The DreamLaunch Tour: Orlando and Greenville

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Jamail Larkins is touring the United States as part of The DreamLaunch Tour, a 'barnstorming' effort to get youngsters in middle schools and high schools thinking about careers in aviation. Every few weeks AVweb will publish his travel journal, as well as the winning essays of students from the schools he visits. Essay winners get a ride with Jamail in a Cirrus SR20, bringing full-circle Jamail's aviation journey that started with a flight at age 12 with the EAA Young Eagles program. Jamail began the tour in Orlando, Fla., and Greenville, S.C.

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Few times in my life have I ever been as nervous and anxious as I was last week. Starting college, my first solo, my first airshow performance, and my first trip without my parents at the age of 13 -- these events never presented as much excitement as I experienced last week.

For the past five months, I have been working diligently to prepare and coordinate a national tour -- The DreamLaunch Tour -- a project with the purpose of launching the dream of flight into the minds of America's youth.

The aviation industry has been extremely kind to me. For instance, I never once thought by the time I graduated college I would own my own airplane, have the opportunity to travel across the country, meet some very interesting people, and have some fantastic memories that will last a lifetime. This tour is a way I can help give that same type of support to other young people across the country.

However, to accomplish that goal took an immense amount of time and preparation, and a lot of phone calls. Months of coordination took place with Cirrus Design Corporation for the SR20, Shell Aviation for the fuel, Embry-Riddle for logistical support, Careers in Aviation for educational materials, the FAA for public-school support, Michelin for promotional support, Lift Flight Training & AirShares Elite for instrument training, and Yelvington Aviation for aircraft support for the few days a week I am in Daytona Beach, Fla.

After spending such a vast amount of time on a single project, I began to get more and more nervous as January 24 approached. I knew the mission of the tour was a great idea, but I had no clue exactly how the students would react to my new presentation.

Jamail and Wally Amos

The kickoff of the tour changed a few months ago, when a friend and mentor, Wally Amos, called. Wally Amos is the founder of Famous Amos Cookies, Uncle Wally's Muffins, and most recently, Aunt Dellas Cookie Company.

Wally had just finished a motivational speech for the Florida Tax Collectors Association and met people involved with Anjani. Anjani is one of the many volunteer organizers that runs the Aviation Orientation Program held in Lakeland, Fla. Anjani asked Wally to become involved in the program late last year; and he, in turn, asked me to help out.

As anyone can imagine, last week was very hectic. Going to class, studying for tests, preparing speeches, making arrangements for the tour kickoff, and trying to run a small aviation business.

Jamail and a Young Eagle

But by Saturday morning, all of the preparation was well worth the effort. Shortly after the speech, I was surrounding with Boys Scouts asking hundreds of questions about the Cirrus SR20, the Young Eagles Program, Careers in Aviation, scholarships, and how they can get involved in aviation.

That's what the tour is about, and that's what I'm looking forward to! The next six months will be extremely exciting, exhausting, and exhilarating. But if we can help launch the dream of flight into a few new minds, then we have helped to ensure the next century of flight will be as exciting -- or possibly even more exciting -- than the last.

Winning Essays -- Liberty Middle School, Orlando, Fla.

"What do you think the next 100 years of flight will bring to humans?"

By Jasmin

In the past years there have been many improvements in different aircrafts to be able to fly. My hypothesis is that from now through the next 100 years there will be a lot more improvement and more high-tech equipment in aircrafts and spacecrafts.

Every day technology, science, and architecture improves as the years pass by. It has been about 80 years since the temptation of trying to fly started and it was achieved. From that time till now, may aircrafts have been invented, so I can imagine what it will be like in 100 years. I believe that aircrafts, such as planes, jets, and others of the same sort, will be made in a much more advanced way than they are now. My imagination goes very far and I can picture planes and jets going at a speed twice as much, even triple or more as they do now. I can also imagine them much larger and a lot more comfortable for all passengers. I even think that they will create jets and planes that can not only fly through air but through water too.

As of space crafts, I also am completely sure there will be changes for the better on them. I think that there will be a flight to Mars, humans and creatures will be sent to the red planet. I also think that if possible, there will be more advanced space probes sent to different planets to seek life or to discover more about the other planets. There also might be bigger and better shuttles to fly to the moon and to other planets. I believe that man will step on the moon again and a lot more often.

The future of aircrafts makes me ask, who will be the engineers and astronomers of the future? If I come to think of it carefully, it will be the children and students of this generation. In other words the future of aircrafts is in our hands. Some of us are interested in being the future inventors. If we want to be engineers and astronomers, now is the time to prepare ourselves to be the best we can be if we want a successful life for us to have.

All in all, the future is bound to change and one way it will change is by flights. I will be rejoiced when I see this future progress come true, which I hope will be for the best.

By Evelyn

In the past one hundred years people have been to the moon. People are now able to go anywhere they would like. Planes have changed since the first flight in 1903. Since then people are able to travel from one to another in just two or more hours. A lot has changed since the year 1903 ... don't you think so? I think that in the next one hundred years a lot will change as it did in the last one hundred years. I think the future will change because people will have planes in their home instead of cars. People in the future are going to use planes in replacement for what cars are used for today. I think that planes will look like automobiles. For example, inventors will combine cars and planes together. That is how I think our future will change in the next one hundred years.

I also think that space travel will be open to the general public. I think this because we will make new inventions that will make that possible. This can be possible by people having to pay more money and then they're on their way to the moon. People have been saying that a man will be sent to and I think that this can be true. They will have the equipment to send a man or woman to Mars. I would love to see what would change in a hundred years. This is what I think our future would be in a hundred years from now.

Our future will also change by the pilots riding without putting their hands on the wheel. They'll just do a free flying kind of thing. During the future pilots will be able to enjoy the comfort and beautiful sites while flying as well as the customers flying. There are days pilots have fly nonstop. I predict that the pilots will enjoy the comfort of eating without worrying about the plane crashing or going out of control. These are my predictions of how the future will change in one hundred years from now.

Winning this competition means a lot to me. It means a lot because I have never been in a plane before in my life. This will also be the first time flying in a plane and I believe that I will enjoy being up in the air for at least ten to twenty minutes. I think that it will be a different experience than going on a roller coaster ride. I believe this because a roller coaster lasts at least two and half minutes. But in a plane I think that I could experience the beauty of Orlando, Florida. I've been in a commercial plane before, but not the kind that you get in and put a headset on your head. Being on the big planes is just a boring ride that you have to sit next to people you don' t know and to me that's a little uncomfortable for me because sometimes I don't know what to say. At least in a little private plane I get to be with my friends or family and could enjoy being above Orlando. This is what winning the competition means to me.

By Christian

I think the next 100 years of flight will bring new technology. The next 100 years are going to be very fantastic because with new planes and rockets we are going to go to places we have never think of. There might be planes that could take many people to outer space. There might be hotels or houses in outer space. Planes are going to help us find new technology and there may be planes that could be so strong that would withstand the heat of the sun. And thanks to the planes we may find new things maybe medicines on other planets that could cure diseases. Planes might be so fast that they could break through different kinds of atmospheres. Planes could go to different galaxies instead of the planet Earth galaxy. Planes would not take that long to fly from the United States to China. They might get to a place in like ten minutes. Planes might be waterproof and they may go underwater. Planes might be like transformers. They may change into rockets or helicopters, trains, submarines, boats, cars, and spaceships.

Planes might be piloted by computers and then it won't have to be piloted by a human. Planes might be able to carry 1,000,000 people. Planes may be so huge that it would surface the country of Asia. Planes might be secured that nothing happens to them. Planes might be so strong that they will withstand the power of nuclear weapons. Planes may be so big they would fit a school or a hotel to live on the plane and kids would take school on a plane and on the air. Planes are going to be really big and its going to carry a lot of people for war or there might be hospitals on the plane so when they are going to help people that are injured in the plane they won't die on the way to the hospital. Planes won't use gasoline or motors, they would use the wing to power the plane and they are going to be solar powered too. Planes are going to have lots of T.V. when people are flying in them and the TV's are going to be in the seats not in the ceiling. There are going to planes that have computers to help people when there's trouble.

Scientists and architects are going to build spaceships that would be almost like planes but better. The technology is going to be very advanced in the rockets. The rockets are going to be very powerful and if they are going too fast through the atmosphere they won't explode. Then the people are going to be safer. The planes are going to be the new future for humankind and they are going to take humanity to new places. The planes are going to take you to extraordinary places and they are going to be the best things or machines in the world. The planes are going to be so futuristic that the other planes or the first planes are going to be in history books. There's no place that planes won't take us. Planes are the greatest things ever made in the whole world. The plane may even have computers on them or they might build a park so you can bring pets. The planes might have beds to sleep and the might have bigger bathrooms and maybe even bigger than house bathrooms and they might even have bathtubs.

Winning Essays -- Woodmont Middle School, Piedmont, S.C.

By Faith, 6th Grade

Flight really has changed life on earth. This whole century, flight has progressed so far, allowing us to travel in air and space. President Bush said that he wanted us to go to Mars, and I believe we will with the right equipment. We are so advanced in technology and science, it is almost positive we'll be able to go. But, I don't believe that it will be open to the public. I don't believe the world has enough money to let people visit Venus or to live on Saturn. I generally think it's impossible. But, what I do think is possible is that we can build lightweight materials and build an airplane, without the heavy materials, still has the same quality as the original airplanes. I have a lot of ideas, but I know they will change life. For example, higher taxes could be in store because of the costs of building, repairing, and for job paying. Also, I believe there could be unfixable damages because of exploration. And, there may be deaths according to the development of air and spacecrafts. But, we will learn new things, and that might be the best thing about flight.

By Jiles, 7th Grade

The last hundred years of flight were a big step for mankind. We started with the first airplane and now we have jets that break the sound barrier. In the next century I think that we will all travel in planes that run on solar energy. I believe that we will have planes that will travel around the world in less than one hour. We won't need airports any more because everyone will have their own planes, and the planes will not need runways. Every plane will land and take off vertically right in people's backyards.

In the future airplanes will be the main way of transportation instead of riding in cars all the time. NASA will probably launch a shuttle into space about every two weeks. We as humans in the next hundred years will probably know of everything about every planet in our solar system, and maybe by then we will have also explored many other galaxies. I think that in the next hundred year space travel will be open to the general public, but it will cost a lot of money and the people wanting to go on the trip will have to go through all the training that the astronauts today have to pass in order to go into space.

By the time the next hundred years are over, we will have sent a man to Mars, but many missions that we had tried before then would have failed. Some men might die trying to land on Mars but we will make it there. The next hundred years I believe will be better than the last hundred. We will advance in flight even more than we have before.

By Hillary, 8th Grade

As a bomb loader, trainer, 4-stripe stop sergeant, and 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force (USAF), my father has taught me so much more about aircraft than I could ever have known on my own. Though most people may think that some things taught by a parent are useless information, I've never once doubted that I would use the "useless information" my father taught me.

Did you know that you can't sneeze without closed eyes? Or that, if your hand is positioned correctly on a flat surface, you cannot lift your ring finger? Perhaps you knew that a truly amazing flight team called the "Thunderbirds" fly in F-16 jets? And that not only are they a synchronized flight team in the air, but while undergoing a routine check on the runway, the pilots are all in step and doing the same things at the same time? Pretty cool, isn't it?

Among a sea of things, my dad, somewhere in there, has taught me about the history of aircraft and how we have so drastically technologically advanced through the decades. From the Wright brothers and their discovery of flight to Amelia Earhart and her mysterious disappearance.

So, this leads to the question of "What is in store for us over the next century?" Well, in all honesty, I don't know the answer. No one knows the answer. But who said we couldn't dream? There are thousands upon thousands of possibilities! I, myself, imagine that our aircraft will no longer be categorized as machines of war and that every model will be better, faster than the last. I envision the former youth of our nation soaring higher and higher in the clouds, and further into space. I see that traveling to space will be an opportunity for every man, woman, boy, and girl because everyone should be able to experience being weightless at zero gravity. Everyone should get to see how beautiful our planet is from an outward look.

In the next century, ambitions long dreamt of by many may come true. Will we land on Mars? Maybe. Anything could happen, good or bad. Only time can tell. But we, as a whole, have to keep dreaming. Keep believing. Ambition is key. You have to want it.

So, what will happen in the next 100 years of flight? No one knows. But, in truth, it is up to us and us alone. Will we take the risk and soar? Or will we back down knowing that so many dreams will be shattered and we're to blame? It's all on us, right? So I'll let you decide.