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R/C Airplane Building 101

by Doug Weaver 

Paul Faltyn, the curator of the Niagara Aerospace Museum, contacted the president of Wing and Rotor of WNY, Rich Anderson, about initiating a youth program at the museum to introduce kids R/C airplane building. Rich contacted me, Doug Weaver, to head it up. Dan Warner, Dwane Covert, and Rich Anderson were interested in contributing their time and expertise to the program as well. One or two meetings were conducted to determine what we could do and how we could do it. One of the challenges was to make it affordable for the students. We limited the class size to eight or ten kids who would build 2 or three airplanes that would be used to teach the students to fly during the summer. The club would retain ownership of the planes and the equipment. 

A meeting was held at the museum with the Wing and Rotor “staff”, Paul Faltyn and another membera of the museum in August of 2014. Our ideas about how the class could be accomplished were presented and discussed. We reached an agreement and determined that a small nominal fee would be charged to offset some of the costs for the club. The class was to start the on Saturday 10 Jan 2015 and an informational meeting for the public would be held at the museum in October of 2014.

Goldberg Eagle 2 Trainers would be built. A kit was framed up to be displayed during the presentation. Dan Warner developed a class schedule starting in January and ending by the end of April with 2 hour sessions every Saturday. The October presentation ended with the enrollment of seven students. An eighth signed up the following month filling the class. 

10 January 2015 - class started with all eight students present. The kits were opened and the contents were discussed. Construction was started with the wing and tail surfaces which kept everyone busy – especially Dan and myself. We learned that two instructors were needed for each airplane being built. I recruited Ron Dunlap as an additional instructor for the next session. Although one instructor was unable to continue with the class, the following weeks were productive with the wings and tail surfaces progressed steadily.

The students were enrolled in the 60 day AMA IP training period by the time the planes were ready for their first flight on a sunny Saturday in May. All the instructors and six of the seven students were present.  One of the kids brought his whole family - Grandparents and all.  The planes were fueled up, the engines were tuned and the radios were range checked.  I had the pleasure of taking the red pane up for its maiden flight first. It flew great!  The first flight ended with a graceful landing. The same for the blue plane.  The planes were refueled and the “buddy boxes” were connected so the students could get their first lessons by instructors Dan Warner, Ron Dunlap, and Dwane Covert.  Smiles could be found everywhere

Photos by John Finn