July 2, 2013 - Two groups of high school students from Michigan and Minnesota successfully completed their respective projects of completing the production of a Glasair Sportsman as part of the Two Weeks to Taxi program at the Glasair factory in Arlington, Washington.
The program is in place as a supervised build of the buyer's aircraft (in this case, the aircraft were provided by Glasair) so that the pilot can have "unprecedented understanding of and confidence in" his or her Sportsman.
Peter Bunce, the CEO of GAMA, worked side by side with the students for the entire two weeks. "It was a remarkable experience for everyone involved," he said. "[The kids] were great to work with."
Bunce went on to praise the students' hard work, as well as Glasair's effort to completely immerse the builders. "[The kids] were involved in every aspect of the build," he said. "There was no part of it they couldn't handle. It was a challenge keeping up with them."
That is quite a statement considering none of the students had any hand in building aircraft.
The students truly were involved in every aspect and stood by and watched as the aircraft, which they had first seen as heaps of metal, were fired up, taxied, and flown on their maiden test flights. The teams from Michigan and Minnesota were chosen as part of a nationwide contest in which they provided an aircraft design that was voted on by a panel of GAMA judges.
It wasn't all work for the youngsters, though, as Glasair funded trips to the Boeing assembly plant in Everett, a flightline tour of SeaTac Airport, and a flight to Lake Goodwin in a Sportsman floatplane.
To complete the circle of building an aircraft, the students will be reunited with the aircraft at AirVenture 2013, following Phase I flight testing by Glasair.