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Engineering Takes Flight

September 13, 2023

Community invited as US Marine Corps lands aircraft on campus 2-5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14.

The “Engineering Takes Flight” event, is free and open to the public.

MV-22 Osprey | Unlike Any Aircraft

You can witness the U.S. Marine Corps land one of its combat helicopters on the University of Kentucky campus 2-5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14.

The “Engineering Takes Flight” event, which is free and open to the public, is organized by the UK Stanley and Karen Pigman College of Engineering Living Learning Program and will be held at South Lawn (formerly known as the Kirwan-Blanding Complex).

“We are thrilled to partner with the U.S. Marine Corps to bring this special event to campus and inspire future engineers to pursue aerospace engineering,” John Roberts, director of UK Engineering’s living learning program and organizer of the event, said.

Faculty members from the College of Engineering’s aerospace program will also be displaying unmanned aerial vehicle technologies and sharing information about the new aerospace programs.

UK offers the only undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering in the state.

Aerospace plays a significant role in Kentucky’s economy. In fact, aerospace exports are the top export in the state and number three in the U.S. — behind only California and Washington. 

Additionally, the Commonwealth is home to 79 aerospace-related facilities, which employ more than 19,000 people, including Belcan Corp., General Dynamics, General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.

Housed in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the new degree pathways foster research and innovation by enhancing collaborations between UK and the local aerospace industry.

“We have a number of students who will go on to work in national defense, aircraft design and manufacturing. So this event is a great opportunity to provide a hands-on experience for our students to connect what they’re learning in the classroom to real life,” Roberts continued. “Moreover, as the only aerospace engineering program in the state of Kentucky, it is a good opportunity to showcase some work being down in aerospace engineering by having departments, student organizations and design teams on site.”

The helicopter, which will be landing at 2:15 p.m., is an MV-22B.

The combat aircraft has become the cornerstone of the Corps’ assault support capability — known for its speed, endurance and survivability.

The MV-22 Osprey utilizes tiltrotor technology to combine the vertical performance of a helicopter with the speed and range of a fixed-wing aircraft. With its rotors in vertical position, it can take off, land and hover like a helicopter. Once airborne, it can convert to a turboprop airplane capable of high-speed, high-altitude flight.

This combination results in global reach capabilities that allow the MV-22 to fill an operational niche unlike any other aircraft.

"The Osprey’s power is felt immediately on arrival. While not much louder than other large aircrafts, the altitudes we fly it at, and its ability to fly like an airplane and helicopter, give it a unique sound,” Lieutenant Colonel Jason “Crome” Harris, with the U.S. Marine Corps, said. “The aircraft will land on campus and shut down the engines and rotors. Once the aircraft is made safe by the crew, they will invite attendees to walk in and around the aircraft and ask questions. The crew will then depart with the aircraft. Photos are encouraged.”

Members of the U.S. Marine Corps will also be available to talk about career opportunities.

You can find more information about the event here.