Airplane GEEK

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Texas Teen Scratchbuilds Sky Pup

By Abigail Oleniczak

Gage Wirtzberger, EAA 1324792, 18, of Greenville, Texas, built a Sky Pup from scratch and plans to fly it for the first time in a month. He drove it up from Texas, and it can be seen in the Ultralights area.

Gage decided at 16 to build his own aircraft. The blue Sky Pup he built is made out of foam and wood.

Sky Pup Ultralight at AirVenture 2021

Gage’s dad flew RC aircraft and introduced the idea of airplanes to him, he said. He has about a month left until he will have earned his private pilot certificate. Gage said he wants to be sure he understands the material well before taking his test.

This is his 1st year at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2021, and he has enjoyed every minute of it. Whenever Gage brought up AirVenture, his friends always said it’s a great place to go and would get super excited about it.

Gage said what makes aviation appealing to him will be “getting off the ground and up with the birds. ”

After looking at the Titan Tornado airplane and the few others, his parents gifted the Sky Puppy plans to him for Christmas. They told your pet it was easy to build and the safest one to fly.

It took him a little over a year to develop, and he worked at a chicken farm for two years to afford the materials. Locating the material and avionics took a lot of research, time, plus money, he said. The foam needed to be in least 2 inches thick because of the heat in Texas.

For his future, Gauge said he may do oil line flying or possibly go to college for an engineering degree.

He desires to get the Sky Puppy dog up as soon as possible and appreciates the help he had building this from his dad in addition to little sister in their shop.

“It was definitely a family project, ” Gage said.

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