Our Story

Founded in 2009, Fly to Learn has to date touched more than 125,000 Middle School and High School students located across the United States. Our passion is to introduce a fun and unique way to learn about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math through the use of the world-renowned flight simulator, X-Plane. This simulator has been continuously in use by private, military and airline pilots as well as Aeronautical Engineers and aviation enthusiasts for more than 30 years. More than 9 million users have used X-Plane to help them design, flight-test, fly and improve their pilot skills, or just to have fun flying airplanes anywhere on Earth.

Now students from all over the world can use X-Plane as a fascinating tool to to learn about things like Newton’s Laws, Conservation of Energy, Conservation of Momentum, Motion, Forces and Acceleration, Force Balance Equations, the Engineering Method and more with Fly to Learn.

The program culminates each year with students signing up for the optional Aviation Challenge, sponsored by GAMA. In this program, teams of students compete with other teams who have also gone through the Fly to Learn program to modify (Middle School Students) or design from scratch (High School Students) an airplane to best deliver a payload over a prescribed course in the least amount of time possible while burning the least amount of fuel. Our program teaches students to use the Engineering Method to design, build, test and then reiterate the design to obtain the best score. It teaches students to think outside the box and get creative to best their competition and take home the grand prize, an all-expense-paid trip to build a real airplane.

Team

Randy Witt

Mechanical Engineer and Pilot involved with aviation since 1986. Works day to day with X-Plane and developed the concept of creating an X-Plane based Aviation focused STEM program.  

Tom Dubick

Experienced Science, Technology, Engineering and Math educator with over twenty-eight years of experience as a teacher and an engineering evangelist who has promoted S.T.E.M. education in and outside of the k-12 classroom. He has created, developed, and implemented innovative curricula in his own classroom and across the country.

Who we’ve worked with

PLTW

PLTW

300+ School Districts

Science standards

The goal of Fly To Learn is to introduce curricula that enhance the content of courses you are already teaching. The “ball rolling down the ramp “ method for teaching acceleration is inadequate in a world of Xbox and Facebook. Students want to be active learners performing labs that are relevant.. TPotential energy is not a boring term when a virtual student pilot trades off altitude (potential energy) for air speed (kinetic energy). These curricula will be so relevant and exciting your problem will be getting the kids to leave your class, not answering students’ questions about the need for doing a lab.. TWe will align our content and curricula along with the new national S.T.E.M. standards being developed by the National Science Teachers’ Association and others.   Download our National Science Standards brochure

Technical Requirements

X-Plane 9

For newer computers

  • Macintosh, Windows and Linux
  • 2 GHz processor
  • 2 GB RAM (physical memory)
  • 64 MB VRAM (video memory on your video card)
  • 10 GB of hard drive space

X-Plane 7

For older computers

  • • Macintosh and Windows
  • 800 MHz processor
  • 500 MB RAM (physical memory)
  • 8 MB VRAM (video memory on your video card)
  • 2 GB of hard drive space

Build airplanes with your students.

Help your students learn S.T.E.M by designing, building, and flying virtual airplanes. Order Online