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jcerne
11-04-2010, 08:47 PM
Hi All,

I'm starting an rc flying club at a public high school in Buffalo, NY, and would greatly appreciate your advice on how to start up and maintain such a club. The three year funding for the club, which comes from the outreach portion of a National Science Foundation grant, will allow me to buy about 10 ultra micro airplanes in the first year. I'm thinking of starting with 2 Vapors, 2 Embers, and 2 Champs (other planes?). I'm sticking with fixed wing aircraft, initially at least, so that we can organize contests more easily and DSM2 since that gives the most model options and growth possibilities.

I will also try to teach some basic physics and technology concepts using rc flight as the teaching vehicle. The high school just lost funding for a part-time physics teacher, so this may be the students' only exposure to physics during high school.

I've never organized a club or tried to teach rc flying in an organized way, so your input would really help. Here's what I've been thinking of doing.

1. The club (about 10 to 20 students?) will meet for about two hours twice a month and will be flying in the school gym. The first half hour of the meeting will discuss basic physics/flight concepts and the remainder will be flying and contests.

2. I am planning to start students flying trainers on the Clearview rc flight sim. Once they can keep a sim plane flying, they can graduate to the real models.

3. We'll try to have some contests such as duration flight, pylon races, landing/flying accuracy (go through hoops, land on end table, etc), number of consecutive loops. Here the strengths and weakness of the different model designs will become clearer.

4. In the second year, after students have a better idea of what makes a good airplane design, I'll divide the students into teams to design and build three indoor foamie 4 channel airplanes using the same components (Hobby King brushless motor and orange Spektrum-compatible receiver, etc). We'll try some contests with these planes as well.

5. The students will maintain a website/blog to highlight club activities.
Perhaps it would be better to have the students start by making non-rc gliders or rubber band powered airplanes? I'm just concerned that they might get bored with this.

The idea is to get the students flying as soon as possible and to get them interested/excited about the physics/technology of rc flight.

Thanks in advance for your help,
John

weathervane
11-05-2010, 12:32 AM
John,
I am by far not the one to say how to run a club. I like your ideas though. I think you are onto something good and I hope it works out well for you.

If I may suggest, Keeping high school kids in terasted will be tough. Please make it fun and show them what can become of all this. Show the kids some droan videos, show them how you can add video cameras and such. The more you show them and what it can lead to the better your chances of success. Also, maybe robotics. There is a very big world of things that learning how to fly an r/c plane can lead to. Please make sure to show them that.
-Andrew

The idea is to get the students flying as soon as possible and to get them interested/excited about the physics/technology of rc flight.

SmoothCruizer
11-05-2010, 04:28 PM
jcerne, u live in a great town in new york, and have a nice hobbyshop there I visit when I can, wish I could join you with your club --- Scott

skyman
11-05-2010, 04:37 PM
I would buy one UM t28, for you to fly, and for that one who is ahead of the others.

rcers
11-05-2010, 11:42 PM
You might want to consider this Micro for a little $$ savings too.

http://www.hobby-lobby.com/micro_stik_rtf_532848_prd1.htm?pSearchQueryId=9331 72

Might want to consider some guest lecturers as well. Might not be a bad idea to show some RC DVD's to get them excited as well.

Mike