Delta Dart Day at the MIT Museum
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[Courtesy of Joel Foner, joel.foner "at", June 1999]

One day Pete Young had an idea.  Maybe it would be interesting to sponsor an event day at the MIT Museum, which was starting a public awareness compaign...  So this idea turned into a Sunday afternoon at the MIT Museum where CRRC club members would assist anyone who walked in to build a flyable Delta Dart (the AMA design).

The big day was scheduled for February 28, 1999.  Then we found out a day before the event that the event was picked up by the Boston Globe, and featured as a "Globe hot pick" for the weekend.  In addition, it was a drizzly day, and boy, the turnout was unbelievable.

Pete had ordered something like 50 kits, and they were all gone by the end of the afternoon!

The "camp counselors" for the event were Vince Massa (CRRC club member), Erik Bailey (an MIT Aero-Astro grad student), Ernest Aguayo (MIT Aero-Astro staff) and Joel Foner (me).  When we setting up the room, and for the first 15 minutes or so, it looked like there would only be a few people to handle.  Then we walked down the hall to look around the museum for a couple minutes, and when we came back, "kapow" - there were about 10 people raring to go, and then minutes later there were 20, and then we lost track.

Here are some pictures I grabbed throughout the afternoon (click on the small thumbnail images to see full-size pictures).

990228_mitmuseum_fast1.jpg (61005 bytes)
Here's how the afternoon began - how do all these sticks go together?
990228_mitmuseum_fast2.jpg (64907 bytes)
After a half-hour, it was clear we needed to spread out.  The museum had set up a table in the next room, and this was the overflow from the first room - building away.
990228_mitmuseum_fast3.jpg (45899 bytes)
It was great to see parents really actively involved - they had as much fun learning to build Darts as the kids.
990228_mitmuseum_fast4.jpg (62489 bytes)
What to do while the wing joint glue is drying...  watch a video of a Japanese build-fly contest (full-size).  Wild events - human powered craft - take off from a dock over water and pedal like mad - longest distance before splashdown wins!
990228_mitmuseum_fast5.jpg (66555 bytes)
Back in the first room, this was the second contingent of builders going at it.   There was a pretty even mix of boys and girls at the event.  Some of the kids were real naturals.
990228_mitmuseum_fast6.jpg (67624 bytes)
Construction frenzy continues - here's yet another batch.
  990228_mitmuseum_fast7.jpg (37665 bytes)
Great fun for everyone - the parents, kids and museum staff raved about the event.   As best we could tell, everyone who came to the event walked away with a complete, flyable Dart - and a smile on their face.

Next time we'll bring a hundred!


This event was a real blast for everyone - maybe we should do this as an annual event?


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