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EAA Youth Art Contest Winner’s Work Becomes One-Of-A-Kind Airplane

EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. - (May 12, 2005) - The final details are being applied to a one-of-a-kind airplane project that will make a young person’s prize-winning artwork a dazzling exterior for an airplane dedicated to EAA’s renowned Young Eagles program.

EAA, Scheme Designers of Cresskill, N.J., and Gulfstream Aviation’s maintenance facility in Appleton, Wis., have teamed to apply the artwork of 17-year-old Aaron Mentkowski to a GlaStar aircraft. Mentkowski, of Bay Village, Ohio, won this year’s EAA Youth Art Competition, which made his winning design the choice for the airplane’s paint scheme.

“The idea of creating the paint scheme for an actual airplane brought a record number of entries to this year’s contest,” said Steve Buss, executive director of the EAA Young Eagles program. “It’s been a great way to let young imaginations soar while at the same time creating a very special airplane for Young Eagles.”

More than 200 entries challenged the contest’s judges, as they studied the colorful designs submitted on side and overview outlines of the aircraft. The most common themes included eagle designs and use of the colors red, white and blue.

Mentkowski, who took his first airplane flight at age eight, is now working toward earning his own pilot certificate. He took about two weeks to create the winning artwork from an original concept that included curves, swirls and color transitions.

“It’s going to be unbelievable to think that I designed that,” Mentkowski said about anticipating the finished aircraft paint scheme.

The EAA Young Eagles GlaStar will be based at Pioneer Airport, part of the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wis. It will also be used as an ambassador aircraft at flight rallies throughout the country in support of EAA Young Eagles, the world’s largest youth aviation education program. Young Eagles includes more than 39,000 volunteer pilots who have introduced the world of flight to more than 1.1 million young people around the world since 1992.

Scheme Designers of Cresskill, N.J., which provides custom paint designs for aircraft around the world, transformed the winning artwork into a digitized drawing. The design is now being applied to the aircraft at the Gulfstream Aerospace service center in Appleton, Wis. Both companies are donating their services in support of EAA and the Young Eagles program.

All entries are available for viewing in the “Activity Gallery” of the EAA Young Eagles website ( www.youngeagles.org ).

EAA, The Leader in Recreational Aviation, is an international association with 170,000 members and 1,000 local Chapters. To join EAA or for more information on EAA and its programs, call 1-800-JOIN-EAA (1-800-564-6322) or go to www.eaa.org.

Aaron Mentkowski's winning design

Grand champion: Aaron Mentkowski, Bay Village, Ohio
Age-group winners
Ages 9 and under:
Katie Hartman, Wauwatosa, Wis.
(Honorable mention): Alexandra Pulley, Doral, Fla.

Ages 10-13:
Melodie Ha, Cresskill, N.J.
(Honorable mention): Nick Larson, Sheboygan, Wis.

Ages 14-17:
Aaron Mentkowski, Bay Village, Ohio
(Honorable mention): Matthew Poss, Fond du Lac, Wis.
Directors Award: Daniel Ruffin, Bellbrook, Ohio

Accredited by the American Association of Museums
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