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Located at Pioneer Airport across from the AirVenture Museum, KidVenture allows young people to explore aviation from several different fronts.
They earn FAA credit toward an A&P certificate through hands-on building projects, learn how to fly a radio-controlled airplane, modify a wing on a computer then find out how well it flies, and even see what it's like to land on Mars — making it an out-of-this-world experience.
Highlights include eight A&P booths where kids learn basic building skills as well as Condor flight simulators and Kiddie Hawk flight trainers.
KidVenture is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Shuttles run throughout the day between the Bus Park and Museum.
Check out these hands-on activities for aspiring aviators:
The hands-on mechanics activities area features activities from which the kids can learn a number of building tasks. After completing each station, kids get their work cards punched.
Kids who complete the Future A&P booths will receive a Future A&P pin, two hours of official FAA credit toward their A&P certificates, and, if they are among the first 800 kids to complete the skills, a tool kit.
Supported by Van's Aircraft, this booth teaches how to buck solid rivets, using top-grade tools supplied by Avery Tools. Those wanting to learn more can work on a real RV-12 kit donated by Van's. The kids also can make a personalized metal riveted name badge.
Features conventional four-cylinder engines and, with Pratt & Whitney's help, will be two PT-6 turbine engines that the kids inspect and work on under the guidance of skilled A&P mechanics and Pratt & Whitney volunteers.
Electronic Troubleshooting Booth
Shows kids how to make simple wire circuits and also teaches about working with electricity.
Supported by Hartzell Propeller, kids take a wooden prop blank and shape it into a finished propeller. Volunteers then burn the EAA and Hartzell logos into the wood, and the kids can collect autographs from aviation greats around the grounds.
Wooden Rib Building Booth
Supported by Wick's Aircraft and run by EAA Chapter 43 (Denver, Colorado), this booth teaches kids how to make a 20-inch wooden wing rib exactly like a homebuilder does using the same material, jigs, and tools required for a full-size rib.
Lift Demonstration Booth
Sponsored by Sikorsky, participants can learn about the concept of lift and how it applies to fixed-wing aircraft and rotorcraft, build and customize their own "handfoil," then test their creation in the specially built Sikorsky wind tunnel.
Wind-Powered Generator Booth
Supported by Hamilton Sundstrand, kids can make a wind-powered generator (RAT).
The Young Eagles flight education area, comprised of 10 booths, features a series of activities focused on what a young pilot should know, including:
- Human factors
- Air traffic control
- Aircraft design
- Pre-flight inspection
- Post-flight debriefing
Kids receive a logbook and can get 20 minutes of loggable flight simulator instruction from a certificated flight instructor.
Electric R/C and control line flying is geared to more mature children, but any age level is allowed to fly once they have mastered the basics.
Members of the Northern Aces R/C Air Show Team run this area and allow the kids to fly a real electric-powered model airplane under their guidance.
Kids can also try their hand at control line airplane flying with the gas powered airplane models. Control line experts also perform daily demonstration air shows.
Other activities and attractions include:
- Kiddie Hawk Air Academy Airplane and Helicopter Trainers, as well as forums with several of their "Living Legends of Aviation"
- Through simulated Mars landings, the Dream Flight space bus/exhibit shows kids what flight outside the atmosphere is like.
- Be inspired by the Tuskegee Airmen in the RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit panoramic movie theater, part of the CAF Red Tail Squadron.
- In "Area 51-1/2," kids build a balsa glider along with a wooden model of EAA's B-17 Aluminum Overcast and the legendary P-51 Mustang of EAA Founder Paul Poberezny.
- Replica of the Mercury 7 space ship for the kids to sit in along with video of its flight into space.
- Talk on the KidVenture HAM radio station to other people around the country and the world.
- An entire fleet of F-14 pedal planes await the youngest of the future aviators.
- Real aircraft and gliders for kids to sit in and have pictures taken in the "cockpit climb" area.