LONDONDERRY — This fall, volunteers from the Aviation Museum of New Hampshire will guide Manchester students in building an actual flyable airplane.
But for the project to really soar, they need your help.
This weekend (Saturday, April 28 and Sunday, April 29) the public is invited to an orientation session at the Aviation Museum for potential volunteer mentors who want to learn more about this partnership between the museum and the Manchester School of Technology.
It’s a chance to get involved in an effort to give young people hands-on experience in the mechanical and technical skills needed to assemble a working airplane. In this case, the plane is a Van’s Aircraft RV-12iS two-seat light sport aircraft, a popular kit-based model.
An RV-12 aircraft similar to the one to be built by Manchester School of Technology students. The plane is piloted by Dan Weyant of Tango Flight, Inc., a non-profit that’s partnering with the Aviation Museum of N.H. on the project.
“We’re looking for people to round out our ranks of volunteers to help guide students in building a plane,” said Jeff Rapsis, the museum’s executive director.
The museum, located at 27 Navigator Road, Londonderry (across the airfield from the passenger terminal at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport), will hold two separate orientation sessions this weekend: one on Saturday, April 27 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and another one on Sunday, April 28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
There is no charge for attending, and lunch will be served. Attendees will get an overview of the build process, a primer on mentoring students, a review of the expected time commitment, and hands-on experience helping assemble an RV-12 vertical stabilizer, or tail.
Each session will be led by Dan Weyant and Bob Elliot of Tango Flight, a Texas-based non-profit specializing in student plane-build projects. The Aviation Museum has brought on Tango Flight as a consultant on the project.
“You don’t need experience building an aircraft to help out on this kind of project,” Weyant said. “We can teach the technical skills. What we really need is people ready to make a commitment to empowering kids to do something really amazing.”
The plane build project will take place throughout the 2019-20 school year, from September through June. The completed aircraft, once certified as flight-worthy by the FAA, will then be sold on the open market, with the proceeds to be used for a future plane build.
Ultimately, the plane build project is designed to be financially self-sustaining, with no cost to the taxpayer or school district. But the Aviation Museum is committed to raising the $175,000 in seed money needed to get it started. Public contributions are welcome and may be made through the Aviation Museum, 27 Navigator Road, Londonderry, NH 03053 or online at www.nhahs.org
Space at each orientation session is limited. Those planning to attend should RSVP via e-mail to Jeff Rapsis at email@example.com
or call (603) 236-9237 to register and confirm space available.
The Aviation Museum of New Hampshire is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to preserving aviation history in the Granite State, providing educational outreach programs that encourage student interest in aeronautics and related fields, and organizing programs that bring together the state’s diverse aviation community.
The Museum is located at 27 Navigator Road, Londonderry, N.H. 03053. The museum’s regular hours of operation are Friday & Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 4 p.m. For more information, call (603) 669-4280 or visit the museum’s Web site at www.aviationmuseumofnh.org.