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High School Corben Baby Ace Project

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TheMaj

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Wood and Hardware finally on the way. After almost three months, our district finance department and aircraft suppliers are officially simpatico and our first order of spars, plywood and some hardware are on the way. Most importantly, the process to order materials has been paved and future orders will take far less time. As soon as they come in, we'll start working on the wings, adding parts to the fuselage and hopefully get some progress logged before the semester ends.

In the mean time, our Trojan plane-builders hosted elementary students from four schools to participate in the first annual JROTC 3-Space STEM Summit hoping to grab the imagination of kids early on and give them some vision for applied science in marine space, aerospace and outer space.

We built rockets and marine ROVs in the evenings and had a launch competition that Saturday. Next time we're adding a high altitude balloon launch, drone competitions and see if we can make the final launch day really spectacular by adding EAA Young Eagles flights or a fly-in.

We started small for sure, but we have a much better idea of what elementary kids are capable of. Check out our little video at:
LCPS 3-Space STEM SUMMit
 

TheMaj

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Las Cruces, NM
Update: Hardware showed up in mid-May, school semester ended before getting started. Still waiting on the spruce and plywood. The plan is to get the plywood cut into ribs and other parts in time fall session to begin so students can start assembling.

On the upside, the NM Public Education Department is very interested in our little project. We in NM are not graduating enough kids interested or sufficiently equipped to enter the aerospace field and recognize the vision-casting impact that building real airplanes has. I'm writing a proposal to get funding to advance our plane building experience from a 1953 wood and fabric Baby Ace to something that requires a more updated skill set like carbon composites, turboprop engines and glass cockpits.

Thanks again to everyone who has provided parts and pieces, and everyone still patiently waiting for a transportation opportunity to show itself to get your donations to Las Cruces NM. I'm learning this is a long-game, with patience and flexibility a key asset.
 

don january

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Maj. I was thinking why not pair up students and have them build a RC aircraft and grade them on things such as wing area, and other control surfaces. If a tapered wing then MAC can be covered. Also some newer ARF are made of fiberglass and don't forget the new computer radios that can be used to fly and best of all if the finished craft goes home in a garbage bag no one is hurt in the crash. Each pair could be given the task of laying out the full size airfoil for the plane there building. RC have helped me many times in the build of my Taylor-mono and may help the class. "Food for thought" Don J
 

FritzW

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I was pm'ing with Don January and figured it was a good time for a quick update on the Baby Ace.

Work is going about as fast as you'd expect for a high project of this scope. The students only have one class period a day to work on it and some of those classes are taken up with basic stuff like how to use calipers and torque wrenches, how to read plans and what 43.13 says about "xyz", etc.

We were on schedule to cover the fuselage this semester but with current events (schools closed for a few weeks) it's not looking likely. The Major has the wood for the wings and he's waiting for some grant money from the state to build a CNC machine to cut the ribs. ...if the grant doesn't come in in time we have lots of other options to cut the ribs (but it'd be a great opportunity if the students could build a their own CNC machine and use it to build their own wings).

These are the same students that are doing all the high altitude balloons, model rockets, drones, robots, flight sims, etc... I wish we had stuff like that when I was in high school.

...removing a rudder pulley mount that was wonky, me and the EAA gang will make a new one and weld it on. (the string in the picture is just to check for cable run problems. I thought I should mention that before someone tells me you can't use kite string for control cables)
Resized_20200210_101927_IMG_6316.jpg


...the class "detail expert". The rudder turnbuckles were binding a little at max throw so she's fine tuning the bellcrank.
Resized_20200210_101949_IMG_6318.jpg

>>>
EDIT: Here are the same students launching a high altitude balloon two months ago. They let me tag along because I had a truck to haul the helium tanks. ...what a blast

Forgive the trash in the photo. They had to launch from a rest area on the interstate west of town so the balloon would come down before it went into the White Sands Missile Range restricted area.
Balloon Launch.jpg
 
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Pops

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Why can't the students build the ribs in a jig. Learn to work with there hands and teach them that things CAN be done without a computer.

Baby Ace ribs are easy ribs to make. I have made a set before.
 

FritzW

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Why can't the students build the ribs in a jig. Learn to work with there hands and teach them that things CAN be done without a computer.

Baby Ace ribs are easy ribs to make. I have made a set before.
Because when they get out of high school, computer skills and CNC skills will be far more valuable than stick gluing skills. ...sadly, it's not 1952 anymore
 

Pops

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Because when they get out of high school, computer skills and CNC skills will be far more valuable than stick gluing skills. ...sadly, it's not 1952 anymore
We live in a material world. They need both to have a well rounded education. If someone else can't take care of their material needs in life , who is ? I see this every day. Sorry to say, kids today are not getting a well rounded education. Computers skills is just a part of their education, not all. The non- computer skills will never be out of date as long as we live in a material world.
 

TFF

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I say both. Best built up goes on. Alternate one then the other along the span. Knowing there is both is way better than being stuck with only one idea.
 

Pops

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I say both. Best built up goes on. Alternate one then the other along the span. Knowing there is both is way better than being stuck with only one idea.
Good Idea.
 

FritzW

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If someone else can't take care of their material needs in life , who is ?
Just because these kids know how to use a computer doesn't mean they can't feed themselves or tie their own shoes.

They build all sorts of stuff by hand already: rockets, robots, balloon payloads, etc. They already design and hand build jigs for rocket fins and motor mounts, cut out the parts with Exacto knives and jig saws and glue it all together.

They already have the skills to build a stick rib wing, ...it ain't rocket surgery. What they need to learn is how to build a CNC machine, build it, then figure out how to use it and then build a wing with it. Those are pretty marketable skills in the 21st. century ...I don't see how this makes them unable to "take care of their material needs in life".
 

TerryM76

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Glad to see your kids developing all those skills. I just can't say enough how important it is for them to combine computer skills with comprehension from reading texts and bringing it all together with hands-on activities. In my opinion, too much time is spent in the artificial environment of the classroom when the real work needs to be done in the lab. That's just my 2 cents......not worth much.

Terry
 

Pops

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They already have the skills to build a stick rib wing, ...it ain't rocket surgery. What they need to learn is how to build a CNC machine, build it, then figure out how to use it and then build a wing with it. Those are pretty marketable skills in the 21st. century ...I don't see how this makes them unable to "take care of their material needs in life".

Sounds like they are WAY above average for a lot of kids today. Great.
 
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