Two Weeks To Taxi For Build-A-Plane Kids

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Three youngsters from the West Coast are taking part in a first-of-its-kind aircraft construction project this week and next week in Arlington, Wash. The high schoolers are building a brand-new Glasair Sportsman under the wing of Build A Plane, the nonprofit group that helps to match up school kids and aircraft construction projects -- generally finding a good home for old and unwanted airplanes whose owners donate them to the cause. This is the first time the group has built a new airplane from scratch. "I was hoping I'd get to solo this summer, but I didn't earn enough money yet," said Brian White, 16, who is from Washington state. "But this is about the coolest thing I could have gotten to do!" Liz Kaiser, 17, from Bellevue, Wash., wanted to build an aircraft for her senior project, so when she heard about this opportunity, it was a perfect fit. Cody Freeman, 17, flew from California to work on the Glasair, his first-ever aircraft-building project. The new Sportsman should taxi out of the hangar in just two weeks, and start flying a few days later.

The completed aircraft will become the Build A Plane "flagship," traveling to airshows and schools around the country. Kids who have worked on airplanes will be invited to fly with the aircraft and speak to other kids interested in aviation. Glasair Aviation, Garmin, Lycoming Engines, Hartzell, Cessna Aircraft and others all have chipped in to sponsor the project.