Showing posts with label aviation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label aviation. Show all posts

Sunday, April 07, 2024

Tuskegee University to receive $6.7 million in federal funds for flight school

Tuskegee, Alabama — Tuskegee University is pleased to announce it will introduce its new flight school degree program in the fall thanks to $6.7 million in federal funding sponsored by Alabama Senator Katie Britt.

Sen. Britt visited the campus on March 27 and reviewed plans for the Tuskegee Aviation Program with the university president, provost and deans. This flight school and degree program, which is pending approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, will introduce aviation to a new generation, who have only heard about the legendary aviators through history of the Tuskegee Airmen.

Students will earn flight hours on Moton Field, where the Airmen flew and in campus classrooms.

“It was a pleasure to host Sen. Britt today,” said University President Dr. Charlotte P. Morris.  “We look forward to starting the program this fall after our proposal to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, our accrediting body, is reviewed. This program will create opportunities for young aviators who dream of spending their lives soaring through the skies – here and around the world. I think General Chappie James and Captain Alfred Anderson would both be proud.”

Gen. Daniel "Chappie" James Jr. was a fighter pilot in the United States Air Force who, in 1975, became the first African American to reach the rank of four-star general in the Air Force.  Charles Alfred Anderson Sr., known as the father of Black Aviation, was the chief flight instructor of the Tuskegee Airmen.  

Tuskegee’s new program will offer a bachelor’s degree in Aviation Science (pilot track) with two components. The first component includes general education core and aviation science related courses in aerodynamics, aircraft structures, aircraft propulsion, performance stability and control as well as meteorology. The second component is flight training where students will be able to take the appropriate FAA certification for private and commercial pilot certificates.

The university is optimistic that the new flight program will help an industry where the pilot shortage is expected to worsen as demand for air travel continues to grow. 

“The most exciting part is the opportunity to train our students to become pilots,” said Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, Provost and Senior Vice President. “In the tradition of General Chappie James and the Tuskegee Airmen, we will continue the tradition of excellence in Aviation.”

Dr. Hargrove said the university will start with about 25 students and expects to grow to more than 200 in the aviation program.

“Our Strategic Plan has specific objectives to identify academic programs in high demand for industry and for the workforce,” said Dr. Hargrove. “Some estimates say there is an annual demand for about 10,000 to 15,000 pilots annually for the next decade.”

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Northrop Grumman Names Next Spacecraft After First African-American Astronaut

It is traditional for Northrop Grumman to name its Cygnus spacecraft after people who played significant roles in the history of human spaceflight. For its upcoming Cygnus spacecraft set to launch next month, Northrop Grumman is honoring Major Robert H. Lawrence, the very first African American Astronaut. “Northrop Grumman is proud to name the NG-13 Cygnus spacecraft after former astronaut Robert Henry Lawrence Jr.,” Northrop Grumman said. “Major Lawrence was selected in honor of his prominent place in history as the first African-American astronaut.”

The launch for NG-13 is targeted for Feb. 9, 2020.

Maj. Robert H. Lawrence Jr. was born in Chicago, Illinois on Oct. 2, 1935. He graduated from high school at the age of 16 and went on to earn his bachelor's degree in chemistry from Bradley University at age 20. He soon became a highly accomplished pilot and Air Force officer, accumulating 2,500 flight hours including 2,000 in jets. He also earned a doctorate in physical chemistry from Ohio University in 1965, which made him the only selected Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) astronaut with a doctorate degree.

MOL was a joint program between the U.S. Air Force and the National Reconnaissance Office that envisioned a series of mini space stations in low polar Earth orbit.

Unfortunately, while serving as an instructor for another pilot practicing techniques that were later used in the Space Shuttle program, Lawrence died in an F-104 Starfighter supersonic jet crash on Dec. 8, 1967.

The MOL program was, eventually, canceled by the Nixon Administration in 1969, and seven of the younger pilots under the MOL program were transferred to NASA where all of them flew on the Space Shuttle in the 1980s. Had Lawrence survived the crash, he certainly would have been transferred to NASA as well.

However, due to the secrecy of the MOL program, Lawrence remained largely unknown for many years until the 1990s when the barriers over the definition of the word “astronaut” were overcome and Lawrence finally received the recognition he deserves.


Thursday, October 10, 2019

World's first African American fighter pilot honored with statue at Museum of Aviation

Before the Tuskegee Airmen blazed the trail for black military pilots, there was Eugene Bullard.

In World War I, while fighting for France, he became the world's first African American military pilot. On Wednesday, which would have been his 124th birthday, hundreds of people honored him at the Museum of Aviation by coming to watch the unveiling of a life-sized bronze statue of Bullard.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Two African-American women pilots make history

Two Delta A320/319 pilots made history over the weekend, flying Delta's first mainline flight with two African-American female pilots in the flight deck.

Atlanta-based First Officer Dawn Cook learned that Detroit-based Captain Stephanie Johnson, Delta's first African-American female captain, would be flying out of ​Detroit last Sunday and reached out to Johnson to help facilitate the historic flight. Afterward, Cook posted the above photo to Facebook to commemorate the flight.​