Flying High: Turning a Hobby Into a STEM Tool

When I first started building model airplanes, I didn’t know what I was getting into. I was fascinated by these small “toys” that you could control from the ground. YouTube further exposed me to people achieving incredible feats. People were flying hundreds of kilometers away and taking incredible footage with what seemed to be just a foam toy. This is the world of FPV, or first-person-view flying.

The basis of the hobby is simple; a small video transmitter and camera send a video signal to a video receiver on the ground where the flyer can view the image from the air in real time. It puts you in the cockpit and lets you fly as if it were a real airplane. It’s a whole new perspective.

Not only is this a fun activity, it teaches valuable skills such as using new software, soldering, and wiring. The controls are very similar to a video game. However, I soon realized this was much more than a game when I saw how it inspired kids to understand the mechanics of flying. When I began flying I was intrigued with how radio waves work and antenna design. I started to piece together a plane capable of flying for 40 miles! I would encourage kids to become involved into model aviation because it’s a great way to learn the  basics of flying, make friends, and have fun!

Post by Trey Hackman

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