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EAA AirCam to Fly Young Eagles
By Megan Esau, EAA Assistant Editor
July 21, 2018 - A Lockwood AirCam built by EAA volunteers throughout six weeklong work sessions in 2017 is nearing its mission to give introductory flights to youths as a part of EAA’s Young Eagles program.
The AirCam, which will be on display in the Homebuilders Hangar throughout the week of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018, was given its yellow and blue colors in spring, with a custom Scheme Designers paint scheme and paint donated by AkzoNobel.
EAA’s Director of Chapters and Communities & Homebuilt Community Manager Charlie Becker, who is overseeing the build, said they are currently finishing the installation of the AirCam’s Dynon avionics package, and the aircraft will hopefully make its first flight this fall.
The AirCam project was conceptualized in early 2017 as a way to celebrate and promote the 25th anniversary of the Young Eagles program, which has flown more than 2 million youths since its inception.
“The primary mission of this aircraft will be to fly Young Eagles out of Pioneer Airport, which is based right behind EAA headquarters,” Charlie said. “For those that don’t know, we offer free Young Eagles flights to any eligible kid who comes through the museum every day during the summer months. This aircraft will be one of the two aircraft that take on that role as soon as it’s completed and the flight-test time is flown off.”
In addition to its primary mission of flying Young Eagles off Pioneer Airport, the AirCam will also be used to support EAA’s air-to-air photo missions with lighter and slower homebuilt and ultralight aircraft at future AirVenture conventions.
The volunteers who helped complete the build project ranged from homebuilding novices to building experts, and they are excited to see the AirCam represent homebuilding at AirVenture and to eventually fulfill its mission.
“I’ve recently retired from the airlines, and it was my goal to do something for a younger generation of future pilots, so this was a thrilling opportunity to build an aircraft that I love, the AirCam,” said AirCam volunteer John Cox. “To hear that they’re going to be flying young individuals next year off of Pioneer field makes it well worth the time.”