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Social Studies

Enter the Furball

While flying along with the instructor in a WWI / WWII flight simulator, students will delve deeply into 20th century history. (And get shot at... that, too.)
Troy "Sully" Brodsky
7 total reviews for this teacher
1 review for this class
Completed by 8 learners
55 minutes
per class
Once per week
over 4 weeks
year olds
learners per class
per learner - per class

How does aMulti-Daycourse work?

Meets multiple times at scheduled times
Live video chats, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Great for engaging projects and interacting with diverse classmates from other states and countries

How Outschool Works

Available Times

Pacific Time

Thu Aug 25

Aug 25 - Sep 15 (4 weeks)
12am - 12:55am
Outside 6am-10pm in your local time.
Don't see a time that works for you?


Class Experience

Learners will come away with a sense of our world in 1916 or 1943, and a wide variety of knowledge regarding WWI and WWII history in the United States, the UK, Russia and Germany - as well as a newfound love for teamwork, problem-solving, and communicating with others.

Week One:  The Spitfire IXe
The Spitfire was much loved by pilots because of its simplicity and effectiveness, and thus it makes an excellent beginner aircraft for us as well.  This will serve, in many ways, as our ground school as we learn what makes an aircraft tick - the basics of aerodynamics, the principles of flight, and how a flight evolves.  From there, we'll go over what makes the Spitfire stand out, its strengths and weaknesses, and finally... get into the air.  We'll discuss the "Pattern" of take off and landing, and then do a cross country flight from one air field to another using VFR or visual flight rules - students will help navigate so we don't get lost and have to land in Bob's field somewhere.

Week Two:  The P47D Thunderbolt
While the Spitfire from week one was a pleasure to fly, the P47 was a bit of a nightmare.  Well loved by it's pilots, the thing was essentially a huge engine with wings.  This week we'll take a look at engine management which sounds terribly boring until we start to see what happens when you DON'T talk about it.  We'll also break off into mini-discussions of rationing, manufacturing, and the dismal state of affairs leading up to WWII and the production of this aircraft.  If we're able to get this big lug to fly, we'll also take the opportunity to do a bit of "Train Hunting," a favorite pass time of P47 pilots as they disrupted supply lines.

Week Three:  The Fokker Dr.1 Triplane
All of these years later and we all know about the Red Baron.  From pizza to Snoopy himself, Manfred von Richthofen and his bright red triplane are staples of aviation history.  But... what made that aircraft so impressive?  Why was he able to rack up 80 victories in such a short period of time?  We'll take a ride in the wayback machine, rewinding time to twenty years before WWII in order to take a look at how aviation progressed with a look at the Dr.1.  It will seem very simple now that we've seen other aircraft in action, and yet by slowing down a bit, we'll be able to apply some of the fundamentals that we've learned.  We'll also get into our very first Furball - aerial combat!  

Week Four:  The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Würger "Butcher Bird"
Back to the skies above Europe!  The Fw190 was a beast made with one thing in mind, to absolutely destroy British bombers as they made their way over the English Channel and into German occupied territory.  Doing so, however, was no easy proposition.  We'll talk about armament, the advent of the 20mm cannon, and advances in aviation technology made in an amazingly short amount of time - and why German was consistently able to produce (and out produce) their enemies when it came to both numbers of aircraft and superior technologies.  Our flight will see us attack several formations of bombers to see how we're able to do against the best that Britain has to offer before they can drop their bombs!

Week Next:  A New Aircraft
That's it?  Believe me, it will go fast.  There's so much learning to do, and yet, it's so much fun along the way.  Just about the time that you feel like you've learned one thing, there will be another... however, you needn't despair.  You can enroll in Enter the Furball as many times as you like to explore more and more gorgeous and vicious WWII aircraft!
I have more than a decade of teaching experience, the majority of which was spent as an instructor in a lock-down rehabilitation facility for at-risk children (translated: gang kids who were struggling with substance abuse).  This allowed me to teach a wide variety of subjects, from second grade reading to college level physics, often in the same day in order to meet the needs of my students. 

My emphasis throughout was teamwork, discipline, leadership, and problem solving - as these form the braided cord that carries all through our lives.  My formal education is centered around a masters degree in elementary education, and another in special education - with a bachelors in philosophy and a minor in glass art... yes, that's right.  Glass.  Art.  My mother was thrilled when I told her about that one.

I started flying when I was sixteen and then promptly ran out of money to pay for AvGas.  That, however, did not stop me because what I lacked in money, I made up for in imagination - and a new computer that my parents got me for Christmas.  I’ve been enjoying flight simulators since they were literally stick framework programs, and I do to this day.  If my hours on flight simulators counted, I’d have enough to get an upgrade on the first Mars mission.  (Incidentally, I’ve also taught exactly this sort of thing for a company called iEN.)
While there is no formal homework for this course, many students find themselves digging into the fascinating history surrounding our flights, information on the various aircraft that we'll be flying, even opting for actual in the cockpit to practice their ACM techniques (IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad is a commercially available simulation that everyone can purchase and play.)  Many students like to actually take to the skies once they see how fun it really is - and in doing so, are able to fly with myself and other former students as a group.
 2 files available upon enrollment
Simulation: If a student wishes to participate by actually using the simulation to fly during class, they will need to purchase a copy of IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad from the Steam store or directly from the IL-2 website. This is NOT required - students may observe my flying in the sim as we take a flight through history. However, if they'd like to fly, they'll need access to the sim. (It takes a bit to both download, and to configure, so give yourself time to get things set up - and never hesitate to ask questions, it took me just as much time to figure out as it will for you. Also, the simulation itself goes on sale about once a month via the Steam Application - it is well worth planning ahead a bit and watching for that sale. Bear in mind that the IL-2 is fully refundable via Steam if, for some reason, it does not work on your machine. And finally, IL-2 Sturmovik is a Windows only simulation... I feel your pain Macsters. :) ) Discord Communication Application: Students may wish to create a registered Discord account in order to adequately stream our sessions. Zoom "screen sharing" often takes too long to render from my computer to yours, and thus a streaming app like Discord is useful. It's free and has full parental controls so that parents don't need to worry about their learners falling off into the internet. :)
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
Assessment in this course is ongoing and constant.  I will continuously give feed back in class regarding teamwork, communications, and problem solving techniques - all the while within the backdrop of an exciting, and dynamic environment with an on going historical narrative.  
55 minutes per week in class, and an estimated 0 - 1 hours per week outside of class.
The skies of 20th century air combat were not always friendly - though the IL-2 simulation does not contain overt violence.  We will likely have battles in the air, but they will not reach even a PG rating.


Troy "Sully" BrodskyPragmatic Pundit
7 total reviews
16 completed classes

About Me

Greetings all!

Settle in and kick up your feet, I’m about to tell you my life story.  I was born when everything was black and white…

…if you’re still here, I’ll tell you just a handful things about myself so you can get back to your day:

1. I... 
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