Lauren Barnes, Asst. News Editor
Pictured above by Hanna Frank: Junior Samantha Stewart, sophomore Anthony Perez, junior Tim Fluellen and senior Katelyn Peterson learn from Dr. Stanley Harriman about the newly donated jet engine from FedEx.
FedEx Express Air Operations, based in Memphis, Tenn., held a reception at Lewis University for the aviation department, donating a Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7R4 engine, Jan. 14.
The Pratt & Whitney JT9D engine was one of the first high bypass jet engines to power a wide-body aircraft and was previously used on an Airbus A-310.
The jet engine donated was previously on an Airbus A-310 and developed a problem and over-temped. It then had to be removed, and instead of selling it, FedEx decided to donate the jet engine to Lewis.
“FedEx was in the process of retiring the Airbus A-310 and needed to get rid of the jet engine, and they are a big supporter of education,” said Michael Streit, associate chair of aviation and transportation studies.
“They realize to get people into their industry, like mechanics, they need to help out education, and we can’t afford to go out and buy something like this.”
Since the jet engine over-temped, it would have been due for some heavy inspections, making it no longer airworthy. For the aviation maintenance students, this is a chance for a training aid, and to learn more about modern jet engines by utilizing various exercises in the lab.
“This jet engine is a move up in the modern jet age, because this is a current production engine that is in wide use in the aviation field,” Streit said. “It is all about getting our students up to speed with all of the current technology.”
The engine was delivered from California, and FedEx paid for it to be shipped to Romeoville. FedEx decided to donate their engine stand that was holding the jet engine, which could have been a big cost to Lewis
if not provided.
This is not the only donation FedEx has made to Lewis. In 2009, a Pratt & Whitney JT8D-15AQM engine was donated along with many other incidental parts. Each engine and the parts are still in use within the aviation maintenance program.