The Muffin (who is also my husband) happens to be a veteran of the United States Air Force. He wasn’t a pilot, but did order parts for those big aircraft. He has always been able to identify different kinds of planes and such…which I suppose happens when your job in the Air Force is to keep them in parts. As a result, our family has always had a fondness for air planes. Not that any of us are frequent flyers…but when I was given a chance to review a 6-month Aviation Course from Doctor Aviation I jumped at the chance.
The Doctor Aviation Course is an online subscription that consists of video lessons, guided notes and other activities. Doctor Aviation is also known as Daryl Smith. This bright fella attended the Air Force Academy in Colorado when he was 18. He also served as an instructor and research pilot with the Air Force during the Star Wars Program era. Needless to say, Doctor Aviation knows his stuff.
The course is intended for High School aged kiddos and adults, but can be used with a variety of age groups (with some modifications). A BIG plus for us is that it can be used for a High School credit course. How fun and awesome is that!
You, of course, will need a trusty internet connection and a way to listen and view the lessons. I didn’t have to install anything special on my computer to make the videos run. There are Guided Notes and other activities to download and print off, but even those aren’t lengthy…which will save your ink.
The course contains the following:
Session 1 Course Overview: The Aviation System
I. The Aircraft
Session 2 The Major Components of an Airplane
Session 3 Axes and Forces
Session 4 Why an Aircraft Flies: The Secret of Airfoils and Lift
Session 5 Why an Aircraft Turns, Pitches and Slides: The Flight Controls
II. Air Traffic Control
Session 6 How We See an Aircraft Miles Away: The Secrets of Radar
Session 7 The Air Traffic Cops: How Air Traffic Control Works
Session 8 Keep ‘Em Flying: Aircraft Maintenance – Propeller Engines
Session 9 Keep ‘Em Flying: Aircraft Maintenance – Jet Engines
IV. Airfield Operations
Session 10 The City in and of Itself: Running a Large Airport
Session 11 The Small Airport and Running an FBO
V. The Aircraft II
Session 12 Flying in the Clear and Not so Clear Air: VMC and IMC
Session 13 Important Pilot Instruments – Attitude Indicator
Session 14 Important Pilot Instruments – Airspeed Indicator
Session 15 Other Aviation Ships: Gliders, Helicopters, Airships
Each Session is divided into 3 sections.
Legendary Aircrafts and Events
I mentioned the Guided Notes before. These come as a PDF download. There is also an additional PDF, “Learn More.” The Learn More guide provides recommendations for books, videos links, hands-on activities, research and writing assignments. I love adding this sort of supplemental material to any subject so this was great for us. There ARE tests and further instructions if using the course for a High School Credit.
This course is SO MUCH FUN! Doctor Aviation brought to light some fascinating information. And aviation is just plain cool. We found the videos to be informative and easy to listen to. Josiah is dyslexic and I worried about all the technical jargon, but the Guided Notes section was easier to follow along than I anticipated.
The “Learn More” Activities vary with each lesson, but they feature activities and links to provide the student with a complete experience. I thought they were a great mixture of fun and educational. Here are a few extension activities from Session 6.
Research the Battle of Britain and how the Chain Home was expanded during this period of time. The British used several strategies to hold off the Germans.
Do research on the comic strip L’il Abner and the Skonk Works. Try to determine when the comic strip ran and who were the main characters.
Research the Cuban Missile Crisis and the role of the U-2.
It was interesting to hear some about some of the pioneers of aviation and real life aviators. Doctor Aviation also has a blog. Recently, he had quite a bit to say about the Amelia Earhart documentary. He had some insightful and interesting comments. There are several posts concerning the documentary so check them out!
Doctor Aviation is a great course for anyone interested in flight and those who fly! You don't have to be a homeschooler!
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