Wednesday, 30 November 2016

School Visit

I was invited to a local school to talk about Model Aeroplanes.

Their current topic is aviation. The age group is Year 1 (5-6 year old Children)

I wasn't given much time as the room I was given is in fairly constant use. 20 minutes to prepare, 30 minutes to talk, 2 minutes to dismantle and the opportunity to fly from the school playground - which on Google Maps looked quite large.

I agreed with the teacher that I would show a few model related videos (from YouTube) and bring some aeroplanes to show them. The children are multi cultural/lingual and had probably never even seen a model aeroplane before.

I took along a mix of things to show them.

1. A BMFA Dart which I flew in the hall - much to the children's delight
2. 3 Peanut Scale models plus one under construction which I walked around and showed them so they could see how they were made
3. A 2.5m span glider with transparent Solarfilm covering - again so they could see the construction link.
4. A Fun Flier - which is what I flew but with a Mobius Camera attached
5. A 2.1m span aerobatic model.

There were about 60 children (2 classes) and they were really well behaved.

Taking lots of cues from the teacher - who wanted the children to learn and repeat hard words - like 'pro-pell-or' the session went really well

The four videos I chose were:

Wright Brothers early flight. I explained that 100 years ago real aeroplanes were just big models because no one knew how to build full size. I talked about the construction and compared the Wright 'Flyer' with my peanut models - basically sticks covered in tissue/cloth

The second Video showed Aeromodelling in the 1930's. Explained how popular it was because Aviation was still very exciting. Again talked about how models were made and flown.

A short video of an indoor scale model from last years Nationals

Finally, a fairly modern MAN video showing a Free Style aerobatic model in flight.  Didn't quite get time to show all this video but it set the flavour and the oohs and ahhs indicated I had got that right

Some of the children were invited to come and pick the models up so they can see how heavy/light they were and invited to ask questions..

We then told the children that I would give them a demo flight and we reassembled in the play ground/field 30 minutes later.

I had agreed where I would fly from and that I wouldn't overfly the school or the Children. Just 2 flights of about 4 minutes each and some aerial photography. It was a perfect flying day, calm and sunny.

You can see the Children behind me and my no fly zone was from about 10 yards in front of me. Kept the model high and safe and nothing too adventurous.

Apparently the little people were chanting 'Martyn, Martyn' when I was flying but unfortunately I couldn't hear them

A very worthwhile 3 hours of my day. Happily do that again.