Northrop Grumman donated a Sabreliner jet to a Maryland high school this week to help it launch the state’s first high school aviation program.
The aircraft was built in 1972 and retired from the company’s Baltimore-based flight test fleet in 2018, the company said in a press release. The mid-sized, twin-engine aircraft was used as a detection target for radar system testing.
At a Monday ceremony, Northrop Grumman officially transferred ownership of the aircraft to Anne Arundel County Public Schools for use in its new Aviation Technician Maintenance Program.
“The aviation industry continues to break barriers in the skies both for military and commercial applications,” Superintendent George Arlotto said in a statement. “Our students want to be a part of that innovation, we want to help them be a part of it, and our partnership with Northrop Grumman and Tipton Airport is a key part of making that a reality. Our students thrive when we and our partners provide opportunity and access.”
Northrop Grumman also plans to donate parts and equipment to the school district, which will officially launch the new program in September. The program will train students who are interested in careers in airframe and powerplant maintenance, and the school is currently pursuing Federal Aviation Administration approval of the program so that participating students will be prepared for the FAA’s certification tests.
“This particular Sabreliner has both historical significance to Northrop Grumman and practical applications as a training aid for AACPS – so its preservation is a win-win for us and the county,” said Jeanie Wade, vice president of operations for Northrop Grumman Mission Systems. “N160W has played a role in every significant Northrop Grumman air-to-air and surface-to-air radar development program for the past 30 years. We’re glad to see AACPS adopt it to train the next generation of aviation technicians.”
According to the company, Northrop Grumman operated two Sabreliners, which started their careers as former Westinghouse executive transport aircraft before being repurposed as flight test assets. The second Sabreliner was moved to a permanent display at the National Electronics Museum in November.
“We talk often about creating opportunities for all of our students, and this is a golden opportunity made possible by the generosity of Northrop Grumman and Tipton Airport,” Arlotto said. “Through this program, we will literally be training the next leaders of the aircraft mechanic industry in our schools and our county. I could not be more excited.”
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Airplane” by Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS).