A group of 15 students currently enrolled in the Airframe and Powerplant program is working on the rocket restoration project. They are spending their free time after school to work on the 20-foot tall rocket to further develop their skills and education. The volunteer students are also part of the college’s PENNANT (Professionalism and Ethics in National Airman Training) Program. The FAA Safety Office asked Redstone to pilot this professional and safety program, which emphasizes the importance of developing professional and ethical standards in preparation for a career in aviation. The program is voluntary, and there is no additional cost for students to participate.
“The Titan Rocket project is providing an incredible opportunity for our students to put the skills they’re learning in class into real practice,” said Glenn Wilson, campus president of Redstone College. “Not everyone can say they’ve had the opportunity to work on an historical piece of our country’s space program. This is an exciting project for them, and the fact that they are volunteering their time shows they are committed to their education and future success.”
The Titan I rocket was operational in the mid-1960s. Steve Hankle, an instructor of Airframe and Powerplant at Redstone College, worked with Wings Over the Rockies to bring the restoration project to Redstone College. The project began with structural repairs to the frame of the rocket motor assembly, and now continues with the replacement of the rigid fluid lines and wiring harnesses. The last step of the project will be a final cleaning and painting before it is transported back to the museum in late spring.
Redstone College’s Airframe and Powerplant program is certified by the Federal Aviation Administration in accordance with 14CFR Part 147. Ninety-six percent of Redstone’s A&P students pass the general FAA certification exam† and have secured employment at companies such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin. For all programs offered at Redstone College, 80 percent of eligible graduates have found employment in their fields of study.