Watson Ranch Aviation Project-WRAP

$1,600 of $1,500 goal

Raised by 17 people in 10 months
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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!
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You guys are phenomenal!!!! We hit (and exceeded) our goal in less than three days! We are so grateful for generosity and so inspired by your enthusiasm! We have enough now to make this a legitimate non-profit quickly. I have had the first meeting with our advisory CPA and I am confident we will be up and running with the proper organizational structure.

Since you were so generous, we will be able to use any funds remaining after establishing our non-profit to purchase additional building materials for Desert Piet.

Since we have exceeded our initial goal, I will be shutting down the donations on this campaign until we have formed the non-profit corporation. As soon as the paperwork is filed and we are legally able to accept tax-free donations, we will roll out a new campaign with a new goal and new updates for all of you. In the meantime, thank you again for your most generous support!

We are overjoyed to build and fly!
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WooHoo! You guys rock!! Less than 48 hours and we have reached our goal! The appointment with our advisory CPA is this Wednesday. We will be submitting our Articles of Incorporation and other required paperwork very shortly. I am truly humbled (again and again) by your trust and generosity.

As promised, here is the story of "Desert Piet":

There is an old folk song called "Desert Pete", originally released by The Kingston Trio in 1963. The lyrics are a story of a weary traveler who is crossing a huge desert. As he grows more and more tired and hot, the traveler stumbles across a lone water pump in the middle of the vast wasteland. At first, the traveler cannot believe his eyes. He even thinks the water pump is a mirage, but he soon finds a note explaining how to use the small jar of water nearby to prime the pump. The note cautions the reader not to drink the water found in the jar, but instead to pour the water into the pump so the pump could yield even more water.

The chorus gives the listener the lesson contained in the song...

"You've got to prime the pump, you must have faith and believe.
You've got to give of yourself ‘fore you're worthy to receive.
Drink all the water you can hold, wash your face, cool your feet.
Leave the bottle full for others, thank you kindly, desert Pete."

I believed this was a great foundational concept to impart through this project.

Lancaster, California...our home base...is in the middle of the Mojave Desert, an admittedly desolate place. In the heart of this desert, WRAP was looking to be a source of refreshment and rejuvenation for many people and in many respects. Add to all this the fact our chosen project was originally designed and built by a man named Bernard Pietenpol and we arrive at the perfect moniker for our aircraft..."Desert Piet".

If you take a look at the patch we have designed, you will see the symbolism and iconography contained within. Mr. Pietenpol is at the controls of an aircraft flying over a desert. There is a lonely water pump in the middle of that desert. The house in the background is our homestead, Watson Ranch. And as everybody in flight test knows...it is not a REAL program until you have a suitable patch to adorn your flight suit!

Thank you again for your stupendous support!! We will be good stewards of your trust as we strive to "leave the bottle full for others"!

Doc Watson
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Wow!!! You guys are super awesome! In less than 24 hours, you have already gotten WRAP halfway to our initial goal. To get us started, I have made an appointment with a CPA who specializes in helping fledgling non-profit organizations like ours get off on the right foot.

If you propel us beyond our initial goal, we will buy the parts we need to build the fuselage (body of the airplane). Keep the momentum going within your networks. Help WRAP show these kids and everyone they touch what it means to be passionate! As soon as we get the required funding for forming the non-profit, I will update our goal and share the fantastic news with all of you here.

I am truly humbled by your outpouring of support for our project. We look forward to a long and exciting relationship with each of you as we move toward the dream of flying the airplane built by a bunch of kids. If you would like to keep up with our story, look for the Watson Ranch Aviation Project on Facebook and Like us and Follow us!

Once we meet our initial funding goal, I will share with you the story of how we decided on the name "Desert Piet" for our first project.

Thank all of you! You each personify the exact spirit and values we are trying to impart to the next generation!
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$1,600 of $1,500 goal

Raised by 17 people in 10 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
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Dennis Schell
10 months ago
Bennett Watson
10 months ago
Kit Mailen
10 months ago
Rebecca Liebmann
10 months ago
Brian Reel
10 months ago
Edgar Knouse
10 months ago
Gauntlet Aerospace
10 months ago
michael munizzi
10 months ago
Richard Fellows
10 months ago
Robert Jeffrey
10 months ago
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