A couple of weeks ago I did a presentation on radio control models for my wife’s 2nd grade class. All 26 of them! Her class was reading the book Mr. Putter and Tabby Fly the Plane in which Mr. Putter gets a radio control plane and flies it. Wendy reads the book to her class every year and though the kids would enjoy seeing a real R/C plane in action.
I met her class on the playground of their school. I had about 30 minutes to do the presentation so I started out with a brief overview of radio control models and the different types like sailplanes, power planes and helicopters as well as other vehicles like cars. I told them that my particular interest is sailplanes and explained a bit about how they stay in the air.
I brought a few planes to show including the RaceM which I used to show how the control surfaces work and because the size of the plane is impressive. There were lots of Oohs and Aahs when I stood the RaceM on its wingtip since the span is over 10 feet. I showed the MiniSR and explained that it is made to go fast. A lot of the kids were surprised that a sailplane could look like a jet. I also had my CombatWings XE electric wing that I brought so I could show how durable a beginning RC plane can be. I also brought it to fly because the school does not have a big field and the wind was blowing 20 to 25mph!
One cool thing about the book is that it prepared the kids for the eventuality that model plane flight might not be as easy as it looks. Mr. Putter’s plane crashed the first time he flew it. So, when the CombatWings XE wasn’t quite trimmed right and flew directly to the ground they weren’t surprised. Just like Mr. Putter they said! I was able to demonstrate the difference between Mr. Putter’s plane, which needed repair before he could go try again, and an EPP plane because I just hit the trim a couple, of notches and tossed it back into the air.
I did two flights with the XE and was able to demonstrate loops, rolls and a couple of decent landings. The plane performed pretty well if I kept it below the level or the trees. They acted like a windbreak. Above treetop level it was pretty gusty but at least the kids got to see a plane fly.
I reckon Iï¿½ll be doing this for her class again next year and will try to have a bit better presentation and also see if we can arrange the gym for an indoor demonstration if it is really windy out side again. If it is not too windy outside I think Iï¿½ll set up the bungee and fling a sailplane up.
The kids really liked the presentation and all of them made me thank you cards. Very cool! Here are a couple. I could only get a few scanned and posted so even if yours isn’t here I still really appreciate your cards. Thanks, kids!