Training Regimen

  • 15%   Attendance [see “Travel advisories” for details]
  • 15%   Biographical Sketch
  • 20%   Exam #1
  • 20%   Exam #2
  • 30%   Exam #3 (Final)
The Exams:

The three (3) in-class exams administered in Flight Culture and the Human Experience follow a common format. Each will consist of twenty (20) Multiple-Choice questions (worth a cumulative 40% of the exam grade), 10 short-answer “Jeopardy!” questions (30%), four (4) short-answer Identification items (20%), and a single (1) short, written essay (10%). The exams are not cumulative. Each will cover only those lectures, readings, and relevant course materials presented in the four weekly units preceding their administration.

The Biographical Sketch:

In partial fulfillment of this course you are required to submit a short research/writing assignment focusing on a historical figure or aircraft. Although you are free to structure your “sketch” as you see fit, it should address the following issues:

For Sketches about People:

  • essential biographical information relating to the individual’s life in aviation
  • the historical contexts (cultural, national, social, etc.) in which individual lived and worked
  • major event(s) in the life of the individual
  • the individual’s contribution to the history of aviation/aeronautics

For Sketches about Airplanes:

  • background information on the company/constructor who designed and built the aircraft
  • major issues influencing development, operation, and service life
  • the plane’s technical specifications and functional role (intended and actual)
  • evaluation of the aircraft’s performance in relation to similar contemporary planes
  • the airplane’s place in evolution of flight technology


  1. Your Biographical Sketch must be typed, double-spaced, in black ink. It must be between 4-5 pages in 11 or 12 font size.
  2. Your sketch must draw upon no fewer than three (3) sources. Of these, no more than two (2) may come from the Internet. These sources must be above and beyond materials assigned for class or identified on the course web site.
  3. Your sketch must be accompanied by a bibliography and must include proper citations, when necessary.
  4.  Your must have your topic approved by the instructor in advance. No more than one student will be allowed to write a sketch on a given personality or plane. (i.e. if another student has already received approval to write on the F-16, you can’t.) Topics will be approved/assigned on a “first come, first served” basis. [NOTE: For a list of topics already reserved for this semester check out the Reservations page.]
  5. Sketches on the following subjects will not be approved: the Wright Brothers, the Wright Flyer, Charles Lindbergh, The Spirit of St. Louis, or Amelia Earhart.
  6. Your sketch is due at the beginning of the class coinciding with your topic. (Ex: A biographical sketch of Manfred von Richthofen would be due on the night devoted to “The Great War in the Air.” A sketch of the B-17 “Flying Fortress” would be due on the night devoted to “World War II,” etc.) You will be given your exact due date upon approval of your topic. Late papers will not be accepted.
  7. At the instructor’s discretion and with the approval of their authors, biographical sketches deemed to be of sufficiently high quality will be made available on the course web site as supplemental study tools for students enrolled in the course.
  8. You are required to deliver your completed sketch via e-mail attachment in the form of a Word document file.

          YOU MUST LABEL YOUR FILE USING THE FOLLOWING FORMAT: [Last Name]+[First Initial]_Sketch

          EXAMPLE: SmithJ_Sketch.doc

         Students who do not label their file(s) according to the above format will received a -5% penalty on the assignment.

For information on the grading scale employed in this course click here.