Students interested in science and technology will soon be able to attend class in an old military plane in northern Utah.
A Vietnam era cargo plane has been converted into a classroom for science, technology, engineering and math students and attached to a museum at the Hill Air Force Base near Ogden, The Standard-Examiner reports. Ogden is about 40 miles (64 kilometres) north of Salt Lake City.
Crews renovated a plane that had been stored at The Hill Aerospace Museum and Aerospace Heritage Foundation of Utah for decades and connected it to the building. The classroom was dedicated in a ceremony Tuesday.
Once attached to the building, the plane was painted and outfitted with new furnishings. Other than its missing wings, which were cut off to attach the plane to the museum, the plane looks like a working C-130 Hercules.
The museum’s education program will offer aerospace lessons, science experiments, competitions and other activities in the aircraft, said Mark Standing, an education instructor at the museum. He said the classroom provides a unique, interactive learning component that differs from static museum displays.
“Often times we hear visitors say, ‘We come to the museum but we never get to see the inside of an airplane,’” said Standing. “And now we will be able to say, ‘Come on in!’”
A museum representative said Charlie White and his company, White’s Aircraft, Salvage and Parts, donated to the renovation.
The United States military has used C-130 planes since the 1950s. The plane can land and take off in rough conditions and was designed to transport troops, medics and cargo. Officers have also used the plane for search and rescue missions, aerial refuelling , firefighting and more.
The plane now serving as a classroom first went into service for the Air Force in 1965. It was last used in 1995.
“In the past couple weeks we’ve had the opportunity to let some vets in here who flew C-130s during their career,” said Museum Director Aaron Clark. “They come in here and they see it and they smell it and it takes them back and you see them get emotional. It’s really cool.”