I have found the Aviation Merit Badge to be one of the more challenging merit badges American Heritage Girls has to offer. It requires a lot of technical knowledge to be able to teach it, or a good hands-on museum. But, considering today is Amelia Earhart’s Birthday, I wanted to offer some assistance for those working on this badge.
Optional Requirement Seventeen, asks the girls to compare the size of an airplane to that of a standard 20 foot square garage. I thought I would help other leaders by providing the information* you need to complete this.
- A Boeing 747 is 232 feet long with a wing span of 196 feet
- A Cessna Citation Jet is 43 feet long and has a 47 foot wingspan (this small jet holds 3-9 passengers)
- The Wright Brother’s first glider in 1900 was 11.5 feet and had a wingspan of 17.5 feet
Finding a field large enough to mark off a Boeing 747 may be difficult. However, girls at this age should be able to grasp the size of an airplane using graph paper and comparing it to common items such as a minivan (Dodge Caravan measures 203″ X 77″). A Cessna should be able to fit in most parking lots. and may help the girls to grasp its size.
NOTE: The requirements have been simplified here. Please be sure to read the full text in the Girl Handbook to make sure you fully understand the requirements.
*information obtained from Wikipedia