Cadets begin RC plane build

Cadets get a tour of Lil' Poof from Maj. Stroede

Cadets from the squadron recently participated in the first RC model aircraft project.  Maj Stroede from 10th Senior Support was present to walk the cadets around the aircraft in the CAP hanger and explain how pilot control inputs affect aircraft control surfaces.  The cadets then had the opportunity to work with actual control surfaces (on a miniature scale).

During the build, the cadets split into 2 teams and spent the evening prepping the foam RC aircraft for assembly.  They learned how to cut, glue, and tape the control surfaces to the aircraft .  They also attached the control horns to the control surfaces.  The control horns are small anchor points which attach to a control surface (aileron, elevator, & rudder).  This allows the control surface to be deflected through the use of a servo motor. During the next lesson, the cadets will begin to glue together all of the foam parts together and paint their aircraft.

The project is phase one of a three phase program to build a functional unmanned aircraft.

The desired outcome of Phase 1 of this course is to have each cadet participate in the complete hands-on build process of an RC Aircraft. Aerospace education (AE) lectures will be combined with hands-on build time to ensure that each cadet can apply theory taught as part of AE to a real-world project.

Cadets attach control surfaces to the RC aircraft

Phase 1 (RC Airplane Build) – Cadets will learn aerodynamic & electronic principles (science), radio control systems (technology), RC aircraft/wing/engine design & construction (engineering), and electricity & electromagnetic radiation laws and formulas (math).

Phase 2 (Video FPV) – Cadets will construct a first-person view (FPV) video system to control the RC plane from a first person perspective via an on-board camera, fed wirelessly to video goggles or a video monitor. A pan-and-tilt gimbaled camera will be controlled via a gyroscopic sensor.

Phase 3 (Autopilots & Mission Planning) – Cadets will leverage the ArduPilot open source autopilot platform and various sensors to create an aircraft capable of flying programmed missions via geospatial waypoints.

Thanks to Lt. Bruwer for his support and excellent photos.


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About 2d Lt. Jeffrey Serpas

Aerospace Education & Professional Development