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Inverted Vantage

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Hi everyone,

So I teach at a local public makerspace*, close to Boston. It's run by the local library, so it's free for all citizens to use. It's pretty cool - you can check out our Meetup page if you're interested.

I teach 3D printing classes and lately I've started a project called, for lack of a better title, "Learn/Build to Fly", where we are building a motion flight simulator based on the Joyrider plans. In addition to a group build project, I want to teach people about how planes work, how they fly, and of course, how to fly using a flight simulator.

Note: This class is not meant to go towards actual flight time. I am not a CFI. EDIT: I am a licensed private pilot. I will be teaching the class.

So I'm trying to come up with a rough outline of where to start. I know a lot but I have difficulty formulating it all into a linear progression. Right now I've started teaching about lift, then moving into parts of a plane and then just putting them on Microsoft Flight Simulator, but I'd like to get into more detail.

I just did some reading up on adverse yaw, and p-factor. I'd like to get into this. But what I'm looking for is both a gradual progression of things to teach, a list of things that pilots must understand (with an eye towards general stuff rather than super specifics), and things that are good to repeat over and over. It's been several years since I went through flight school so I'd appreciate what you guys think. Maybe a good goal would be "just enough to fly a glider"? Something like that.

Cheers! :)


*Makerspaces, sometimes also referred to as hackerspaces, hackspaces, and fablabs are creative, DIY spaces where people can gather to create, invent, and learn. In libraries they often have 3D printers, software, electronics, craft and hardware supplies and tools, and more.
A Librarian's Guide to Makerspaces: 16 Resources | OEDB.org
 
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Dan Thomas

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Best to find an experienced instructor to either lay it out properly, or volunteer to teach it. Too many people either learn the wrong things, or they learn things the wrong way.

"Primacy" is the first of the Seven Learning Factors. It says that first impressions are the strongest and are nearly unshakeable. Students who don't get it right at first are handicapped later on in the process. For instance, if a student is told to keep his speed up on final because he doesn't want the airplane to stall near the ground, he'll do that, coming in too fast and taking that speed right down to near the runway and have innumerable problems with landings and maybe eventually an accident.
 

TFF

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For a lay person, getting too deep is a good OFF switch. There is always someone in the crowd that wants more, so you really need two sets of class materials.
 

Inverted Vantage

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Thanks for the resources everyone!

I've split the topic of "Flying" into a couple learning categories, based on what I remember. Let me know if I'm missing anything big!

Atmospherics
- Weather Patterns
- Severe Weather/Icing
- Pressure Differences and how they relate to flight

Aerodynamics
(Key concept: Flying is like moving through a fluid)
- 4 Forces of flight
- What generates lift
- What types of machines fly and how do they work?
- How do we control flight?

Regulations
- Traffic Patterns
- Airspace Regulations
- License Requirements

----

Structures & Mechanics
- Aircraft Design
- Engines/Powerplants (How they work, concerns, etc)

Aircraft Systems
- Instruments (Starting with the basic 6 pack)
- Radios
- VOR/GPS/Navigation

----

Stick & Rudder (To be taught on the sim)
- Aircraft Cockpit Controls
- Taxiing/Takeoff/Landing
- Stalls/Spins/Unusual Flight Attitudes
- Flight Exercises (straight and level flight, turns around a point, figure 8s...what are some others?)
 

BJC

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Thanks for the resources everyone!

I've split the topic of "Flying" into a couple learning categories, based on what I remember. Let me know if I'm missing anything big!

Atmospherics
- Weather Patterns
- Severe Weather/Icing
- Pressure Differences and how they relate to flight

Aerodynamics
(Key concept: Flying is like moving through a fluid)
- 4 Forces of flight
- What generates lift
- What types of machines fly and how do they work?
- How do we control flight?

Regulations
- Traffic Patterns
- Airspace Regulations
- License Requirements

----

Structures & Mechanics
- Aircraft Design
- Engines/Powerplants (How they work, concerns, etc)

Aircraft Systems
- Instruments (Starting with the basic 6 pack)
- Radios
- VOR/GPS/Navigation

----

Stick & Rudder (To be taught on the sim)
- Aircraft Cockpit Controls
- Taxiing/Takeoff/Landing
- Stalls/Spins/Unusual Flight Attitudes
- Flight Exercises (straight and level flight, turns around a point, figure 8s...what are some others?)
Looks good.

One thing that I would do is to put the "Atmospherics" at the end, or close to the end. Could be just me, but I find that subject very boring.


BJC
 

Inverted Vantage

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Good idea! That subject is actually something I'll have to do a lot of retraining on anyway.


The actual order will probably be something like this:

Aerodynamics

Aircraft Systems

Stick & Rudder

Structures & Mechanics

Atmospherics

Regulations

That way, students can get into flying the sim quickly, but have enough background to not crash instantly. Then after that we can get into details on how the plane is put together and how the engines work, which will be more interesting after having "flown" one. Then Atmospherics and Regulations are for those people who are more seriously interested in actually learning how to fly. :)
 
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Turd Ferguson

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Atmospherics
- Weather Patterns
- Severe Weather/Icing
- Pressure Differences and how they relate to flight
I'd change the name of this category Alex. Don't think you really mean "atmospherics"

at·mos·pher·icsˌ atməsˈfi(ə)riks,-ˈferiks (noun)

1. electrical disturbances in the atmosphere due to lightning and other phenomena, especially as they interfere with telecommunications.

2. effects intended to create a particular atmosphere or mood, especially in music. "a jazz sound with spooky atmospherics"


Second, what would you teach about severe weather? I'm getting too many negative vibes from the term alone for a beginner group.
 

Inverted Vantage

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Well it's really just like "stuff not to fly into/to be careful of". So we're talking thunderstorms, icing, high winds, and low visibility.

As for the title..."Meteorology" is probably more suited, right?

That reminds me, under Regulations -> License Requirements it's probably going to be Sport, Private VFR, IFR, CFI, and Commercial. Then we'll talk about endorsements for seaplanes, multiengine, jets, rotorcraft, and aerobatics. Ultralights will probably get a mention here as well.
 

Turd Ferguson

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Well it's really just like "stuff not to fly into/to be careful of". So we're talking thunderstorms, icing, high winds, and low visibility.
Yes, "adverse" weather. I'd go pretty light on it.

That reminds me, under Regulations ->
Another topic I'd go light on - no specifics.

Something I would include is a category called "Airports" to give the public a general understanding on how airports work (that's where you could mention traffic patterns). Most people don't have a clue and it's something they can apply every time they drive by or visit an airport. Just having knowledge seems to change attitudes toward the positive and lessens the impact of that big physical barrier, the "keep out" fence.
 

don january

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Looks good.

One thing that I would do is to put the "Atmospherics" at the end, or close to the end. Could be just me, but I find that subject very boring.


BJC
Kinda like the forum lately. more talk about learning then building. I done earned the wings, kinda tiered of the same old over and over.
 

pwood66889

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Sopchoppy, Florida, USA
Excellent place to start, they probably have one in the library.
Have a (slanted) review of "Stick and Rudder." In part:

From page 6: “In the textbooks, this thing (the “key that … unlocks most of the art of flying” in the previous paragraph) is discussed under the name of the Angle of Attack. If you had only 2 hours to explain the airplane to a student pilot, this is what you would have to explain. It is almost literally all there is to flight.”

I feel this cannot be stressed enough. You literally live and die by it while flying. Yet, as Mr. Langewiesche goes on to explain at length, it is hard to grasp. He states that we understand the unknown by comparing what we are trying to learn to something we are familiar with. However, “…the wing is the one thing about the airplane that is new and is peculiar to airplanes alone.” He does explain things that the Angle of Attack is not; but I’ll ‘cut to the chase’ and tell you what he says it is: “the Angle of Attack is the angle at which the wing meets the air.” Italics are the authors and well placed. He states that “the wing keeps the airplane up by pushing the air down.”
 

BJC

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Have a (slanted) review of "Stick and Rudder." In part:

From page 6: “In the textbooks, this thing (the “key that … unlocks most of the art of flying” in the previous paragraph) is discussed under the name of the Angle of Attack. If you had only 2 hours to explain the airplane to a student pilot, this is what you would have to explain. It is almost literally all there is to flight.”

I feel this cannot be stressed enough. You literally live and die by it while flying. Yet, as Mr. Langewiesche goes on to explain at length, it is hard to grasp. He states that we understand the unknown by comparing what we are trying to learn to something we are familiar with. However, “…the wing is the one thing about the airplane that is new and is peculiar to airplanes alone.” He does explain things that the Angle of Attack is not; but I’ll ‘cut to the chase’ and tell you what he says it is: “the Angle of Attack is the angle at which the wing meets the air.” Italics are the authors and well placed. He states that “the wing keeps the airplane up by pushing the air down.”
There are things that many students are familiar with that are analogous to angle of attack. Turning a car (or water ski or snow ski or skate board or ...) requires that, at the point of contact between the item generating the force (wheel / wing) and the medium that it is interacting with (road / air) there be an angle. As that angle increases, the resultant force increases, until it reaches the point where the force begins to rapidly decrease (starts to skid / stall).


BJC
 

Unknown_Target

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Hey thanks for replying all. :) It's me, I changed my name back because the last one is a mouthful.

I ended up running out of time to work on this project so it didn't go anywhere. That being said, with all this resurging interest in personal aviation, maybe an easy to grock web series would be good for folks? There's already a lot of free content out there though so I think it would end up being redundant.

Chris, I love that the badge info you linked includes R/C stuff. I think that FPV R/C give people the potential to experience aviation when they wouldn't ordinarily be able to afford it. Hopefully that continues. :)
 

blane.c

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Have a (slanted) review of "Stick and Rudder." In part:

From page 6: “In the textbooks, this thing (the “key that … unlocks most of the art of flying” in the previous paragraph) is discussed under the name of the Angle of Attack. If you had only 2 hours to explain the airplane to a student pilot, this is what you would have to explain. It is almost literally all there is to flight.”

I feel this cannot be stressed enough. You literally live and die by it while flying. Yet, as Mr. Langewiesche goes on to explain at length, it is hard to grasp. He states that we understand the unknown by comparing what we are trying to learn to something we are familiar with. However, “…the wing is the one thing about the airplane that is new and is peculiar to airplanes alone.” He does explain things that the Angle of Attack is not; but I’ll ‘cut to the chase’ and tell you what he says it is: “the Angle of Attack is the angle at which the wing meets the air.” Italics are the authors and well placed. He states that “the wing keeps the airplane up by pushing the air down.”
I have found that lay people have confusion between lift and angle of attack, lay people think you go up by pulling back on the stick and if you pull back harder you go up more. It is important to differentiate that you are talking about an airplane, not a glider or a helicopter or a balloon, not that physics acts upon other craft differently but you will explain it differently. Lay people often think that stalling is when the engine quits and that you fall out of the sky when that happens. Much of teaching people to fly has to do with unteaching them things they think they know, like its not the brake and the gas, its left and right. It is both a mental and physical re-education process. It takes over 100 new motor processes for the average person to learn to fly, they have to understand what they are doing, that is a lot of explaining. People come up with the most obscure "facts", that may or may not be facts and may or may not have anything to do with what you are trying to achieve.

Developing your own flight syllabus seems like a lot of unnecessary work as so many have already done it for you. Jeppesen http://ww1.jeppesen.com/personal-solutions/aviation/aviation-training.jsp , ASA https://www.asa2fly.com/ , AOPA https://www.aopa.org/training-and-safety , American Flyers https://americanflyers.com/training/ to name a few.
 

lr27

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Messages
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If you ever get back to the makerspace group and want an inexpensive practical demo, including a bit of stick time, I'm an instructor for the Charles River Radio Controllers. Usually fly in Sudbury.
 
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