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Press Release: Google Inc. Charitable Giving Fund of the Tides Foundation presents grant to BRAVO 369 Flight Foundation

Grant by Google to be used for Flight for Education project and development of Interactive Flight Experience Technology.

Ferndale, WA- December 24, 2010

The BRAVO 369 Flight Foundation announced today that it has received a grant from the Google Inc. Charitable Giving Fund that will be used to support the “Flight for Education” program.

A 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, the BRAVO 369 Flight Foundation’s mission is to provide full spectrum educational opportunities to schools and the public through a series of interactive aviation projects and to preserve aviation history and historic aircraft.

One such project currently underway is the Flight for Education which will allow students and teachers everywhere to actively participate in a historic flight from Bellingham, Washington to Provideniya, Russia, using the WWII Lend-Lease Air Route. Utilizing a revolutionary new flight simulation interface with a historic 1943 Boeing Stearman open cockpit biplane, the project will bring the magic of flight into the home and classroom, providing an exciting “hands-on” learning environment where students can virtually fly along, having very similar views, in real time, just as if they are in the cockpit.

The emphasis of this program is to inspire students to be excited about school, stay engaged in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) subjects and to seek post secondary education and careers in Aerospace, Engineering and Technology.

Jeff Geer, President and Chairman of the BRAVO 369 Flight Foundation, said “We are very excited that Google Inc. has awarded this generous grant. This will allow us to move forward with The Flight for Education as well as further develop the flight simulation interface. Google’s support provides a wonderful opportunity for us to reach out to more kids and schools as well as grow our education program.”

One of the schools involved with BRAVO 369 since the beginning has been Mossyrock School District in Washington State. These dedicated educators have been responsible for the project’s curriculum development and have earned two grants under the Microsoft Peer Coaching Program known as “Enhanced Education Through Technology” (EETT).

“It’s all about engaging the students” said Geer. “By introducing this new and fascinating technology, the BRAVO 369 Flight Foundation will help teachers take education to a new level by stimulating young minds and bringing a unique and historic flight into the home and classroom. The exciting part is that it is open to any school that wishes to participate and the already-developed curriculum templates are free to use or they can be tailored to individual classroom needs. Either way, we are here to lend support and to involve as many schools as possible in this project.”

Other schools and organizations that have joined BRAVO 369’s Flight for Education program include Aviation High School in Seattle, and Washington Aerospace Scholars (WAS), which is an education outreach program of The Museum of Flight in Seattle.

Mike Meade, Software Engineer for Google Inc. in Kirkland, Washington has been working with the BRAVO 369 Flight Foundation since the beginning of 2010 developing the InFightXT (Interactive Flight Experience Technology). According to Geer, “This avionics interface will allow anyone with a PC or Smartphone to follow our flight in real-time. It is not just a moving dot on a map! This is full motion vision of the flight using Google Earth and other readily available flight simulation software. What’s so exciting about this is it is a first for this type of technology to be developed for General Aviation purposes. We also plan to provide in-flight audio from communications with air traffic control, our chase and support aircraft, and command center.”

BRAVO 369 plans to begin its flight test program in the spring of 2011 in preparation of a cross-country test flight to Great Falls, Montana. “The purpose of the flight test is to validate the InFlightXT avionics interface and to provide a test of aircraft, crew, and logistics in preparation of the 2012 flight to Alaska and Russia. The test flight will also allow us to begin our interaction with schools through InFlightXT and Google Earth. We want to get the schools and kids involved at the early stages of this project, having them be our test engineers and tell us what is working for them and what isn’t. By involving kids and teachers in this manner, they become part of the actual technology development – it’s their program as much as it is ours” said Geer.

In addition to STEM subjects, there will be lessons in history and geography as we travel along the WWII Lend-Lease route to Alaska. Very few people know that the development of the Lend-Lease Northern Aircraft Ferrying Route was an important part of the war effort and that it resulted in the development of the ALCAN Highway System – something that is rarely mentioned in the history books.

The BRAVO 369 Flight Foundation is seeking additional financial support for its Flight for Education program. Donors and corporate sponsors that are interested in supporting this program are encouraged to contact the foundation through its web site to learn how they can help. For more information about BRAVO 369 and the Flight for Education, please visit www.bravo369.org

BRAVO 369 Flight Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. The main objective of the Flight for Education is to offer a unique educational opportunity for students and teachers everywhere to actively participate in a historic flight from Bellingham, Washington to Provideniya, Russia, using the WWII Lend-Lease Air Route, in a 1943 Boeing Stearman open cockpit biplane. The Foundation will also offer scholarship programs as well as additional educational flight projects and programs beyond the Flight for Education.

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