2015 Aviation Challenge

Jennifer Roberts

X-Plane, Fly to Learn, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and Build A Plane non-profit work together each year to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) skills in the classroom through the Aviation Challenge. This year’s event starts on February 13.

This event challenges students to modify the design of an existing airplane to help climbers trapped on a mountain by delivering medical supplies to save their lives.  The team that can design an airplane to deliver the largest payload of medical supplies in the least amount of time while burning the least amount of fuel wins.  

Approximately 18,000 students have gone through the program using X-Plane 9 to learn more about aviation. In 2013, the first Challenge had 27 participating teams from 23 states and last year had 78 teams from 31 states attempt to take the grand prize.  The winning 2014 team won a trip to build a real plane.

Students and teachers who are interested can learn more about the Challenge on the Fly to Learn website. Participation for students and schools is free as the cost of the program is being covered by sponsors from GAMA, who include Boeing, Cessna, Cirrus, Pieper, Beechcraft, Hartzell and approximately 75 others.  A copy of X-Plane 9 as well as the Fly to Learn curricula will be provided.  Interested parties should contact Tom Dubick for information or to sign up.

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