Aeronautics Fair brings university, community together

Dr. Maureen McFarland, Program Director of Aeronautics (Left), Beverly Warren, President (Middle), and Robert Sines Jr., Dean (Right), pose at the Kent State University Aeronautics Fair, on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017.

Natalie Meek

Kent State’s College of Aeronautics and Engineering hosted its 21st annual Aeronautics Fair Saturday, Sept. 9.

Held at the university-owned Andrew Paton Field, the hanger was open to the public and filled with different student and professional organizations.

Kent State University President Beverly Warren represented the university and spoke about the impact aeronautics can have on a community.

“You can see by the number of people here that they are interested,” Warren said. “It gives young people the chance to see what’s available right in their backyard.”

Aircrafts were displayed from more than a dozen exhibitors, including the Ohio State National Guard, the Buffalo Heritage Squadron and the Military Aviation Preservation Society (MAPS).

Robert Sines, dean of the College of Aeronautics and Engineering, explained that the opportunity was as beneficial and exciting for his students as it was for the community. 

“This fair gives students experience in dealing with the public,” Sines said. “A lot of alumni come back for the day, and it’s a great way for our students to network with commercial pilots.” 

The fair included two keynote MAPS speakers and the opportunity to stand in an F-86 Sabre jet cockpit that had been separated from the jet itself. The F-86 Sabre jet was the first swept-wing airplane a part of the nation’s fighter inventory introduced in the Korean War, according to Boeing

Aircraft rides priced at $30 per person, offered by the Kent State Flight Team, took participants to the sky to witness a bird’s eye view of Kent. 

The Center of Science and Industry (COSI) and other vendors provided many educational stations for the children attending the fair.

Benjamin Minsinger, a freshman flight technology major, spent the day working the event. 

“It’s awesome,” Minsinger said. “This is what we love to do. It’s great to see everyone so excited, and I wish I would’ve had the opportunity to go up in a plane as a little kid.”

Natalie Meek is the south regional campuses and aeronautics reporter. Contact her at [email protected].