The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) recently announced registration for its 2018 Aviation Design Challenge has filled in record time, and that GAMA member company Click Bond, Inc. will be the owner of the Glasair Sportsman the winning high school team will help build as its prize.
“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, Inc. 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 schools 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 of the Challenge is to experience general aviation manufacturing firsthand. The prize has been held 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 plane’s owner. GAMA member companies sponsor the competition to finance the team’s travel expenses for the prize, 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.”
Click Bond, Inc. creates innovative mechanical hardware solutions, delivered through world-class manufacturing and customer support. Click Bond, Inc. is headquartered in Carson City, Nevada, with manufacturing facilities in Watertown, Connecticut, and Saltney, Wales, U.K.
“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.”
Glasair Aviation USA, LLC produces the Sportsman 2+2 aircraft kit and the Merlin Light Sport aircraft. Glasair’s manufacturing facilities are located in Arlington, Washington, where its team also assists builders with completion of their aircraft in Glasair’s Two Weeks to Taxi program.
More information about the competition organizers and partners can be found on gama.aero, clickbond.com, glasairaviation.com, flytolearn.com and x-plane.com.