Watson Ranch Aviation Project-WRAP

Help us inspire the next generation through the epic adventure of building and flying an actual airplane! We have built the base...now it is time to launch this thing! The first step: We need your help to incorporate as a non-profit corporation.

The filing fee for federal tax exemption is $850. Add state filing fees and fees for legal advice and we will need $1500 to turn this ambitious dream into a reality. Once WRAP is a legitimate non-profit, all future funding will go to materials, tools, and facilities for our project. Also, once we have official non-profit status, your future donations will have the added benefit (to you) of being tax deductible! Our plan is to become incorporated and apply for tax exemption BEFORE January1, 2019. That is less than four months away. Please help us get there as quickly as possible!

The Back Story
Watson Ranch started in 2013 as a cooperative collection of homeschooling families doing general education in Lancaster, California. But when several of the fathers in such an endeavor are directly involved in the aerospace industry (engineers and test pilots), or avid general aviation buffs, the conversation naturally turns to airplanes. Throw in the fact we are all passionate about providing unique and meaningful ways to teach our kids, and the unsurprising result becomes, "Hey! Let's help the kids build an airplane!"

And There It Was...
We settled on the Pietenpol Air Camper (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pietenpol_Air_Camper ) as our first project.
The simplicity of the design allows people of all ages and all talents to find meaningful areas to develop their skills. So far, the kids have learned a variety of life-long lessons covering many more areas than simple manufacturing. In addition to learning about airplanes, the students learn program management, engineering, video and photography, teamwork, and a thousand other things. Ultimately, our Air Camper, "Desert Piet", will be an actual flying aircraft we fly to air shows so we can put the kids' talents on public display.

Progress So Far...
Since we started the Watson Ranch Aviation Project (WRAP), our kids have learned how to read technical drawings and how to use shop tools in the process of building a mock up of the fuselage/cockpit. This full-scale replica is made of cheaper pine wood and carpenter's glue, which allowed the kids to learn the construction techniques before starting on the actual aircraft build.
The Future
We started today (8 September 2018) on the build of the actual airplane. We are using aircraft grade spruce and T-88 epoxy as we begin the REAL airplane. With your help and encouragement, we will complete the entire aircraft over the next two school years. We will build the entire airframe from aircraft spruce and epoxy and then cover everything with fabric. At the same time we are building the airframe, we will also be rebuilding an engine to use as the power plant for Desert Piet. Once fully assembled, we will write a Test Plan and Safety Package in preparation for our initial flight tests. After we thoroughly test the aircraft, we will be able to tour the skies in our pride and joy!

If you care to join us in our grand adventure, we pledge to keep you updated with stories, photos and videos through every step. Please help motivate the next generation to take on complex projects while exploring new horizons. And finally, if this project stirs a sense of adventure in you, please share it with your friends...or better yet, join us!

THANK YOU for supporting WRAP!
  • Dennis Schell 
    • $50 
    • 37 mos
  • Bennett Watson 
    • $50 
    • 37 mos
  • Kit Mailen 
    • $250 
    • 37 mos
  • Rebecca Liebmann  
    • $50 
    • 37 mos
  • Brian Reel 
    • $50 
    • 37 mos
See all


Glenn Watson 
Lancaster, CA
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