Quad Cities High School Students Collaborate to Build Flyable Airplane, Embrace Engineering Futures

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PQuad Cities High School Students Assemble Aircraft

Students from three high schools in Quad Cities, Pleasant Valley, North Scott, and Bettendorf, are coming together to build a Vans RV12 airplane. This airplane is capable of cruising at speeds of around 125 mph and can hold two passengers. This innovative project began in 2021 under an educational initiative spearheaded by Pleasant Valley High School (PVHS).

PNB Aviation Club: From Concept to Reality

Quad City students’ exciting journey started when PVHS purchased a kit designed to construct a small aircraft. From this initiative, 36 students from the three high schools formed the PNB Aviation Club. The club provides members with the opportunity to actively participate in an aircraft construction project, developing foundational engineering skills and fostering teamwork.

Freshman Zoya Yousaf from PVHS showed immense enthusiasm for the project. She sees it as a stepping stone towards fulfilling her career aspirations in the field of engineering. The opportunity of being involved in real-world airplane construction is a solid stepping stone for every member of the PNB Aviation Club.

Learning Journey Over Project Completion

Craig Olson, one of the club’s mentors, emphasizes the primary objective of this project. It is less about the end result and more about the educational value and the learning journey the students undertake. The completed aircraft is not as critical as equipping the students with real-life engineering and problem-solving skills that they can apply in their future careers.

Project Progress and Future

As of now, students have made significant progress, successfully assembling several parts of the airplane like the empennage, tail cone, and wings. They anticipate further work on the landing gear, the avionics system, and the engine before the aircraft is ready for test flights.

This project has been possible because of substantial support from various grants and donations. It is currently located at North Scott’s district bus barn in Eldridge. Following the completion of this project, the assembled plane will be sold. The proceeds from this sale will go towards financing future projects initiated by the PNB Aviation Club. This project is an impressive example of student collaboration and innovation, and is expected to become a cornerstone of their future endeavours.

Elijah Muhammad