Simple Model Airplane Program

I’ve been doing volunteer work at a community center in the Ottawa area (amongst a gazillion other things).

I must say that the children love the Squirrel and have a lot of fun. This particular program has a cutoff age to only permit Tweens and older.

What’s been happening is that the younger children feel left out and there have been some episodes of rebellion.

I just rolled out a new program incorporating paper planes, walkalong gliders and an opportunity for younger kids to graduate to the Squirrel program. Here’s what it looks like:

Model Aviation Program

4pm: Younger Children

Instruction will be provided on how to make a variety of paper airplanes and gliders.

Children will throw them around and have fun in a “free play” environment.

Walkalong gliders will be shown to children who are ready. (

Some challenges for the participants will be set up and an ongoing leader-board of performance will be posted once per week.

Leaderboard Challenges:

-Pole catch static. A broom pole or stick will be mounted and children will stand 18 feet from the post. They will throw a “circle plane” to try and land it on the pole. Score is the number of consecuteve catches.

-Pole catch dynamic. A team of two children will toss a circle plane back and forth over 25 feet. Consecutive catches will be the score for the team. Any child can pair with any child and be on the leader-board multiple times.
-Walkalong glider challenge. Score is calculated from duration of flight.

Children that attain certain standards will be permitted to graduate to the Squirrel program.

5pm: Gym (outdoor during good summer weather)

Coaching for flying techniques will be given.

Guest flyers from local model airplane clubs will occasionally be invited.

A stop watch will be present for timing Squirrel duration flights for the Squirrel Leader-boards.

Children can do repairs and building at the sidelines.

6pm: Tweens

Material and coaching will be provided for the construction of Squirrel Model Airplanes.

Children can have a couple of planes so that they can repair them in a batch.

20 second club: Once children make this leader board, I start to introduce mechanical winding and higher performance tuning. At this stage the children can start bringing their planes home.

30 second club: I permit the children to use my mechanical winder. At this point we start to introduce them to wheels and ROG (rise off ground).

4 thoughts on “Simple Model Airplane Program

    1. I agree. I think it can make kids aware of the general significance of aviation, not just war.

      Also, awareness of flight, nature, science, physics and such.

  1. Hi Bill,

    Have you thought of doing a program in your area?

    There are always kids somewhere. This community center is a food bank and after school program. It’s really fun!


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