Learning and Mentoring and Educational Concepts

I’m having discussion with various people on ways that simple model planes can fit into different learning and mentoring situations. Please post your ideas as a comment!

History and Physics

History of Aviation
Theory and Formulae
Calculation of  Wing-Loading
Fluid Dynamics
Structures (I-beams, Laminating, Composites…)
Flight Parameters (Winding, Wing Angle, Wing Sweep, etc)
Struts, Trusses and Gussets
Centre of Gravity, Decalage, Wing Incidence, Pitch Stability
Roll Stability, Dihedral, Polyhedral, Winglets
Yaw Stability
Explanation of Lift, Thrust, Control
Ailerons, Rudder, Elevator, Flaps, Turbulators
Side Thrust, Down Trust
Airfoils, Camber
Friction and Lubrication for Rubber and Propeller Shaft
Density of Materials
Potential Energy (Stored energy)
Elasticity (K factor)
Torque and Measurement
Stiffness of Materials and Measurement
Leverage and Calculations
Gear Ratios (Applies to Winders)
Build a precision scale for weighing 10ths or 100ths of a gram.


Simultaneous Launch
Sequential Launch
Spot Landing

Team Work

Reflection on various elements of team work.
Discussion of problem solving methodologies.
Discussion of resolution of conflict in a teams.
Discussion of leadership and teamwork.
What did you enjoy?
What part was the hardest?
What part was the easiest?
What would you do differently the next time? (Include sketch).


Students are to divide into groups Optimal Number?

Previously students were asked to form a corporation with a CEO, CFO, Construction Manager, etc. This worked really well on rare occasions. What do you think of the business-style set up is it worth the effort? Does is work in real-life? A lot of guidance is required as to the function of each position and as to the best ways to work in a group situation. Small projects to exemplify best practices in group-work would help.

The design should reflect the research.

Can the design be divided into parts for individual students?

Can the designs be scaled? (e.g. 2:1)


The construction should reflect the design.

Spot checks could be used for accuracy

Can the construction be divided into parts for individual students?

Neatness, elegance, and charisma are important.

Many students would have difficulty identifying and defining these three characteristics so a descriptive page should be included.

Assessment (remember safety concerns).

Assess Wing-load.

Testing of Design with reference to goals and one Variable.

Quantitative Assessment should involve using a Control.

Accurate and Neat Recording Techniques would be required.

Reflection of various elements of team work.

Discussion of problem solving methodologies.

Discussion of resolution of conflict in a team situation.

Discussion of leadership and teamwork.

Design Revision

Identification of Areas for Improvement

Identification of Parameter for Modification

Systematic Problem Solving (some introduction to problem-solving techniques could be valuable).

Design Improvement. Should improvements be made to the original design drawings?

Evaluation and Assessment

Quantitative Assessment using a Control

Percentage Improvement

Parent Involvement

The improvements in the construction should reflect design changes.

Neatness and Elegance

Charisma or Elegance can be measure using a voting system by teachers, students, parents, visitors, internet. This adds a degree of reward for certain types of creativity.

3 thoughts on “Learning and Mentoring and Educational Concepts

  1. Yes, I came across your website, and I was wondering a couple of things. First, the paper, can we use construction paper instead? I feel like it would be sturdier. Next, my students are really impatient, and I feel like there is a faster way to do this. Please share me your secrets and tips *Laughing out loud* Thank you

    1. Some people use paper. If you search this site there is a set of instructions for a copy paper squirrel. It’s not faster but it is slightly more robust.

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