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Great American Aero Derby teaches aviation skill, thrills

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and AeroRacers Inc. have teamed up once again to bring the world of aviation to middle school and high school students.

The 2007 Great American Aero Derby competition will be Saturday, July 14, at the ERAU-Prescott campus.

The GAAD program is an outdoorflightcompetition for glider and rubber band-powered aircraft. All aircraft must meet strict construction guidelines that encourage ingenuity and skill.

GAAD entrants compete by age groups. The Gold Division consists of high school students (ages 15-18) and the Silver Division comprises middle school students (ages 11- 14). Each division will fly glider and rubber bandpowered aircraft. Competitors are responsible for ordering, building and decorating their aircraft within the competition guidelines (available at

ERAU also will offer a five-day Aero Derby Summer Camp from July 9 to July 14. Participants may take part in the Residential Camp or the Day Camp. During the Residential Camp, participants stay in campus residence halls at the university.

The camps introduce students and educators to aviation fundamentals. Students will build AeroRacers models, learning the basics of aerodynamics, model construction, setup and flight optimization.

ERAU will offer tours of the Prescott campus so students may experience what the campus offers.

Additional activities during the camp will include use of ERAU's wind tunnel, the state-of-the-art flight simulators and training devices, and a tour of the meteorological observation equipment on the campus.

The camp will end with the Great American Aero Derby from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 14. Students will use their AeroRacer models to compete for a variety of awards and prizes, including more than $20,000 in Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University tuition scholarships.

More information is available at

or by calling 1- 866-359-4223, direct line (928) 777-3919.


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