After more than a century of waiting in the wings, planning is under way for a second Aviation Day at Purdue University.
Student organizers are bringing back the event to celebrate the past, present and future of Purdue University aviation and the Purdue Polytechnic Institute School of Aviation and Transportation Technology.
This year’s event is scheduled for April 16 at Purdue University Airport with plans to make it an annual celebration. People can fly in, drive in or walk in to the event.
The first Aviation Day took place 105 years ago this year on June 13, 1911. More than 17,000 people came to watch two biplanes in action on a grass landing strip at Stuart Field, located where Elliott Hall of Music now stands.
This year’s event will include interactive activities for all ages, historical exhibits and a variety of aircraft on display.
Leaders from aviation-related student organizations wanted to create a larger event to showcase the program’s growth. The School of Aviation and Transportation Technology, formerly known as the Department of Aviation Technology, has hosted much smaller alumni fly-in events in recent years.
“We think this is the perfect way to celebrate the school’s name change, enhance partnerships with industry, show our appreciation for the local community and inspire young aviators,” said Austin Decker, operations director for the event and an unmanned aerial systems major.
Republic Airways is sponsoring the event. The Indianapolis-based regional carrier is the world’s largest operator of Embraer aircraft, providing code-share partner service to American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines with more than 1,000 daily departures to 110 cities in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean.
The School of Aviation and Transportation Technology is one of seven academic schools, departments and divisions within the Purdue Polytechnic Institute at Purdue University.