The Black Hills Flight Club is a new club, as it has only been around for about 3 years. Recently, they have tried to get more people interested in the program by offering a unique opportunity to come in after school and help the club members build an actual aircraft, as well as some smaller side projects. The event happens on the third Tuesday of every month, and usually goes from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM, but guests are free to come and go as they please. They even provide some assorted snacks for those who get hungry when they work! Some of the main projects they have in progress are planes like the Sonex Onex, a single passenger aircraft, or the Pietenpol Air Camper, a double passenger aircraft. Students can learn how an airplane works, and get hands-on experience on how to build one themselves. Power tools will be used, so safety is a priority. The next Build night is on March 21, due to midwinter break in February. Everyone that works on a project gets the chance to sign something on the inside. The more people, the faster the projects are finished and inspected for the safe to fly certification. When that is done, those who helped, or are in the club get to watch it fly, or fly in it. Depending on which plane is done.
(Students work on pieces of a wing. Photo by Angel Davis)
If working on large, flyable aircraft is too stressful or difficult, the club also offers smaller side projects. Projects like a pedal plane, meant for toddlers and smaller children to pedal around in, or an Aquajet. The Aquajet is similar to those rocking toys found in malls, but goes in all directions, looks like a fighter jet, and shoots water. It is the upgraded, way cooler version of those rockers, the perfect children’s ride.
The club also welcomes many new members, if you decide that you like what the program has to offer. BHHS Flight goes to many events such as Lacey S.T.E.M. Fair, assorted science fairs, Boeing Aviation Day, Boeing Museum of Flight, and many other fun places. Members also get to ride in several aircraft, and even get the opportunity to control the plane in the air. Students also learn how to read blueprints, understand the inner mechanics, and learn the physics required to keep a plane in air. The club even has a certified welding instructor and welding booth for students to learn on before they use their new skill on the planes.
By Cody Grondin