Brooklyn Aerodrome Flacks work well in classrooms, camps and after school activities. Every time we visit or lead a class we learn something, make an improvement to the build and most important revel in the creativity that we see in students own designs. This page describes our education driven products which are somewhat different from our standard Flack kit.
The goals of our education offerings are:
- Minimize per student costs.
- Maximize robustness of hardware.
- Get students flying and inventing their own designs as quickly as possible.
Backing our hardware we have build videos, a reference book and curricula oriented towards 6th to 8th graders that reflect Common Core, 21st Century Skills with a strong STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) orientation. If you are interested in curricula for older students please contact us. Our recommended sequence is:
- Glider Curriculum (15 Contact Hours)
- Student Materials
- Paper Airplanes
- Standardized Foam Gliders
- Student Designed Foam Gliders
- Design Your Own Glider Presentation
- Lesson Plan
- RC (Remote Control) Airplane Build–our Classic Flack Design. (4 hours)
- Learn to Fly. Supported by flying videos and chapter 5 of book. (2 hours)
- Design Own RC Airplane and Evaluate (10 to ?? hours)
- Chapter 10 covers basic aerodynamics.
- Chapter 11 addresses design process.
- Chapter 9 shows examples built by us–but students do not lack inspiration or ideas we have found.
- We will index the RC components to Common Core and 21st Century skills in the next few months.
These are the kinds of student designs that result:
There is a lot of equipment to choose from which we explain below but if you want to skip to recommended packages there are two. We suggest two students working as a team in the R/C portions of the curriculum. Even if each student is building an airframe, pair them up to build two airframes. Prices subject to change without notice. Contact email@example.com for sales.
- 1 RC Pod package that can support 8 students (2 per airframe). $375
- Glider curriculum parts like weights, paper clips, launcher, playing cards are not included. Foam is included.
- Print your own curriculum and work books.
- Refresh kit of consumables for subsequent classes: $95
- 5 RC Pod package that can support up to 24 students /12 airframes. The 5 pods allows 4 airplanes in the air at the same time. This is probably the max number of airplanes you want flying at once + 1 RC pod to function as a spare. $1,785
- Glider curriculum parts included.
- Print your own curriculum and workbooks.
- Refresh kit of consumables for subsequent classes: $215
Contact admin@brooklynaerodrome if you want different combinations. Typical variations are each student gets a pod, faster chargers and pre-built Flacks.
Our education kits have the following components. Starter kit shown below:
- Durable components that don’t get used up each class
- The book “DIY RC Airplanes from Scratch: The Brooklyn Aerodrome Bible for Hacking the Skies“
- RC pods which are swappable between aircraft
- Flight battery
- Consumable Airframe components used in gliders and RC aircraft for each class
- Construction foam
- Tape, zip ties etc
Our book stands as the reference for building and flying our style of aircraft. The first 5 chapters are building and flying the standard design Flack (Flying + Hack) at a high level of detail. There have been some innovations since it was published but those changes are covered in build videos. The last 5 chapters cover repair, the arts side of decoration, night flying, creating own designs and some basic aerodynamics.
The RC pod puts all the expensive parts of an RC airplane into a detachable subdeck that can be easily swapped between airframes. This saves money and build time. The pod is built by us for durability. The components have a very low failure rate except for the propellors which are easily replaced. The pod contains the receiver, motor, prop and speed control. It is attached with velcro to the airframe.
We use custom programmed transmitters that allow the pilot to switch between elevon control of aircraft and traditional aileron/rudder/elevator control of the aircraft for their own designs. The Flack requires elevons control. Generally each pod has its own dedicated transmitter. Instructors have used common transmitters across different classes (e.g. 10 pods per class, 2 classes, 10 transmitters, each transmitter bound to unique pod per class).
Servos are fairly cheap so in the past we have had dedicated 2 servos per airframe but they quadrupled the cost of airframe materials. We now offer servo mounts that can be installed to allow switching servos between airframes quickly. Our servos come pre-centered with output arms attached in pairs to save students the step of centering servos.
Our batteries use power connectors which a child can easily connect/disconnect. Standard hobby connectors can be very difficult to disconnect even for adults. You can expect batteries to last around 200 charge/discharge cycles and 2 years from manufacture. They are a fire hazard if they are punctured or short circuited and should be stored away from heat sources and kept from freezing. One battery per airframe is the suggested number of batteries.
To keep costs down and simplify the charge process we off a 120 volt charger that takes up to 2.5 hours to fully charge a battery. One per RC pod is a good number. A more complex and expensive option is to get a 4 port field charger that takes up to 4 batteries at the same time and can charge the batteries in 30 minutes from a 12 volt DC source. This charger is much more sophisticated device with corresponding complexity in using it. We provide a DC power supply or you can get your own.
We use 1/4″ Dow lay flat underlayment for building airframes. It is an excellent structural material that is inexpensive, light, tough and easy to work with. Unfortunately it is hard to find and materials that looks very similar does not perform as well. In response to this we sell the foam. For your first class we strongly recommend that you use foam from us. Once you understand what is needed then try and find a local source which should be around $60-70. You can expect each student to go through 2-3 sheets of foam completing the curriculum. Foam comes in bundles of 25 sheets with 23 sheets likely to survive shipping.
Tape, zip ties etc…
Each airframe will take a roll of tape, two pushrods, 18″ or so of double stick tape and coroplast. You can order as much material as needed.