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Display: Aviation Explorers
Organization: Aviation Explorers, Post 491
Display Location: In Large Hangar
Website: www.ae491.org
Aviation Explorers, Post 491

Cypress Aircraft and The Community Network Foundation aims to foster and encourage the growth of aviation and science, through education in aircraft production, aerodynamics and engineering by practical application.

The Target Audience:
Students who have demonstrated an interest in aviation, science, math or engineering in area schools, but lack means to apply and foster growth in these areas, due to educational, financial or geographical restraints.

Aviation Explorer students will be invited or may request to apply to the aviation program and will then follow a strict aviation curriculum. During each phase of the building process industry experts (relative to that subject matter) will coach, instruct and inspect the work of the students which will provide a high level of quality control and instruction to each student. Students will also be encouraged to develop their own projects using the computer simulation and advanced modeling available to them. This opportunity will help student in future aviation endeavors and their career development.

In September of 2009 Cypress Aircraft LLC. and the Aviation Explorer Post 491 teamed up to build a full-scale airplane kit know as a Kitfox 3. The aircraft is a 2-place Light Sport Airplane capable of speeds in the area of 100mph. Facilitated by the Community Network Foundation, the Explorer Post members (ages 14-21) have been lead by industry professionals serving as mentors in each area of aircraft construction (from welding, aircraft covering, avionics, sheet metal fabrication, and uphol-stery). These mentors work side by side with the youth, demonstrating and teaching the art of the skill that they specialize in. These same mentors lead by chief outreach mechanic Bill Eskew, from SQ Maintenance LLC. and local EAA chapter mem-bers, assist the post explorers in performing their skills learned to ensure that the finished aircraft meets strict FAA regulations. Post 491 has finish phase 1 of their aircraft which made its public debut at Sun-N-Fun in 2010 and by the end of the year their aircraft will be ready to fly.

Phase 1 included all paint and interior upholstery as well as the windshield, wings, cowling, and doors being mounted properly and inspected. Upon completion of phase 1 the Community Network Foundation will start the “Connecting Youth with the Future of Aviation” donor drive. Where they will take donation towards youth programs in aviation and will record the do-nor’s names in order to draw from the donors a winner to receive the completed aircraft built and certified by the youth in 2010. (See rules at www.ae491.org)
In addition to the Cypress Aircraft Outreach program, the explorers of post 491 also explore all career aspects of Aviation, In-terviewing local aviation professionals, volunteering and local and national events/air shows and touring fundamental aviation facilities. Facilities like the Birmingham Tower, Atlantic Aviation, the Alabama Air National Guard, and local airports have been very supportive and have supported the posts effort.
For more information you can also see www.ae491.org or call Michael on at 913-219-1370 or 913-706-3631 ae@birminghameaa.org

Information and photo courtesy of Aviation Exploring

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