High school students tend to stare out the window during dull classes, but the kids at Central Florida Aerospace Academy will soon find there's much more of interest inside the building.
That's because the school recently opened a new suite of classrooms built into the converted interior of a retired Boeing 727-200, according to Flying magazine. FedEx Corp. donated the airplane to the school and its partner, Polk State College, back in 2013, and the partners have now finished refitting the aircraft as a school building.
Now permanently mounted on stilts, the plane includes a classroom in the cargo compartment, a boardroom in the tail end, and space for students to sit at the cockpit controls. These virtual pilots can run through a standard flight checklist, power up the auxiliary power unit and engines, and share a wireless record of the lesson with classmates viewing real-time video on tablet PCs.
That curriculum is designed to prepare graduates for careers in aerospace technology, avionics, airframe and powerplant, and engineering, as well as for the Air Force junior reserve officer training corps (JROTC). The academy is a public high school located on the Sun 'n Fun and Florida Air Museum campus at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport in Lakeland, Fla.