A $32,600 gift from Collins Aerospace has led to the creation of a new flight simulation lab at the new WACO Learning Center at the WACO Air Museum in Troy, Ohio.
The Collins Aerospace Flight Simulator Lab will house four desktop flight simulators complete with yoke and rudders, as well as a certified Elite Flight Simulator that can be used to log hours towards both private and instrument ratings for pilots, according to officials.
The lab has the potential for additional simulators to be added at a later date, officials added.
At a ceremony held in late 2019, the donation was made by Cory May, Vice President of Aftermarket for Landing Systems at Collins Aerospace, in front of perhaps the most famous WACO in the world — the WACO Model ATO Taperwing.
This aircraft rolled out of the Troy-based WACO Aircraft Company in 1929 and won the 1936 International Air Games in Paris in 1936. This airplane was donated to the museum in 1996 by the Goodrich Aircraft Wheels & Brakes Division, now part of Collins Aerospace, and is one of the museum’s most prized possessions.
Collins Aerospace now manufactures wheels and brakes in a building that was originally built as the WACO Aircraft Company.
“The combining factors of being in the same community, a shared history, and a shared vision for the future make this a perfect collaboration,” said Learning Center Director Nancy Royer. “WACO has STEM education programming for youth as young as pre-school and programming that continues all the way through adult education. I believe this donation is a declaration to both the local community and to the aviation industry of our shared vision to inspire the future. Together, we will shape a better future.”