Rural Missouri - June 2021 - 27

"

"

They fall in love with what we
call 'shoulder time,' where people
are next to each other engaging in
a common activity. That's the goal.
Our tool is airplanes.
- Josh Bixler

learn at an accelerated rate. "
John also brought innovations to the table, including laser cutting
the assembly instructions into the foam pieces in a process called symbol mapping. The " fly-roglyphics " negate the need for a separate paper
instruction manual and allow more advanced builders to focus on the
parts of the tutorial YouTube videos where they need a few pointers.
With an expanded manufacturing facility he hopes to add waterproof,
color-printed pieces to the menu of options, which gives builders another choice if they don't want to paint their own design.
First in line is a re-creation of his uncle, Walter Thies' Grumman
F6F Hellcat complete with the original paint scheme, tail number and
palm leaves along the wings paying tribute to his stories of strafing
runs in the Pacific Theater. The same process, John says, could be
applied to celebrate the planes of other veterans. " History is being lost,
and we need to find those neat stories or very specific things that happened to their aircraft we can represent on a skin. "
Replicating his own entry into the world of Flite Test, John also
holds free events at the Fayette facility, showing eager and determined
pilots the joys of flying RC planes and penny gliders. Stacks of lasercut boards cover the shop tables, and by the end of the day there are a
lot of foam F-16s and even more smiles.
Next on Flite Test's horizon is educating the next generation of pilots
and engineers. To that end, the company hired teachers to help create
a science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, lesson
plan for K-12 students. The aviation-based curriculum also incorporates robotics, physics and literacy lessons and bases problem solving
around engineering design. The program is taught by 700 teachers to
more than 3,000 students plus home-schoolers in the U.S., Europe
and Australia. Josh says students have not only gone on to study aviation in college but also are bringing that passion for the hobby home.
With John's facility aiding production, he hopes to grow enrollment in
the course in coming years.
" Everyone has the desire to build a family relationship, and this helps that process, "
Josh says. " You can learn to encourage, laugh, fail, assess things and make
memories along the way. "
For more information about Flite Test, visit www.FliteTest.com, subscribe on YouTube
or follow on social media.

Fayette

Right from top: Once John's design is set, lasers cut each piece and engrave
directions in a process called symbol mapping. The " fly-roglyphics " are a built-in
instruction manual for assembly. John and Josh shoot a tutorial for Flite Test's YouTube
page in one hangar of the Fayette shop. The channel boasts nearly 2 million subscribers.
JUNE 2021 | RURALMISSOURI.COOP

27


http://www.FliteTest.com http://www.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Rural Missouri - June 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - June 2021

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Rural Missouri - June 2021 - Contents
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