Boeing 727 becomes cool classroom in Lakeland

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) — Lakeland is now home to the Piedmont Aerospace Experience Exhibit, a fully functioning Boeing 727 jet aircraft

Piedmont Aerospace Experience Exhibit photo
Piedmont Aerospace Experience Exhibit photo

donated by FedEx. The aircraft is now a learning exhibit, the only one of its kind in the world on a high school campus.

When class is in session, students watch on closed-circuit interactive tablets as their supervised peers in the cockpit start the aircraft and operate its systems.

Cameras are positioned so students may observe the control surfaces and other systems as they are cycled, providing a unique and ground-breaking learning environment.

plane 2“Nowhere else in the world will students be able to receive the hands-on learning offered by the Piedmont Aerospace Experience. Not even in a commercial airline pilot ground school do you have this much interaction with a live airplane,” said Robb Williams, Executive Director, Aerospace Center for Excellence.

Affectionately named Paul, Piedmont Aerospace Experience has the ability to positively impact thousands of future pilots, mechanics, engineers, and aerospace professionals.

Piedmont Aerospace Experience was made possible by community partners at the City of Lakeland, Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, Florida Modification Specialists, Polk State College, Central Florida Aerospace Academy, and Traviss Career Center.

In addition, donations from the Tom Davis and Emil Buehler Foundations, as well as a local anonymous donor, made this one of a kind learning experience possible.


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