The Kent State Aeronautics and Engineering Expo is returning to the Kent State Airport in Stow on Saturday with airplane rides, robot competitions, flight simulators and, new this year, a tour of the recently completed FedEx Aeronautics Academic Center.

The annual event was canceled last year as building construction began. The FedEx building, named in honor of the company’s $6.5 million donation, is now open, and students were already meeting with flight instructors and using the flight simulators.

During the expo, there will be tours and public use of the four Alsim flight simulators.

Enrollment in the college has increased 40 percent this year because of the “excitement of getting the new building, the simulators, the new facility,” said Robert Kraus, Ph.D., associate dean of flight and operations for College of Aeronautics and Engineering.

The 17,800-square-foot building is part of Phase 1 of the university’s $1 billion Kent Campus Gateway Master Plan, and meets the needs of both the school of aeronautics and the industry. According to Boeing, there will be a need for more than 800,000 new pilots in the next 20 years.

FedEx Aeronautics Academic Center includes a public reception lobby where pilots can fly in and purchase gas, a pilot shop, Skyquest weather briefing room, line office, dispatch office, research room, briefing rooms, classrooms and simulation rooms.

As in previous years, Tom Stephan, “the Voice of Stow,” will serve as the announcer. There will also be airplane rides, airplane displays, student group displays, robotics displays, blood pressure screenings, metal casting demonstrations, pet food and supplies collections, COSI kiosks and a basket raffle from the Stow-Munroe Falls Chamber of Commerce.

This year’s speakers are Maj. Kyle Busch, a Marine Corps pilot who has flown Presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama; and Susan Weisenbach Johnson and Sarah Deal, who will offer a panel on women breaking barriers in the industry. Bill Schloman and Barbara Schloman will also be at the expo signing copies of their recent book “A Century of Flight at Paton Field: The Story of Kent State University’s Airport and Flight Education.” All speakers will be in the FedEx building.

The event will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the airport, at 4020 Kent Road in Stow. Cost is $5 for adults; $3 for high school and college students; $3 for senior citizens and veterans; and free for children 12 and younger. Entry is also free to Stow residents living on Kauffman, Baird and Hile roads. Those residents should bring an ID that includes their address.

Parking is at Kimpton Middle School with shuttle service. There will be no on-site parking.

For tickets and more information, visit www.kent.edu/cae/event/aeronautics-engineering-expo-2019.

 

Reporter Krista S. Kano can be reached at 330-541-9416, kkano@recordpub.com or on Twitter @KristaKanoRCedu.