August 14, 2020
Under the guidance of the Meriden Chapter of Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), 24 students from the ‘Teens to Flight’ program took on the challenge to build an RV-12 airplane. The RV-12 aircraft took flight at Meriden Markham Airport after five years of building, testing, and governance from EAA Chapter 27 mentors.
“We were all very excited to see it fly,” said Chapter president and test pilot Mark Scott. “I can remember telling the kids “make it right because I’m the one doing the first flight!” That importance really made them do careful work.”
The RV-12 aircraft construction was accomplished by 24 students attending Wilcox High School and other surrounding high schools also part of the ‘Teens to Flight’ program—which was mentored by the EAA Chapter 27. Chapter 27 has been actively involved with students for many years and flown over 2,700 Young Eagles. The Chapter also runs various Aviation Merit badge courses for local Boy Scout Troops. In 2015, the ‘Teens for Flight’ program was awarded with completed RV-12 wings from the EAA.
The RV-12 airplane project began September of 2015 and by 2016 the ‘Teens to Flight’ had completed: the vertical tail, rudder, horizontal tail, anti-servo tabs, fuselage, fuel system, electrical wiring, and controls. By 2018 the engine and avionics were fully installed and the first test flight was taken in May of 2020. The RV-12 airplane has gone through all required test flights and is being sold to a new flight club at Meriden Markham Airport called The Spirit of Meriden Flight Club.
“It truly was an incredible experience being part of the “Teens to Flight” program,” said Dylan Barclay a student at Wilcox High School. “From at one point looking at hundreds of aircraft parts on workbenches to now seeing that very RV-12 fly makes me feel proud of myself and the other amazing students and mentors I went through this journey with. I would absolutely do it all over again!”
To learn more about Chapter 27 and the ‘Teens for Flight’ program, visit www.eaa27.org.
This press release was produced by the City of Meriden. The views expressed here are the author’s own.