• AirVenture 2018 had all descriptions of aircraft on display. (Kreisha Ballantyne)
    AirVenture 2018 had all descriptions of aircraft on display. (Kreisha Ballantyne)

AirVenture Australia will focus on encouraging youth in aviation and particularly on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines during the three-day national fly-in later this month.

AirVenture Australia is scheduled for Parkes Airport 20-22 September. It is a national gathering of all general aviation sectors with an exhibition, seminars and a weekend air show featuring the RAAF.

The event will also feature 25 school students from across Australia building a Bushcat aircraft from a kit in only seven days. The Bushcat is due to make its maiden flight at AirVenture.

“Numerous high quality applications to take part in the build had been received from all over Australia," said AirVenture Director David Young. "We had a tough time selecting the successful applicants to complete the build. It’s really overwhelming to see so much interest in the work experience program from Australia’s future aviation professionals.

"If the quality of the applications we received is any indication of the next generation of aviation in Australia, the industry will be in good hands."

An extensive day-long aviation careers and STEM engagement program, consisting of six, one-hour programs is designed to engage young people in the STEM disciplines. Participating students will select four to complete. Activities range from airfoil construction to software coding and aerodynamics, giving students a broad exposure to industry occupations and concepts.

The program will have access to a full motion flight simulator and instructor to give aspiring pilots the opportunity to experience simulated flight.

Young said that he was thrilled with the response the event has received overall, particularly from sponsors and exhibiting companies.

“The event was almost at capacity with a record number of sponsors and exhibitors getting behind this year’s event. We will be hosting over 60 educational events with in excess of 60 event exhibitors and food vendors.The Parkes Shire Council and its team of event specialists have been outstanding to work with and have welcomed AirVenture Australia to Parkes with open arms."

Young said he was expected over 400 aircraft to fly in to Parkes over the three days.

More information about AirVenture Australia is on the event website.

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