Claremore Daily Progress


May 20, 2013

NTC Rattlers take off at Speedfest


The Rattlers from the Environmental and Spatial Technology (EAST) Program at Northeast Technology Center’s Claremore Campus recently bared their fangs at the Speedfest III competition in Stillwater.  
Speedfest is an exciting, high-speed aircraft design competition which is intended to foster enthusiasm for aviation and unmanned aircraft design. The event has been called the Superbowl of remote-controlled flying. The competition consisted of plane inspections on April 19, with the flying taking place on April 20.  
There were 11 teams that competed at Speedfest III. Each team was given a kit and an engine that had to be assembled and tested before the competition. The Rattlers team was made up of three EAST students, Trevor Perkins and Dalton McKnight, both from Oologah-Talala High School, and Tyler Jones, from Foyil High School. Perkins served as the team’s caller and builder and McKnight and Jones were the flagmen.  
“This competition is the stepping stone for more generations of students who have an interest in model aeronautics and who love hands-on work,” said McKnight. “We want to show them that this program is more than just sitting at a computer for three hours.”
The students were provided mentorship from 30-year remote-control expert, Steve Hadley.  
“We were excited about the opportunity, but we really needed a mentor who knew what he was doing,” said McKnight. “A couple days later, a student mentioned that his father’s friend is a remote-controlled plane expert. We made contact with him about a week later, he showed up at school and we started on our adventure.”
The students also recruited a friend of Hadley’s and remote-controlled pylon racer Mark Quesinbery to pilot the plane at the        competition. 
The Rattlers flew five rounds that consisted of four heats; each heat consisted of three teams.  In every round, the NTC Rattlers scored 12 laps in two minutes, which was only one lap shy of being even with the winning team.

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