership training, and my general Ilk, I endevoured to find a way to incorporate STEM and the Engineering method into what is already a rich environment of scouting. I set one of my goals to put together an event highlighting the symbiosis. I was also becoming addicted to plane building, thanks to Flite Test, and I wanted to spread the word. And their and MESA RC's STEM guides inspired me to know the two would fit.
So in the leaders meeting, months back, I mentioned my strong desire to do a STEM event day. The leaders agreed the ball was mine and the Camp-in event was the place. Our resident Chemist agreed to join me with a Demo as well.
As I planned the event I use these forums to find out which plane I'd choose, and went with the Tiny Trainer. I had two criteria, I Had to be built with just tape and a scout is thrifty so LOW Budget. I was worried about building such a large plane with potentially little to no budget and while searching I found http://forum.flitetest.com/member.php?19748-SheppO”] SheppO's[/URL] reduced scale TinyTrainer. Same great plane on only 1 sheet. I chose this plane because we could use tape to put it together. as the the hot glue is a bit too dangerous, and I wanted the kids to be able to do it on their own. I just worried about how I would cut out so many planes without spending all my free time doing it.
The week before the Camp-in I brought sign-up sheets for the projects and my demo model. I took home a list of 9 boys and 4 parents. Now I started to sweat...
Then as a side note on NerdNic's Manic Micro Thread while discussing the Tiger MothThe-One-Who-Never-Crashes saved my hide and by asking if I had a Scroll Saw. Details on that here. I knew exactly what he meant. Instead of spending 40+min per plane to cut the shapes, I did 7 in the same time. So in 3 - 3 1/2 hrs I had all the pieces to 13 planes cut and ready!
The Chemistry Demo was Amazing, With dry-ice how could you go wrong.
Next was Morse-Code beepers (Think Operation with a rocker arm instead of tweezers)- a Good and Noisey first go. (I have a few improvements for next time.)
Last was "Fun with Foam Flyers" as I called it.
To get ready, I wanted to start by explaining the parts of the plane they were buildling and how it work and is controlled. I put together this collection of informational images from the net here. View attachment 81960 Use or private use only please as I didn't pull the credits for these. Best used as a guide.
Above, I'm using the guide and the example plane to go through the information packet. I then showed the plans. We talked about engineers and the plans and what they're for. I started with building the fuselage and added the doubler, pull the paper from the front nose and rolled the front around top. They taped around the nose to add strength to the likely impact spot. Then I had the boys take markers and make the plane their own. Coloring the Fuselage and wing. This turned out to be a great way for every boy to know which was theirs. Next was to build the wing.
I took this time to talk about dihedral and why it's on the beginner planes. We didn't use a gauge and it was neat to see how different dihedral angles changed the flight. At this point the boys could see the plane coming together. Then we put the tails on. Inserted the skewers and attached the wings on. I had them start with 6-7 pennies rolled in tape, put in the nose and then stuffed with paper towel or plastic bag. Light and a decent space filler.
Before the weighting step, some boys took their planes and began throwing them. They did giant loops which really got the rest energized to finish. Some put the weights in and were excited to have a plane fly a long way and straight. They all flew relatively well. No one was disappointed. They were durable too.
I brought some of my other FT planes for examples of other flying planes - The Bloody Baron(for decoration ideas), a busted FT Mini Arrow (to illustrate it's durability), and the nnTigerMoth (to show a bi-plane, and size differences). I also briefly talked about how they could take this further and make it an RC plane in the future. (A-pack).
- Recruit help with the 50% score cuts to save time.
- Tape the doublers before rolling the fuselage.
- Come with extra skewers
- Prepare penny rolls as part of the kit
- 1 tape roll for every 3 kits-ish.
- Get a Tape Dispenser if possible
- Have a Catch Game or Target game ready ID'd in the beginning.
- Keep Other example non-chuck-gliders in an "Off Limits Zone"
- During the overnight, beepers and Gliders were on the Quarantine Table - not to be touched till morning.
Thanks Flitetest for Inspiring the fun we all had this weekend and the community like The-One-Who-Never-Crashes, for the help encouragement and advice. This event was a BIG hit.
I hope this helps the next person with their event. Feel free to PM me If you want more info.