|Lynn Cook teaches Claire Knutson, of Chetek, Wisconsin, and Nicholas Cherry, of Melbourne, Australia, about aircraft wiring.
PHOTO BY LAURIE GOOSENS
KidVenture is back better than ever for its 13th year at AirVenture, featuring expanded activities and new featured attractions. Located at Pioneer Field across from the AirVenture Museum, KidVenture is sponsored by United Technologies (UTC).
KidVenture allows young people to receive loggable flight instruction on a simulator, earn FAA credit toward an A&P certificate through hands-on building projects, learn how to fly a radio-controlled airplane, modify a P-51 Mustang on a computer then find out how fast it flies, and even see what it’s like to land on Mars—making it an out-of-this-world experience!
“Thanks to UTC’s support, we’ve been able to expand offerings in many areas,” said Dan Majka, an EAA director who’s been KidVenture chairman since its inception. “Last year, KidVenture was put on by 420 volunteers from 52 EAA chapters who volunteered 9,844 hours, making it the best possible experience for our young guests. And it is looking even better for 2011 with even more activities for kids to enjoy.”
More than 25,000 visitors are expected to attend over AirVenture’s seven-day run—a far cry from the 2,000 who attended in 1999. Hours are 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. daily during AirVenture (2 p.m. on closing day Sunday, July 31).
The Future A&P Section has expanded to seven activities from which the kids can learn a number of building tasks. After completing each station, kids get their cards punched.
Kids who complete the Future A&P booths will receive a Future A&P pin, two hours of official FAA credit toward their A&P certificates, and if they are among the first 500 kids to complete the skills, a GEAR WRENCH tool kit from Apex tools along with Apex/Gear Wrench work gloves.
Other future A&P features include:
- The Riveting Booth, supported by Van’s Aircraft, teaches how to buck solid rivets, using top-grade tools supplied by Avery Tools. Those wanting to learn more can work on a real RV-12 kit donated by Van’s. The kids also can make a personalized metal riveted name badge.
- The Engine Booth will have conventional four-cylinder engines, and new this year with Pratt & Whitney’s help will be two PT-6 turbine engines that the kids can inspect and work on under the guidance of skilled A&P mechanics and the Pratt & Whitney volunteers.
- The Electronic Troubleshooting Booth shows kids how to make simple wire circuits and also teaches about working with electricity.
In the Prop-shaping Booth, supported by Hartzell Propeller, kids take a wooden prop blank and shape it into a finished propeller. Adult KidVenture volunteers then burn the EAA and Hartzell logos into the wood, and the kids can collect autographs from aviation greats around the grounds. Majka anticipates the kids will make about 1,000 propellers during the week.
- The Wooden Rib Building Booth, supported by Wick’s Aircraft and run by EAA Chapter 43 (Denver), teaches kids how to make a 20-inch wooden wing rib exactly like a homebuilder does using the same material, jigs, and tools required for a full-size rib.
- NEW! At the Composite Booth kids can produce a composite helicopter blade under the supervision of Sikorsky Helicopter staff.
- NEW! At a booth run by Hamilton Sundstrand, kids can make a wind-powered generator Ram Air Turbine (RAT). Hamilton Sundstrand will supply 3,000 units and staff to oversee construction.
The Young Eagles Flight Education area will feature 10 booths located at the center of the hangar. There they’ll learn what a young pilot should know: regulations, weather, navigation, human factors, air traffic control, aircraft design, preflight inspection, a flight lesson on a simulator, and a post-flight debriefing. Kids receive a logbook and can get 20 minutes of loggable flight simulator instruction from a certificated flight instructor.
Design a Better Mustang
Kids use CAD/CAM software provided by DaVinci to design a pylon racer, then race it around a virtual Reno Air Race course. Two age groups compete for daily prizes and medals supplied by DaVinci.
Electric R/C Flying
Electric R/C flying is geared to more mature children, but any age level is allowed to fly once they have mastered the basics. Members of the Northern Aces R/C Air Show Team run this area and allow the kids to fly an electric-powered model airplane under their guidance.
Kids can also try their hand at control-line airplane flying with the gas-powered airplane models. Control-line experts also perform daily demonstration air shows.
Other KidVenture activities and attractions include:
- Two new Condor flight simulators supported by Soaring Society of America.
- Two new Kiddie Hawk flight trainers brought to KidVenture by the Legends of Flight.
- Hot Seat helicopter and airplane flight simulators.
- Through simulated Mars landings, the Dream Flight space bus/exhibit shows kids what flight outside the atmosphere is like.
- In “Area 51-1/2,” kids build a balsa glider along with a wooden model of EAA’s B-17 Aluminum Overcast and EAA Founder Paul Poberezny’s P-51 Mustang.
The Hero Stage will feature speakers and air show pilots interacting with the kids and signing autographs. (See the daily schedule for appearances.)
- Talk on the KidVenture HAM radio station to other people around the world.
- 5,000 Scotts Warbird Alley T-shirts for kids to color and take home, courtesy of Scotts.
- Through the KidVenture Passport program, kids take a passport around to various sites on the convention grounds and get them stamped. The first 350 kids who return completed passports receive a prize.
- F-14 pedal planes for the youngest future aviators.
- The “cockpit climb” area has real aircraft and gliders kids can sit in.
- Twice-daily competitions at the artist’s booth awarding prizes for the best aviation drawings produced in the booth (based on age groups).
- Southwest Airlines will host an interactive booth where giveaways will be available.