“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”
~ Henry Ford
November is Aviation history month, so what do you know about airplanes? When we think about it, we right away think of Wilbur and Orville Wright. But what about the people who were busy working on inventing aircraft before the Wright brothers perfected theirs? Have you heard of Otto Lilienthal? He was a German inventor who built and flew gliders near Berlin – a design the Wright brothers used for inspiration.
What about Amelia Erhardt? The woman who tried to circumnavigate the globe but was lost and never seen or heard from again. Geraldine Mock, in 1964, flew the “Spirit of Columbus” around the world in just 29 days, 11 hours, and 59 minutes earning the title that Erhardt was striving for. Wop May has become remembered through Stompin’ Tom Conners’ song. He was the top Canadian pilot of WWI, became a bush pilot after the war, and helped the RCMP track Albert Johnson who was known as “Mad Trapper of Rat River” – a man wanted for murder and illegal trapping.
Now it’s your turn – in honour of all those aviators who have gone before us, it is time to become one ourselves!
Grab yourself some paper, straws, clothespins, tape, and a few coins (for weight). Build and design an airplane that will glide at least 10 feet holding the most amount of weight. Need an additional challenge?
Use a large piece of paper to create a target hoop for your glider to fly through and hang it in a doorway. You could even design yourself a launcher using popsicle sticks and an elastic band!