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Flying towards the Future
Written by Sparky Yoo | Published. 2017.05.31 18:09 | Count : 960
At the end of each term, the Andover Aviation Club steps out onto the lawn with model airplanes and remote controls in their hands. Anxiously, they let their model airplanes soar through the air, make sharp turns, rotate vertically and horizontally, and dive to the ground. Through this end-of-term event, members are able to test out their model airplanes and demonstrate their flying skills.
The Andover Aviation Club was founded at Phillips Academy in the spring of the 2015-2016 school year by Ruide Wang ’18. His passion for aeronautics dates back to his fifth grade, where he developed an interest for flying vehicles and thus joined an aviation club. Ever since then, he has been flying model airplanes competitively. In fact, Ruide’s passion for flying model airplanes has largely motivated his career goal of becoming an aeronautical engineer. Thus, when Ruide came to Phillips Academy, he decided to bring his passions with him. Through the creation of his very own aviation club, he desired a space in which people with similar interests for aeronautics could meet.
In a typical club meeting, the members start off with a quick ten-minute presentation on an aviation-related topic, such as a certain type of plane or wing design. Then, for the rest of the hour, the members build their own model airplanes and practice on simulators– graphic programs. On these simulators, users can control graphic airplanes with their remotes and hone their flying skills before the end of the term event. As members become more proficient at flying their model airplanes, the club plans to enter regional competitions.
Ruide Wang ‘18

Competitions are a salient part of many model airplane clubs. Competitions typically consist of contestants performing tricks on the model airplanes and demonstrating the best skills. According to Ruide, the competitions tend to be centered towards individuals due to the nature of the field. In addition to a couple of regional competitions, there are renowned international ones, such as the German Indoor Aerobatics Championship. Furthermore, drone competitions have become prominent at the collegiate level.

Aviation Club not only provides a world of exciting competitions, but it also introduces a direct application of STEM topics. According to Ruide, the field of aeronautics heavily involves physics and mathematics. Thus, through model airplanes, students are able to relate academic concepts into an actual developing field of science. For some, like Ruide, joining an aviation club may inspire them to go into the field of aeronautics. In an increasingly globalized world, creating safer and more efficient airplanes has become more important than ever. In fact, the International Civil Aviation Organization proclaimed that 3.5 billion passengers went on airplanes in 2015, and the number is expected to keep rising (http://www.airspacemag.com/daily-planet/how-much-worlds-population-has-flown-airplane-180957719/). Yet, even those who aren’t interested in pursuing a career in aeronautics can gain tremendous experience working on STEM-related projects.

The Andover Aviation Club

All in all, aviation clubs not only provide a unique opportunity for students to pursue a specific STEM area, but also may benefit an increasingly globalized society. Yet, despite the importance, Ruide has noticed that not many schools have an aviation club. He urges all students to take part and to explore this developing field. For those who are wondering how to get started, Ruide recommends first reading and developing a solid basis on how model airplanes work. Then, he suggests buying a kit online with instructions build the model airplanes. 

One of Ruide’s Model Airplanes



Sparky Yoo
Phillips Academy (Andover)

Sparky Yoo  student_reporter@dherald.com

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