After many years of talking about it, debating what it should look like, and thinking about who should pick up the initiative to build it, it’s finally there: the SETP Flight Test Simulator. It can be used to provide a hands-on experience during events where our Society wants to reach out to the younger generations. Mark “Forger” Stucky took it upon himself to select the hardware and set it up. Thanks to the SETP Foundation and a generous grant from Galactic Unite we now have a great tool for future STEM events.
During the past two weekends a group of enthusiastic SETP members supported our efforts to reach out to our younger generations and talk about flight test. During the China Lake Air show on March 18-19, Aaron “Taco” Pridgen, took the initiative to setup a combined VX-31/SETP booth. This was the first time to test out the Flight Test Sim. A week later, on March 25-26 the LA County Air Show was held at Fox Field, Lancaster, CA. Besides the Flight Test Sim, special attention was given to younger kids who were able to learn how to fold a paper plane and experiment with aircraft design and stability. We hope we inspired the younger generations to find their future in flight test. I’d like to thank Mark “Forger” Stucky, Aaron “Taco” Pridgen, Brian “Sandbag” Sandberg, Russ Stewart, Eric Hansen, Jameel “Chocolate” Janjua, and Harry “Slinger” van Hulten for helping out and representing our society during the air shows.
While at the air show, I got in touch with several people involved in other STEM events in our West Coast Section area. As of now, there are five more STEM events this year in the West Coast Section area we are planning to support with the new Flight Test Sim, and maybe there will be more this year, as long as we can get the volunteers to support it:
May 19 : Van Nuys High School STEM event, Clay Lacy hangar
June 8-11: Tucson, AZ, Spacefest
Aug 19-20: Camarillo Air Show, STEM tent
Oct 26 : Lancaster, Salute to Youth, high school STEM event
Oct 27: Ventura Aviation Career Day.
At the S&B in Anaheim I intend to present some more about our activities and show the simulator. Reaching out to the younger generations is a big deal for our Society. The Flight Test Sim has great potential for education outreach and has professionalized our STEM activities. Within the West Coast Section we are looking into developing an SETP STEM kit with a professional look, yet easy on the logistics. If you feel like you want to support our education outreach efforts, or think you can help out during on one of the upcoming STEM events in your local area, please let me know.
Martin “Sjeng” Vandepol
SETP West Coast Section Education Outreach