The Hill Aerospace Museum is working to repurpose a retired C-130 Hercules as an interactive classroom to support the museum’s aerospace education mission. Museum staff have already directed work to move the selected aircraft out of storage at Hill AFB, Utah, and replace its tires. Next, the staff plan to remove the wings and tail from the aircraft and seal the fuselage. Finally, the refurbished C-130 hull will be moved to its permanent location and structurally attached, through a breezeway, to the Lt. Gen. Marc C. Reynolds Aerospace Center for Education. The new classroom, which will be the museum’s fifth, will have heating and air conditioning. It will also offer visitors an opportunity to explore the interior of an Air Force aircraft, including the cockpit, and provide “a completely hands-on experience,” said Mark Standing, director of education at the Museum, according to a Department of Defense press release. “We will have scheduled times that teach lessons integrated with STEM and relating to aerospace, as well as hold scientific experiments and competitions, all in the bay of an actual aircraft.” The museum opened in 1986 and had received four million visitors as of 2014.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.