Kids Building Planes

Kids love building "real" airplanes.

In 2019, John Cronin of EAA Chapter 839, felt inspired to get kids interested in aviation, by teaching them how to build an airplane. He selected the Mini-Max 1650R EROS, due to its basic, all wood construction. With plans in hand, an interested group of kids, and a boatload of patience, the “Kids Building Planes” program was born. 

Participants range in age from 10 to 18, and the main objective is to teach kids to read plans, understand aircraft structures, and develop mathematical and aerodynamics problem solving skills. They learn to use a ruler and protractor, develop wood working skills, and work safely with various tools and machinery. They also develop interpersonal skills and learn how work with others…all while having fun! In the process they experience the personal satisfaction of making a piece of the aircraft structure on their own.

Although a large majority of the airplane still needs to be built, the learning experience and enthusiasm for aviation comes from the building process. Completing the airplane isn’t the goal, rather the learning experience they take away. Whether it flies or not, the kids are still having fun learning aeronautical design and fabrication skillsets.

The Kids Building Planes activity is governed by EAA Chapter 839. All of EAA’s procedures, waivers, photo release, student/volunteer sign-in, etc. are adhered to. We also adhere to EAA’s youth protection policy to ensure the kids are safe. All students are required to take a test on tool safety which is remediated to 100 percent before they start work. 

John has been a Captain for a major airline for over 30 years and manages all aspects of our Kids Building Planes program. Learn more about, or follow the Mini-Max project on John's website by clicking here.


Regular meetings are every 2nd Wednesday of the month. Start time is seasonal as follows: Summer (May thru Sep) 8 pmWinter (Oct thru April) 7 pm Social hour starts one hour before the meeting. Come join us for some food and camaraderie.

Social Media


Visit Us

By Air

By Land