GHS Student-Built Airplane to Take Flight October 21st

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October 12, 2017

An airplane built by Granbury High School students will be presented to the public during a breakfast event at Granbury Regional Airport from 8:30-11:00 A.M. on Saturday, October 21, 2017. The breakfast will be held at the airport, which is located at 400 Howard Clemmons Road.  The GHS airplane will make its flight debut at approximately 9:00 A.M.
The festivities include a fundraiser for the school project featuring lots of raffle prizes including rides in a T-28 War Bird and Travel Air Biplane.  Several airplanes and cars will also be on display. Twenty-four GHS students constructed the full-sized two-seat place during the 2016-17 school year.
“This is a success story of a concept turned into reality – a story of volunteerism, discovery, adventure, learning, a passion, and a gift passed on to youth by Hood county adult volunteers,” commented GHS aerospace engineering teacher Mark Kirk.
The Eagle’s Nest program was first proposed during Summer 2016 by Granbury Regional Airport operations supervisor Pat Stewart to Granbury ISD superintendent Dr. James Largent and career and technical education director Judy Gentry.
The proposal was to allow a foundation named Eagles Nest Projects to provide a complete airplane kit to GHS to be assembled by the students with local volunteer mentors overseeing the assembly by the students.  The GISD leadership accepted the challenge and provided outstanding facilities for which to build the plane.
Lead mentor Kevin Ross and about twelve other local mentors joined Kirk to assist and guide the students in the assembly of the kit from start to finish in about eight months.  The Eagles Nest motto is "Mentors Build the Student, Students Build the Aircraft."
The Van's RV-12 model all aluminum airplane was constructed from a kit composed of thousands of parts requiring the students’ strict adherence to hundreds of plans sheets.  The students learned to read and interpret the instruction manual and thousands of assembly drawings.  They mastered the use of basic metal working tools and developed hands-on metal working skills.  By working in small groups on many subassemblies, the students acquired 
demonstrated planning, problem solving skills, and leadership.
The bulk of the airplane is riveted 
together using common shop and metal working tools. The students learned to install the flight controls, engine, fuel system, and a total electrical system to include modern electronic instrumentation and an autopilot.  The airplane features all of the latest safety equipment and state-of-the-art moving map navigation and computerized engine monitoring.
This first plane will fly out of the Granbury airport for two years, and GHS aerospace students will be eligible to receive up to twenty hours of free flight instruction in the aircraft that they built.  To be eligible for the instruction, students must pass Federal Aviation
for a private pilot license. 
Eagle's Nest Projects provides the seed money for the cost of the first two aircraft kits.  Then the school initiative becomes a self-sustaining program by eventually selling the first-completed aircraft to cover the cost of the third and so on into the future.

Jeff Meador, Director of Communications
(817) 408-4006

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