“In video games you can go as fast you want to, and turn on a dime. In a flight simulator, if you go too fast and turn too hard, there is a force called G which comes into play. So if you’re going 1,000 mph and you pull a left turn and make about 4Gs, that’s about four times your weight,” said Ben Walker, Jr. of Charles H. Flowers High school explaining how to use the flight simulation software, Falcon 4.0: Allied Force. “So say if I weigh about 250 pounds and put on 4Gs, that’s the equivalent of 1,000 pounds. If you pull too many Gs, all of the blood will rush from your brain and go to your feet,” Mr. Walker continued. “You’ll be able to hear and talk, but you won’t be able to see, in addition to potentially damaging the aircraft.”
On Saturday Nov. 21, the Patriots Technology Training Center hosted a Flight Simulation workshop at Charles H. Flowers High School. The workshop was the first of many to be held at several local schools, to prepare its teams for the Technology Center’s 2016 Flight Competition. In addition to an introduction to Falcon 4.0, the student participants also learned about the Physics of flight. Throughout the workshop, they interacted with retired and current aviators including: Ben Walker Sr., Major Patrick Stovall, and Captain Andres Delgado of the United States Coast Guard. In addition to discussing his own career in flight, Captain Delgado actively promoted the Coast Guard’s College Student Pre-Commission Initiative scholarship program (CSPI), which is designed to help students at minority serving institutions afford their educations.
“In aviation we call gravity Weight. When climbing, your Lift must be greater than your Weight,” said Major Stovall explaining the components of flight, which also include Drag and Thrust. “If I am flying along, and air is hitting the bottom of my wing, it will push the plane up. That’s called Dynamic Lift. The majority of the lift however is due to Bernullian Lift,” he continued. Major Stovall, now a teacher at Charles H. Flowers High School, gave an interactive discussion about Aerodynamics, the first of many in the trainings for the competition. Afterwards, the students began familiarizing themselves with Falcon 4.0, which they will practice with throughout the school year.
“The Patriots Technology Training Center hosts several competitions. This one involves Flight Simulation,” said the Center’s Founder and President, Thurman Jones. “Anything you want to get into, you need to research. In this competition the students thus have to do a Research Paper and a Poster on an Aerospace career. They then have to give a five minute presentation to industry representatives. These representatives can be from: the CIA, the Federal Aviation Administration, Hispanics in Aerospace, the Navy, and Northrup Grumman among others.
“Lastly the students will fly a mission. Ben Walker, Jr. has been flying since he was eight years old and his father Ben, Sr. is a former pilot who has been involved with us since his son first participated in the competition. He understands the software because he’s been around it his entire life. He’s the Chair of the Flight Competition and shows the students how to fly the missions. Johnny Martin, the Chair of the Patriots Technology Training Center works for Vencore, and he builds the simulators. Southwest once again is flying the five winning students and their parents to their headquarters in Dallas, Texas.
“We also do Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) competitions on: Cybersecurity, the Biomedical Sciences, Amusement Parks, and Engine building. I’m a former football player so I like competitions. I wasn’t an A student, so I figure that if we work in teams, one person might be a better speaker, one might be a better researcher, while someone else might me more artistic. We have an annual Youth Summit at Bowie State University. We have a Video Gaming Conference in November, and we meet every third Saturday at Prince Georges Community College.”
To learn more about the Patriots Technology Training Center, go to: https://www.patriots-ttc.org/.