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Give Flight Project Wings Will be Ready

Ben Johnson of Seattle, Washington lines up rivet holes on an RV-12 wing in EAA’s Give Flight project. Randy Dufault photo

By Randy Dufault

  • Give Flight project wings will be ready
    Ben Johnson of Seattle, Washington lines up rivet holes on a Give Flight project RV-12 wing. Only youth 18 and under will work on the RV-12 set.
July 21, 2015 - Five sets of wings now under construction at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015 will, like many convention-goers, depart Oshkosh at the end of the week for other destinations. And like many of those convention-goers, the metal wings will return—only they will be lifting completed airplanes.

The wings are part of EAA’s Give Flight project that’s the follow-up to last year’s incredibly successful One Week Wonder building project. The wings are being built by volunteers and were generously donated by Zenith Aircraft, Sonex Aircraft, and Van’s Aircraft.

The finished wings will travel to five EAA chapters, which have each committed to complete the rest of the airplane and fly it back to Oshkosh in two years.

A set of Van’s RV-12 wings, that are destined for Chapter 27 in Meriden, Connecticut, are unique in that only hands under the age of 18 are assembling them.

“I’ve been part of the Project Teen Flight that has been building an airplane about every 12 months,” said Justin Inman from Portland, Oregon. Inman is sharing supervisory duties with fellow teen Aric Krause.

Both have seen several Teen Flight RV-12 projects through to completion, and Inman is currently a Van’s intern.

Youth teams from several Teen Flight projects are providing labor for the RV-12 wings. A group from Puyallup, Washington, was working on Tuesday morning, and a group from Portland, Oregon, was set to take over in the afternoon. Other groups from around the country are scheduled to join in throughout the week.

“We’ve worked eight hours and 40 minutes so far and we pretty much have the left wing done,” Inman said. “We will probably finish with the wings by Wednesday evening. Then we’ll do the flaperons and that will take most of Thursday.”

EAA Chapter 245, of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, is slated to receive a set of Zenith 750 Cruzer wings so chapter members have been recruited to work on assembly during AirVenture 2015.

“The members of the executive committee decided to put our chapter in [for a set of wings],” said chapter member Bill Reed as he worked to enlarge rib pilot holes Tuesday morning.

“We are hoping to use it to educate other people on how to build aircraft and get the interest of younger people,” he added. “It will be neat to build it and fly it back to Oshkosh.”

The chapter has several members with Zenith building experience and also has experience with forming non-profit ownership flying clubs. Such a club will ultimately own the airplane.

After spending a grueling week working on the One Week Wonder project last year, Roger Munsterman, of Huron, Ohio, is back to help all week with the wing build. His job is to make sure the build teams have the proper tools and parts to keep construction moving forward. “If they need something I make sure they have it,” Munsterman said.

Other chapters preparing to receive completed wing sets include Chapter 461 in Bolingbrook, Illinois (Zenith CH750 Cruzer); Chapter 84 in Snohomish, Washington (Zenith CH650); and Chapter 555 in Las Cruces, New Mexico (Sonex Waiex).

Everyone is encouraged to check out the progress of the wing build at the Give Flight project tent located on the southwest corner of EAA Square.
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