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Teaching Scouts

#1
In our local scout unit I am going to be teaching how to build and fly FT Flyers as a part of the aviation merit badge. We are going to spread it out over a few weeks and I have already talked about the principles of flight and gave them a demo. We have around 7-10 boys which could be challenging to build with. I have already cut wood templates for them so it is easier to cut everything out. The plan is to have to boys build the main frame of the FT Flyer and then add one of my power pods on in a few weeks when they are ready to fly. I have never taught this many people at once before and am worried about how it will turn out. I also will be bringing 2 flight simulators for them to start practicing on. Any ideas on how to make sure this is smooth and successful? Any suggestions will help. I will also make sure to post what I learn up here as I am going through this.
 

Kurt0326

Your ADD Care Bear
Mentor
#2
So I'm reading through the Aviation merit badge requirements, wondering which requirements your trying to do.

I'm thinking the:

b. Point out on a model airplane the forces that act on an airplane in flight.
c. Explain how an airfoil generates lift, how the primary control surfaces (ailerons, elevators, and rudder) affect the airplane's attitude, and how a propeller produces thrust.
d. Demonstrate how the control surfaces of an airplane are used for takeoff, straight climb, level turn, climbing turn, descending turn, straight descent, and landing.

If so, I don't think you need to build more than one. Also that the FT flier will not meet the requirement C, because it has no ailerons. I'm thinking more like the tiny trainer for all the ability for the three channel and four channel options.

With that aside, talk with the SPL or Scout Master about getting volunteers for rotating stations like in the Flite Test | Boy Scouts / Group Flying Tips here:
[video]https://youtu.be/xeloLn00hIM[/video]

It might help if you can go to the local rc model clubs to get volunteers too.

Also how many radios do you have? Hopefully you can get it to buddy box. Your rc club guys can help with that too.

I guess I will add more as I can think about it a little more.

I have thought about doing this for my Troop for awhile now, with not a lot of interest from the boys. Maybe soon though.

Aviation merit badge requirements



Do the following:

a. Define "aircraft." Describe some kinds and uses of aircraft today. Explain the operation of piston, turboprop, and jet engines.
b. Point out on a model airplane the forces that act on an airplane in flight.
c. Explain how an airfoil generates lift, how the primary control surfaces (ailerons, elevators, and rudder) affect the airplane's attitude, and how a propeller produces thrust.
d. Demonstrate how the control surfaces of an airplane are used for takeoff, straight climb, level turn, climbing turn, descending turn, straight descent, and landing.
e. Explain the following: the sport pilot, the recreational pilot and the private pilot certificates; the instrument rating.

Do TWO of the following:

a. Take a flight in an aircraft, with your parent's permission. Record the date, place, type of aircraft, and duration of flight, and report on your impressions of the flight.
b. Under supervision, perform a preflight inspection of a light airplane.
c. Obtain and learn how to read an aeronautical chart. Measure a true course on the chart. Correct it for magnetic variation, compass deviation, and wind drift to determine a compass heading.
d. Using one of many flight simulator software packages available for computers. "fly" the course and heading you established in requirement 2c or another course you have plotted.
e. Explain the purposes and functions of the various instruments found in a typical single-engine aircraft: attitude indicator, heading indicator, altimeter, airspeed indicator, turn and bank indicator, vertical speed indicator, compass, navigation (GPS and VOR) and communication radios, tachometer, oil pressure gauge, and oil temperature gauge.
f. Create an original poster of an aircraft instrument panel. Include and identify the instruments and radios discussed in requirement 2e.

Do ONE of the following:

a. Build and fly a fuel-driven or battery powered electric model airplane. Describe safety rules for building and flying model airplanes Tell safety rules for use of glue, paint, dope, plastics, fuel, and battery pack.
b. Build a model FPG-9. Get others in your troop or patrol to make their own model, then organize a competition to test the precision of flight and landing of the models.

Do ONE of the following:

a. Visit an airport. After the visit, report on how the facilities are used, how runways are numbered, and how runways are determined to be "active."
b. Visit a Federal Aviation Administration facility control tower, terminal radar control facility, air route traffic control center, or Flight Standards District Office. (Phone directory listings are under U.S. Government Offices, Transportation Department, Federal Aviation Administration. Call in advance.) Report on the operation and your impressions of the facility.
c. Visit an aviation museum or attend an air show. Report on your impressions of the museum or show.

Find out about three career opportunities in aviation. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss this with your counselor, and explain why this profession might interest you.
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Staff member
Moderator
Mentor
#3
One of the things Josh had mentioned worked well for them in large group builds was having a couple of the major sub-assemblies at key steps pre-assembled as examples to pass around. The Flyer is trivial simple (particularly if they aren't building their own pods), so having a fuselage pre-glued to pass around and a tail should be all you'd need.

As for assembly, if they're not cutting these out themselves, construction is something that should go together in a single meeting EASY . . . but keep in mind, DTFB isn't particularly abuse friendly -- I'd be concerned about warping of a flat-plate wing between meetings.


To throw another idea into the mix . . . have you considered the Tiny Trainer?

The build is more complex, but a bit more rugged, so more likely to survive between meetings. If you've got several evenings you can build the nose and fuse in the first session (leaving the tail unglued), and the wing in the second. These parts should survive, so long as they keep it dry. Then do the tail and final assembly on the third session and have PLENTY of time to go fly them while everything is still true. Again, having a few example sub-assemblies will go a long way toward accelerating the work.