The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) reports that registration for its 2018 Aviation Design Challenge has filled in record time.
“This will be our largest competition since we started the Aviation Design Challenge in 2013,” said GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce. “We have 130 schools from 34 states registered to enter the competition next year, and 105 of them have never participated in the program before. With the addition of our member company Click Bond as the builder of record the winning team will help build, this will be our most exciting Aviation Design Challenge yet.”
Next year marks the sixth annual year for the GAMA-hosted competition, created to teach U.S. high school students Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics skills (STEM) through aviation, in the hopes of helping bridge the skills gap and spur interest in aviation industry careers.
Since the competition’s inception in 2013, GAMA has reached nearly 400 high schools in 43 states and Washington, DC.
“The fact that registration for the 2018 competition filled in record time – under two months – shows how highly U.S. educators value STEM skills and the excitement they have to teach those skills through aviation,” continued Bunce. “I’m so proud of this program’s growth and the success we have had in educating the nation’s young, bright minds about aviation and career options in the industry.”
The prize for the winning team is to experience general aviation manufacturing firsthand at Glasair Aviation in Arlington, Washington, where the students and their teacher help build a Glasair Sportsman over the course of two weeks alongside the Glasair crew and the plane’s owner.
GAMA member companies finance the team’s travel expenses and this year a member company has purchased the plane the team will help build.
“Click Bond is a company founded by aviators and we deeply appreciate the benefits that general aviation brings to our business and to our nation. Sponsoring the GAMA Aviation Design Challenge aircraft is a natural fit with our mission to advance awareness of this important sector of the industry,” said Click Bond President and CEO Karl Hutter. “We look forward to working alongside the winning team’s students and Glasair’s professionals during the aircraft build. When it’s done, we will utilize this aircraft as an ambassador of the general aviation industry to attract, educate and inspire the next generation of aerospace leaders, exposing them to great career opportunities and encouraging them to experience flight firsthand.”
“Glasair is once again honored to be part of the Aviation Design Challenge. Everyone at Glasair is looking forward to hosting the winning students next June,” said Nigel Mott, president of Glasair Aviation USA, LLC. “This year we have the further privilege of working with the Click Bond team. We will be able to use Click Bond’s innovative products while building their Sportsman 2+2 and then incorporate them into our design as we move toward Part 23 Certification of the Sportsman 2+2 aircraft.”