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BC aircraft technician program gets its own Boeing 727

By NATALIE SAMSON | OCT 07 2015

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It’s not every Canadian university that can boast a Boeing as part of its teaching facilities. That’s exactly what the University of the Fraser Valley has been doing since it became the lucky recipient of a Boeing 727-200 jet aircraft this summer. The 727 was donated by KF Aerospace to the university’s aircraft structures technician program as a resource for students learning large aircraft repair and maintenance.

John English, dean of trades and technology at UFV, says the jetliner will provide an important real-world learning platform. “This plane is the real McCoy. Students may well be working on this kind of aircraft in the field.”

Before touching down in July at UFV’s Aerospace Centre at the Abbotsford International Airport in Abbotsford, B.C., the three-engine jet was in service for nearly 40 years, first as a passenger plane for airlines including Air Italia and Continental and later as a converted cargo vessel for Purolator and KF. It completed more than 45,000 flights in its career. “The airplane is quite a bit older than most of the students that’ll be working on it, but it’s still in good working condition,” Mr. English said. “Airframes on airplanes, the basic structure, don’t go obsolete.” In fact the plane will complement the Boeing 737 the program has had for several years.

The 727 has already proven itself to be a handy marketing tool. At the annual Abbotsford International Airshow in August, the university rolled out the red carpet – that is, it rolled up a set of air-stairs – and opened up the UFV-branded cockpit to the public.

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