The winners of the fourth GAMA/Build A Plane Aviation Design Challenge are, from left, Logan Feltz, Mike Hansen (teacher), Natasha Stemwedel, Austin Krause, Jerry Graf (chaperone) and Derrick Cleaves.

The winners of the fourth GAMA/Build A Plane Aviation Design Challenge are, from left, Logan Feltz, Mike Hansen (teacher), Natasha Stemwedel, Austin Krause, Jerry Graf (chaperon), and Derrick Cleaves.

We look forward to summer every year. Clear skies, long days, and, of course, the arrival of the year’s Build A Plane Aviation Design Challenge winners.

If you’re new to our blog, Build A Plane is sponsored by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and a slew of industry leaders with the aim of promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) knowledge among U.S. high school students. Good stuff. Glasair Aviation is proud to be a part of a program that introduces another generation to STEM studies and general aviation.

This year’s winners (pictured above) hail from Weyauwega-Fremont High School in Weyauwega, Wisconsin. Congratulations to all!

For winning, four students, a teacher, and a  chaperon will join us in Arlington, Washington, from June 20 through July 1 to build a GA Sportsman. They will join builder/owner Dennis Willows, teenage daughter Grace, and grandson Angus in the two-week build.

The competition included 76 high schools  whose competing teams used Fly to Learn curriculum to learn the basics of aerospace engineering. Students then applied that knowledge by modifying a virtual airplane with software powered by X-Plane. The software scored the aircraft based on the payload, the length of the flight, and the amount of fuel burned. In addition, judges from GAMA’s engineering team evaluated a summary of modifications each team made to the virtual Cessna 172SP, a checklist of steps involved in the demonstration flight, and three videos submitted throughout the competition, culminating in the students sharing what they learned.

GAMA announced the winners May 13.

Expect regular updates here during the build.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t name the sponsors who will provide round-trip airfare, hotels, and meals for the winning team: BBA Aviation, Bose Corporation, Embraer, Garmin International, GE Aviation, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, Hartzell Propeller Inc., Jeppesen, Jet Aviation, Lycoming Engines, Rockwell Collins, Textron Aviation, and Wipaire Inc. And, of course, Glasair Aviation.

Can’t wait for the students, their adults, the Willows family, and staff from GAMA and Jeppesen to arrive. Maybe someone will correct our pronunciation of Weyauwega.