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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedKidVenture provides youths with interactive window to aviation
 
Since its first year at AirVenture Oshkosh 1999, KidVenture has grown steadily from a side attraction for children to a destination for the entire family, like a convention within the convention.

Located at Pioneer Field across from the AirVenture Museum, KidVenture allows children to explore aviation from several different fronts. They can receive loggable flight instruction on a simulator, earn FAA credit toward an airframe and powerplant (A&P) certificate through hands-on building projects, learn how to fly a control line or radio-controlled airplane, or modify a P-51 Mustang on a computer and find out how fast it lies.

And that’s just scratching the surface.

“KidVenture has grown as the kids attending have also grown,” said Dan Majka, an EAA director who’s been KidVenture chairman since its debut. “Last year we had 403 KidVenture volunteers from more than 25 different EAA chapters across the country contributing nearly 8,000 hours. This wouldn’t happen without them.”

KidVenture enters its 12th year at AirVenture with a new sponsor, United Technologies (UTC), and expects more than 25,000 visitors – a far cry from the 2,000 who attended the first year.

Future A&Ps
Kids can learn five different aircraft building tasks and get their card punched when they’ve completed them all. They get a special pin, plus FAA certificates crediting two hours towards an A&P certificate.

The Riveting Booth, supported by Van’s Aircraft, teaches how to buck solid rivets using top-grade tools supplied by Avery Tools, then build a personalized badge. Those wanting to learn more can work on a real RV-12 kit donated by Van’s. “In the seven days of KidVenture 2009, the kids finished both wings of the RV-12,” Majka said. “This year we’ll start on the fuselage and tail.”

The Engine Booth is where they can take apart and put back together aircraft engines using specialized tools to which they may not otherwise have access, from torque wrenches to spring compressors.

In the Prop-Shaping Booth, supported by Hartzell Propeller, kids take a wooden prop blank and shape it into a finished propeller. Adult KidVenture volunteers then burn the EAA and Hartzell logos into the wood, and the kids can collect autographs from aviation greats around the grounds.

The Electronic Troubleshooting Booth shows kids how to make simple wire circuits and also teaches about working with electricity.
Finally, the Wooden Rib Building Booth, supported by EAA Chapter 43 (Denver), teaches kids how to make a 20-inch wooden wing rib exactly like a homebuilder does using the same material, jigs, and tools.

Flight education
The Young Eagles Flight Education area has 10 booths at the center of the hangar. Activities focus on what a young pilot should know, including regulations, weather, navigation, human factors, air traffic control, and more. Kids receive a log book and can get 20 minutes of loggable flight simulator instruction from a certified flight instructor.

In Design a Better Mustang – using CAD/CAM software provided by DaVinci - kids design a pylon racer and race it around a virtual Reno Air Race course for daily prizes and medals.

Radio controlled (R/C) flying is geared toward more mature children, but any age level is allowed to fly once they have mastered the basics. Members of the Northern Aces R/C Air Show Team show kids how to fly real electric model airplanes.

Kids can also try their hand at control line airplane flying with the gas powered airplane models. Control line experts also perform daily demonstration air shows.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily during AirVenture, (2 p.m. on closing day, Sunday, August 1). Shuttle buses run regular schedules to KidVenture throughout the day from the main EAA AirVenture bus stop and AirVenture Museum. AVT

Other KidVenture activities:

  • Hero stage/autograph signings
  • Electronic flight simulator, airplane and helicopter, supported by Hot Seat and Radioform
  • Artist booth with three different age groups
  • U.S. Army robots
  • Dream Flight USA Shuttle, the Spirit of Education

FUTURE AIRVENTURE DATES: 2014: July 28-Aug. 3; 2015: July 20-26; 2016: July 25-31; 2017: July 24-30
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