Air Explorer Ratings (1954-65)

Air Explorer Ratings Requirements
1. Fulfill eight of the fourteen projects within the Rating
2. Participate in one service activity
3. Participate in one outdoor activity
4. Participate in one social activity
5. Appear before your Explorer Leaders Council for review and approval.

Any requirement marked with an asterisk (*) must be among the eight requirements completed.

*1.Using a sectional aeronautical chart, plot a triangular course with one leg at least 60 miles long, and figure magnetic headings, estimated times over well chosen check points, flying at a given airspeed with a given wind direction and speed.  Explain the problem and the solution to a group, bring out the major reasons for choosing the flight altitude of each leg and the choice of particular check points.
2. Explain why these six basic atmospheric conditions concern a pilot-- atmospheric pressure, temperature, humidity, clouds, winds, precipitation.
3. Demonstrate basic signals from pilot instructor to student pilot, and basic hand signals for handling aircraft on the ground.
4. Serve as apprentice or helper to a licensed aircraft or engine mechanic for at least four hours.
5. Name and explain the use of the minimum flight instruments necessary for safe instrument flight.  Explain the function of the gyroscope in the bank and turn indicator.
6. Explain the function of the Civil Aeronautics Administration and its rules concerning flight safety.
7. a. Point out the following on a plane, a model plane, a photography, or diagram, and explain their use: fuselage, cabin, cockpit, landing gear, struts, wheels, wheel pants, brakes, skis, engine, cowling, spinner, propeller, cylinders, wings; camber, leading and trailing edges, ailerons, flaps, slots, empennage, fin, rudder, elevator, tabs, stabilizer.
    b. Make a rough diagram distinguishing between land plane, seaplane, flying boat, amphibian, autogyro, helicopter.
8. Participate in either an Explorer activity at a civilian airport, or an Explorer Air Encampment at a United States Air Force installation.
9. Take an orientation flight in am aircraft (using Boy Scout of America Flight Form #4433 "Recognition of Flight and Explorer Passenger Release"). If possible, observe or assist the pilot or crew in preflight inspection and preparation of flight clearance.
10. Show with rough diagrams or sketches the difference between an internal combustion, turbojet, and rocket engine.  Point out the advantages of each.
11. Build a flying model plane (kit may be used) and cover with transparent material so that structure may be observed.
12. Present a list of ten historical events in aviation which you consider most important telling why they seem most important.
13. Explain the forces acting on an aircraft to include: thrust, life, drag, and gravity.
14. Identify twenty different types of aircraft used by members of the United Nations from models, photographs, silhouettes, or actual aircraft.

*1. Learn the phonetic alphabet (A-Alpha, B-Bravo, C-Cocao) and explain why it is used.
*2. a. Describe the current radio procedure that a pilot would use to:
          1) request taxis and take-off instruction
          2) request take-off clearance
          3) request landing instructions
          4) give a position report.
      b. Demonstrate with proper colored beam the basic light signals from aircraft control tower to aircraft.
3.  Explain the difference between direct and alternating current; give at least three advantages of each; and demonstrate a method of determining which kind flows in a given circuit. Make a simple electric magnet, and explain its use in a radio, buzzer, and telephone.
4. a. Demonstrate the ability to read and write a weather report, using the US Weather Bureau weather report codes, OR
    b. Name five methods of US Civil Airway Communications and explain fundamentals of their operation. OR
   c. Demonstrate in the field five ways of signaling to an airplane from the ground in case of emergency.
5.. Know the names of and recognize the International Code flags and describe or demonstrate their use to a Crew or Post.  Explain and demonstrate ship telegraph bell signals aboard ship.
6. Draw a wiring diagram of a simple receiving set for use on short-wave with vacuum tube detector and one stage amplifier.  Use correct symbols and show all essential apparatus, including antenna and telephones.  Describe each detail of apparatus and explain briefly the use of each.   Using the above diagram, explain how this radio receiving set could be made to operate also as a transmitter.
7. Construct a working radio or television receiving set and demonstrate its operation by receiving signals from at least three different stations.
8. Establish or be familiar with a Squadron or Crew emergency mobilization system with and without the use of a telephone.
9. a. Make your own equipment either for sending or receiving auditory signals by International Morse Code, and
    b. Use this equipment to send entire alphabet from memory.
10. Demonstrate the ability to send and receive by Morse Code at an average speed of not less than five word groups (five letters per group) a minute for a five minute period.
11.  Exhibit a well composed and written (or typewritten) business letter; invitation to a Unit activity; telegrams of congratulations, condolence and a business matter; and list specific information that should be included in a telephone call for a doctor in case of emergency.
12. Qualify as amateur FCC novice class radio operator.
13. Describe the difference between low frequency and VHF (very high frequency) radio transmitters and receivers.
14. Describe the responsibilities and requirements for a radio operator in commercial airlines.

1.Carve, for a flying model, two propellers having the same diameter (about 2/5 of the wing span) and approximately the same pitch, but with different blade areas.  Test in flight and report.
2. Build two simple stick flying models, one to be rise off ground and the other rise off water, and compare for take-off, speed, and stability.
3. Explain to a Crew or Squadron with rough diagrams or model the chief structural differences between rigid, semi rigid airships, non rigid blimps, free and captive balloons, pointing out the advantages and uses of each.
4. Demonstrate before a Crew or Squadron ability to start and operate a model gas engine successfully.  Show with a rough diagram the difference in the working of two cycle and four cycle engines.
5. Build a six-inch airfoil wing section of 5-inch chord and high light cambers.  Mount and demonstrate with it the principle of lift.  Submit, with explanations, a rough diagram used in explaining to another Explorer the positive forces of thrust and lift, and the negative forces of gravity and drag.
6. Investigate the various materials used in model plane building.  Build at least one flying model from material other than balsa wood.
7. Assist in decorating meeting room or room where activities will be held for Explorer social.
8. Demonstrate the use of a small wind tunnel to provide controlled air current, and show relative lift and drag on two different wing section airfoils designs.  Show design differences in camber of wings for high lift and for high speed.  Use actual airplane models or rough sketches, and explain reasons.
9. Build one of the following:
 1) An airfoil pressure manometer testing set;
 2) A demonstration wind tunnel, any design;
 3) A model of any historical plane
10. Report on the top speed and non-stop endurance records of at least three types of aircraft, telling any interesting incidents or stories related to the records.
11. Construct a flying model, using any type of power, and fly it in competition.
12. Construct a gas model airplane, meeting Academy of Model Aeronautics Design requirements, and fly it in a sponsored contest.  OR build a stick model and a hand launched glider to AMA rules and fly both in a sponsored contest.
13. Make working drawings, to accurate scale, for a model airplane.
14. Demonstrate the principle of jet aircraft and the effect of altitude on the operation of the engine.

Emergency Skills
*1. Demonstrate on others and yourself how to improvise on the trail, sterile dressings for stings, burns, cuts and other wounds; splints; non equipment snakebite treatment; emergency trail handling of shock, heat exhaustion, sunstroke, freezing and poisoning.
*2. Read and report on at least one book related to survival, or on a description of the necessary preparation for a successful expedition.
*3.With a buddy, take a cross country hike of at least five miles through territory as near like wilderness as possible, making note of everything an aviator who has been forced down would use to get back to civilization.  Write a report of the trip, explaining how the aviator would find his way, what food was available, etc..
4. Qualify for First Aid Merit Badge (or the Red Cross or Bureau of Mines Standard First Aid Certification)
5. a. On a night hike, demonstrate artificial respiration and five types of emergency splinting and bandaging, done entirely in the dark.
    b. On a hike or in camp demonstrate, over an approved trail, emergency transportation of injured person by one and by two others, including the making of an emergency sling or sledge from poles, ropes, and sticks.
6. a. Know the emergency mobilization plans of your Unit, District and Local Council.
    b. Participate in a mobilization of your Unit.
    c. Discuss with your Advisor potential causes of emergencies and disasters in your community, such as flood, earthquake, storm, and power failure; discuss plans for serving in each situation.
7. Demonstrate ability, and be licensed if necessary, to render service as a messenger, or provide transportation with either: Bicycle, Horse, Boat or canoe, Motorcycle, Automobile, Motor Boat, Airplane.
8. Demonstrate ability to prepare a menu and a balanced emergency meal, such as would be served in time of disaster, for at least twenty people.
9. Demonstrate familiarity with public protection facilities afforded by your community or county, such as police, fire, and communications.  Know telephone numbers and addresses for these facilities and the best way to contact them from different locations, and the emergency services they perform.
10. Report on what provision is made by your City or County Government to protect health.
11. Qualify for Lifesaving Merit Badge (or Red Cross or YMCA Lifesaving Award)
12. Qualify for Personal Fitness Merit Badge
13. With a buddy, at night, hike from a wilderness spot where an aviator might make a forced landing, travel a distance of not less then five miles finding compass directions by stars in order to arrive at predetermined point.
14. Spend at least ten days and nights in camp, on expeditions or trips, using as many as possible of the survival techniques you have learned.

1.Build a flat working model of an internal combustion engine.  Demonstrate and explain its functions to a group of Air Explorers.
2. Show on a plan, or with sketches, or on a model, the following: blade, hub, tip, diameter, leading edge, trailing edge, blade area, blade element, pitch, slip, thrust, and torque.  Explain the general principles and advantages of adjustable, controllable, and constant speed propellers.
3. Prepare rough diagrams contrasting two and four cycle internal combustion engines.
4. Contrast airplanes and automobile engines as to 1) general lubrication, 2) fuel supply systems, including injectors and superchargers, 3) electrical systems 4) Cooling systems.
5. Make a "daily inspection" (line inspection) report of some aircraft and have it approved by a licensed pilot or mechanic.
6. Explain a lubrication diagram of any multimotor plane to a Squadron or Crew.
7. Explain on a radial type engine, or rough sketches of it, the various engine cylinder arrangements and order ot cylinder firing, showing crankshaft and connecting rod assembly and supercharger assembly. Using a diagram, mock-up or actual equipment, explain the principle and function of the turbine supercharger.
8. Assist in making, or make, a major repair on some time of internal combustion engine; or assist in taking down and reassembling an internal combustion engine, reporting on main steps.
9. Read a blueprint of a plane or engine, or a reasonably large part of either, as designated by the Counselor
10. Describe, using diagrams or rough sketches, the functions of at least five engine control instruments and list and explain some instrument errors which may occur in the use of altimeter airspeed indicator and magnetic compass.
11. Draw, repair or take down and reassemble a carburetor.
12. Using propellers or cutaway diagrams of them, show contrasting functioning of a controllable pitch and a constant speed propeller, including mechanical principles involved; or, assist in repair or reassembling of either.
13. Prepare for a debate the argument for both the affirmative and the negative side of the question: "Resolved, the liquid cooled airplane engine is superior in performance and efficiency to the air-cooled engine."
14. Make an actual, or a sample of, a skin patch on fabric and metal.

*1.Explain the general differences between locating position by pilotage, dead reckoning, radio side and by celestial observations. Demonstrate the use of pelorus, sextant or octant, and parallel rules.
*2. Draw and explain a wind triangle diagram to show how to obtain true course and ground speed when given magnetic bearing, airspeed, wind direction and wind velocity.
*3. Read the signs and symbols on an airway map, as designated by the Counselor, and tell at least five different signs that a pilot may look for on the ground to determine the ground wind condition.
4. Read road, air and topographical maps and waterway charts, and explain latitude and longitude.
5. Be able to give or read compass directions by either the old-fashioned mariner's compass points (32 only) or the azimuth or degree method.  At night make a one mile trip, cross country by compass.
6. Show the relative locations of North and South magnetic poles and the location of the agoni line in the United States.  Explain the differences and relationships between true north, magnetic north, variation and deviation.
7. On a hike, follow a compass course for at least one mile with at least four changes of direction, and submit sketch map of the route.
8. On an expedition or cruise make a sketch map of the trip, showing distances, compass bearings, important features and locations of wild life observed.
9. Using compass and maps, make his way in unfamiliar country (wilderness where possible) through three designated map points, involving a four mile circuit.
10. Draw a road map of at least five miles, showing important features within 1/4 mile of either side and all grades, bridges, and road conditions.
11. Make a map of at least one square mile of terrain showing all customary features including contours.
12. Make a chart of a body of water, lake, bay, inlet, harbor or large river, showing all the customary features, including shore line heights and depths of water.
13. Explain and demonstrate by the use of a computer the effect of different pressures and temperatures on the true airspeed as compared to indicated airspeed and altitude
14. Describe radio navigation, explaining how a navigator or pilot intercepting a radio range leg can determine his position.

Outdoor Skills
*1. a. On a hike or camp, demonstrate first aid for five injuries specified by the Counselor, and three methods of signaling aircraft from the ground.
      b. On an overnight camp, demonstrate blackout first aid including the use of three splints, five bandages, and artificial respiration.
2. Demonstrate thorough knowledge of your State fish and game laws.
3. a. Find in the field suitable local tinder and wood, and produce and use fires for boiling and broiling.
    b. Find and prepare for meal, cooked or raw, three wild edible plants or fruits.
    c. Read and report on at least one book related to survival, and a description of the necessary preparation for a successful expedition.
4. Participate in some local project concerned with fish, game, soil, or forestry conservation.
5. On three or more overnight hikes, improvise and use three each of emergency packs, beds and shelter.
6. Stalk a wild animal or bird for photographing or for bow and arrow hunting, in season; or track and trail a companion through suitable cover, keeping within sixty to one hundred feet for 1/2 mile without being detected.
7. Alone or with a buddy take and report on a two-day trip through a reasonably sparsely settled and wild territory, carrying only emergency rations and light shelter, living off the country as far as possible.
8. Make a canoe, kayak or rowboat trip of at least one week.
9. Make a cruise of at least one week in a boat under power or sail.
10. Make a five-day trail hiking expedition carrying all provisions and equipment in back pack or burro or pack horse.
11. Demonstrate ability to swim, and the best methods of rescue from water using "throw, row, or go" procedure.
12. Make a five-day horseback expedition
13. Collect from the field a minimum of fifteen edible foods; and demonstrate the use of a minimum of three different types of snares or traps for catching fish or wild animals for food in case of emergency. (Use only within local game and fish laws)
14. In a meeting with a group, discuss proper care of the hands and feet, telling how to care for the feet on a hike, how to guard against infection of the feet, and explaining the value of properly constructed shoes and the use of wool stockings.

Physical Fitness
*1. Explain to a group of Scouts the physical requirements for receiving a student's private and commercial pilot's certificate.
2. Correct for any remediable physical defects disclosed by medical examination.
3. a) Earn a letter or numeral as a participant in a High School or College sport or be a regular player on a recognized community or industrial team.
    b) Demonstrate reasonable proficiency in at least two team sports baseball, football, basketball, volleyball, soccer.
4. On a hike, expedition or cruise, demonstrate on others and self how to improvise sterile dressings, splints, non equipment snakebite treatment, emergency trail handling of shock, heat, exhaustion, sunstroke, freezing, and poisoning.
5. Run a mile in seven minutes or less, or High jump 4 1/2 feet; or broad jump 16 feet.
6. Walk at least two miles each day for two months
7. Practice a system of calisthenics for two months
8. a. Demonstrate purification of water for drinking purposes on the trail.
    b. Demonstrate method of providing of providing for the sanitary needs of a Post, Crew, or Troop in a temporary camp.
9. Know the local public health laws and those of his State and how they are enforced.
9. Demonstrate method of providing for the sanitary needs of a Post, Crew or Troop in a temporary camp.
10. Prove physical fitness by carrying out a project requiring at least fifty hours of manual labor.
11. Demonstrate reasonable proficiency in an individual sport, such as gymnastics, weight lifting, swimming, track, archery, skiing, skeet, riflery, bait casting, fly casting, orienteering.
12. Take the authorized pilot's physical examination.  Or demonstrate the use of certain physical requirements test similar to those outlined in the book "Are You Fit to be a Pilot" by Edwin L. Ray and Stanley Washborn; and explain the physical effects of altitude and speed on the pilot.
13. Explain to the members of your Squadron why it is important to be physically strong. Explain the harmful effects of tobacco and alcohol.
14. Earn the Swimming merit badge and help to direct a group in a swim party using the eight defense methods of a Troop swim.

Vocational Exploration.
*1. Explore and report in Unit meeting on qualities and preparation needed as well as the future outlook for a young man in any vocation related to aviation.
2. Visit and make a written report on the vocational opportunities in some industry or profession.
3. Explore and report at a meeting of your Crew or unit on qualities and preparation needed, as well as the future outlook for a young man in any vocation of your choosing.
4. Compare the three vocations which seem most attractive, and outline in conference with your Advisor, a practical plan a young man might follow to enter any one of them.
5. Confer with three successful business or professional men about the qualifications, opportunities, training, necessary equipment and advantage and disadvantages of their types of occupation.
6. Demonstrate familiarity with the plan of organization and program of your Local Council.
7. Determine the soil conditions of an approved soil area, reporting for what crops it is best suited, and what treatment the soil needed for improved production of one crop and prepare a plan for adequate water supply for such an area, including a summary from Weather Bureau records of the average rainfall expectation.
8. Select and develop proficiency in a hobby which might lead ot an occupation.
9. Take a standard aptitude test to determine the type of training most needed for self-improvement.
10. Carry on a money earning project successfully, such as raising of pigeons, rabbits, poultry, grain, gardens or livestock, or operate a paper route or similar enterprise.
11. Hold a job for thirty days or more, and present evidence of success.
12. Visit a farmer.  Discuss with him crops, rotation, cattle raising, sale of farm products and farm life in general, or visit a farm product wholesale house.  Discuss with the manager the buying and selling of products, factors governing prices and selection of salable goods.  Report on the requirement selected.
13. Continue in effort, alone or jointly, to do your part in helping with community affairs.  Report what non governmental agencies there are in your community which seek to benefit youth.
14. Arrange to be counseled by an educator or personnel man in the career fields in which you are interested or feel you have aptitudes for.

Weather Skills
1. Explain why a pilot is concerned with weather conditions.
2. Identify in the sky, or from photographs and sketches if necessary, the ten forms of clouds in the International Classification grouped in the four classifications: high, middle, low, and vertical.
3. Demonstrate the ability to read and write a weather report using CAA weather report codes and teach the code to at least two other people.
4. Draw and present rough outline map, marking the dense fog areas and maximum thunderstorm areas of the United States
5. Identify and explain by means of diagrams the major regions of the earth's atmosphere and heights of their boundaries.
6. Explain the color code used to indicate the different types of fronts and the various types and kinds of precipitation on a weather map.
7. Name and explain the types of precipitation and obstructions to vision given in hourly airways weather reports.
8. Explain cold and warm fronts, and their general movements and what type of general flying conditions a pilot could expect to encounter in each.
9. Explain the effect on the aircraft and engines of flying in rain, sleet, snow, hail, lightning, and fog.
10. Explain the relationship of altitude and temperature and their effect on the airspeed indicator and the air meter.
11. Visit a CAA Weather Station or a US Air Force Base Weather Station. Explain the instruments used in obtaining weather data.
12. Explain three methods of determining the "ceiling".
13. In flying from one point to another, at least 800 miles distance, determine the best route to fly when weather is your prime consideration.
14. Explain: dew point, temperature, freezing level, wind direction and velocity, visibility, VFR, IFR, low approach, GCA, ILS, and radio weather code.

Source: Air Explorer Manual, 2nd ed 1957