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| Isaac Windes | General STEM News
Dragon 1, an aircraft built by Southwest High School students, takes its inaugural flight at Stinson Municipal Airport on Monday. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

Ready for liftoff: Southwest HS students witness the plane they built soar into the sky

A student mariachi band broke into song and cheerleaders shook pompoms on a crisp Monday morning as the single propeller on Dragon 1, a small airplane built by Southwest High School students, roared to life before taking off on its first official flight.

Students, teachers and district administrators cheered as the two-seat RV-12iS Special Light Sport Aircraft circled the skies above the Stinson Municipal Airport and performed several touch-and-go landings.

The occasion marked the culmination of more than four years of work by more than 180 students who participated in aviation program at the high school. Launched in 2018, it is the only such program in the state to have built a plane from scratch in this manner, according to officials.

The aircraft was constructed from a kit under the direction of instructor Rudolfo Urby, who has since moved on to teach physics, and Bob Franz, a district STEM consultant, as well as a rotating cast of maintenance instructors.

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