The Purdue University Aviation Technology Program began its long history in the early 1940s with the establishment of a four year college program in air transportation. This unique program included maintenance, flight and management programs combined with an airport and fleet of aircraft owned by the university and used as a laboratory.
Among the resources available was the Purdue Aeronautics Corporation which maintained and operated the airport along with a fleet of DC-3 aircraft. By the early 1950s the school decided that the air transportation program no longer fit into Purdue University’s long term goals and the flight and maintenance programs were essential ended.
In 1954 an AMT (Aviation Maintenance Technology) program was created followed shortly thereafter in 1956 by the PPT (Professional Pilot Technology) program. The AMT program prepared students for their A&P license while the PPT program was geared to training students with a Commercial Pilots certificate to crew the PAC DC-3 aircraft.
By the 1960s all of these programs were integrated into the regular university course structure enabling students to pay only the standard university tuition and fees. An AET (Aviation Electronics Technology) program was instituted in 1961 offering an Associates Degree. In 1964 the university created the College of Technology, developed an ab-initio flight training program and converted the flight option into a BS degree program.
By the late 1970s the program began to change from associate degree programs to full BS degree programs, and Purdue Airlines (the successor of the Purdue Aeronautics Corporation) was shut down forcing the development of additional courses and laboratories for aviation technology programs.
An interesting sidelight to this was that the company I flew for in the late 70s purchased one of the Purdue DC-3s which I had the pleasure of flying on many occasions.
By 2002 Purdue’s Aviation Technology BS degree programs became fully accredited and continue to this day. For more information on this fine program visit Purdue University Aviation Technology Program today.
Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!