Ben Thomson and Lee Wang - Air Hare


Ben Thomson and Lee Wang, two high school students, have worked together to develop the "Air Hare" as a Eli Whitney Museum project. Both Lee and Ben collaborated on the design; Lee did most of the CAD work and Ben has prepared these instructions. Both are obviously excellent modelers, but, even more critically, both are excellent teachers and mentors of younger children. Working as instructors in the museum's summer aeromodeling program, they found the need for a better "2nd model." The "Air Hare" is designed to meet the needs of students building their first built-up structure.

Air Hare Kit features laser cut parts and instructions on CD ROM.

Letter I received with Air Hare Kit:

February 11, 2002

Dear Mr. Kuhl;

Enclosed is our entry for the design contest. The CD-ROM has illustrated instructions and pictures of the plane flying. Thank you for having this design competition. We probably wouldn't have finished at this time without the added impetus from your contest.

We started this project early in the fall at the urging of Mr. Ellis. Both Lee Wang and I work for Mr. Ellis in the aeromodeling summer program at the museum. We have been frustrated with the kits available for novice builders and designed the "Air Hare" to meet this need.

We are now ready, or almost ready, for production. The kits will be available through the museum at a price of $12. There will be an additional charge of $5 for packaging and ground shipping charges and Connecticut residents will need to add $.72 for sales tax. Discounts will be available for large orders for youth programs. The members of our aeromodeling club the Wilbur and Orville Society will be doing all the work in assembling these kits and the proceeds will go to support our activities.

Thank you for organizing this contest. Enjoy your "Air Hare" and please get back to us with any corrections or comments that will help us make it better.


 Ben Thomson and Lee Wang

Interesting Links to Eli Whitney Museum for Aero Modelers

Project Launch: aeromodeling

Wilber & Orville Society -

The instructions for the Air Hare came out on a CD ROM in html format.  Many pictures and diagrams as well as explanations by corresponding pictures are included.  A small sampling of  the contents of the CD is included below:

Picture shows all the laser-cut parts in the kit and identifies their use.


Sample of Wing Instructions

You have received four sheets of plans with your kit. Tape the right wing plan onto your piece of cardboard with masking tape, being careful not to cover any lines.

Rub a paraffin candle all over the plan, paying special attention to the lines.


Whenever you start a new frame you will tape the plan over the old one and rub it with the candle.

Airfoil Diagram

This diagram shows how the leading and trailing edge should be sanded to achieve proper airfoil shape.


The pylon assembly, note the use of interlocking parts.

Close-up of the prop assembly.



Example of using glue stick to adhere covering to stab. Diagram of the Air Hare from the side including CG location.


Bill Kuhl's Notes on the Air Hare

This is one nice kit, the design is such that the parts are interlocking and alignment is simple. Wood is of good quality.  Wing is adjustable with a sliding pylon fastened by small rubber bands. The structures are lightweight yet very rigid.