FIRST FLIGHT, N.C. (WAVY) – A new aviation class at First Flight High School in Dare County, N.C. will offer students the chance to build a FAA-certified airplane.

It will use Tango Flight’s hands-on curriculum.

Juniors and seniors at First Flight can register for the two-year pilot program in February, and the class begins at the start of the 2023-2024 school year. It will take place on the Wright Brothers National Memorial grounds.

“Where the first airplane was built and successfully flown, almost 120 years later our students have the opportunity to build their first airplane,” said Dr. Shannon Castillo, director of career and technical education and administrative services.

In the two-year program, students will build a Van’s RV-12iS model aircraft, a two-seat all-metal side-by-side airplane, using Tango Flight’s curriculum and build kit.

The class will also give students an introduction to disciplines such as aerospace, electrical, mechanical, manufacturing and design engineering.

“We are beyond excited to be able to offer our students the opportunity to follow in the Wright Brother’s footsteps, on the same plot of land where powered flight first began,” said Dare County Schools Superintendent Steve Basnight. “This program connects our heritage with our future. The dream that the Wright Brothers had, is being reborn for these aviators of tomorrow right here in our schools. It just doesn’t get any better than that.”

The building of the airplane is expected to reinforce STEM principles and objectives. After extensive testing and FAA certification, each student involved in the project will be invited to ride in the plane, which will be piloted by a Tango Flight member.

“We believe we have such a strong aviation presence in the Outer Banks that value the next generation continuing in aviation,” Castillo said, “that we will have some amazing community partnerships and volunteers to mentor our students.”