Monday, February 12, 2007

Kids build aeroplane

North High School, picked on here recently, has a very cool program:
High school students often hear that the sky's the limit when it comes to their futures, but North High School students are working on a project that will literally take flight.
(reading that lead makes me thank God alcoholism derailed my once-blossoming career as a journalist.) (by the way.)

For the past four years, students have been working on a life-size World War I-era fighter plane, which is scheduled for its maiden voyage [voyage?] in a couple of months.

Isn't that funny. When I was in high school we built a World War I-era anti-aircraft battery.

"I've been working on this since I was a freshman and still can't believe we are building something this big that is actually going to fly," senior Brandy Gorman said.

Using a how-to manual, students began cutting metal, drilling rivets and shaping a fuselage and wings. In the next few weeks, they will mount a 68-horsepower engine, an instrument panel and a sturdy cloth covering that will be the skin for the French-designed Morane-Saulnier.
French-designed? You little Fokkers.

And by early March, the airplane is expected to be ready for its maiden voyage. It will be piloted either by a Frontier Airlines executive who is sponsoring the project or by North science teacher Jim Moravec, who is an accomplished pilot and aircraft builder.

The special project is funded by an airline executive, who has invested $23,000 in the project, Moravec said. Moravec declined to name the executive.

The students are serious about making sure their project flies safely. The structure of the plane passed Federal Aviation Administration inspections, Moravec said.

And guess what? Now everything at North is perfect and nobody drops out or gets pregnant and there are no more gangs or nothin'. Well, maybe next year:
In December, the school district announced that North would be redesigned and that its roughly 37 teachers would have to reapply for their jobs this spring. The school's new focus would lean heavily on Advanced Placement opportunities for students . . . .
What do you suppose that means--"lean heavily on advanced placement opportunities"? "Get rid of the dummies"?

The future for the North science program looks promising. While the program is not designated as Advanced Placement, the school is seeking grant funding to expand its teachings . . . .

The next special project will include a student-built observatory at the school and a second airplane. The next plane will have a passenger seat for students, Moravec said.

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