MSU students tour Columbus AFB propulsion lab

David Mongeau, a Mississippi State University Aircraft Propulsion student, examines the shell of a T-38C Talon engine April 4, 2018, on Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. An aerospace engineering student will spend over 1,000 hours in their classroom learning the different components of aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Beaux Hebert)

David Mongeau, a Mississippi State University Aircraft Propulsion student, examines the shell of a T-38C Talon engine April 4, 2018, on Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. An aerospace engineering student will spend over 1,000 hours in their classroom learning the different components of aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Beaux Hebert)

Rodney Williams, L3 Communications Propulsion Lab leadman, talks with the Mississippi State University Aircraft Propulsion Class about parts of a T-38C Talon engine April 4, 2018, on Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. The majority of aircraft mechanics on Columbus AFB are contracted through L3 Communications. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Beaux Hebert)

Rodney Williams, L3 Communications Propulsion Lab leadman, talks with the Mississippi State University Aircraft Propulsion Class about parts of a T-38C Talon engine April 4, 2018, on Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. The majority of aircraft mechanics on Columbus AFB are contracted through L3 Communications. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Beaux Hebert)

Charles Hill, L3 Communications T-38C Talon foreman, talks with the Mississippi State University Aircraft Propulsion Class about a T-38 engine April 4, 2018, on Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. The students visited the 14th Operations Group aircraft simulators, BLAZE Hangar and the L3 Propulsion Lab. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Beaux Hebert)

Charles Hill, L3 Communications T-38C Talon foreman, talks with the Mississippi State University Aircraft Propulsion Class about a T-38 engine April 4, 2018, on Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. The students visited the 14th Operations Group aircraft simulators, BLAZE Hangar and the L3 Propulsion Lab. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Beaux Hebert)

COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --

On average, an aerospace engineering student will spend over 1,000 hours in their classroom learning the components of aircraft. The Mississippi State University Aerospace Propulsion Class visited Columbus Air Force Base’s propulsion lab April 3.

The class started their tour with the 14th Operations Group aircraft simulators. Students each took a turn climbing in the seat of a T-38C Talon simulator and learned basic maneuvers such as taking off, banking, barrel rolls and landing.

After the simulators, the group went to the BLAZE hangar and talked with some of the maintainers about how the T-38 engines work. The future aircraft engineers got to see multiple engines that are currently being worked on by L3 Communications contractors.

“This a fantastic service that the base provides,” said Mark Janus, the MSU Aerospace Propulsion professor. “The students get to see the maintenance of these engines and how they perform up close.”

Finally, the students headed to the propulsion lab where Rodney Williams, L3 Communications Propulsion Lab leadman, went more in depth about the different parts of a T-38 engine. Students were able to get hands-on with a few of the spare parts and talk with Williams about day-to-day maintenance on the engines.

“The tour was awesome, it has allowed us to see engines that are currently being used,” said Billy Crawford, a MSU Aerospace Propulsion student. “We spend so much time reading about this in textbooks and it’s nice to get a hands-on experience with the engines and talk with the people who work on them every day.”