Stitt tours Boeing, tests flight simulator
On a blue, sunny day, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt sat in a cockpit and was able to land a Boeing 747-8 aircraft just outside of Tinker Air Force Base.
Well, kind of.
Stitt was actually touring the Boeing Advanced Visualizations & Immersive Development Center at 6001 S Air Depot Blvd., where he spent time in the flight simulator with Chief Flight Instructor Shawn Lynch. The governor stopped at the aerospace business to meet with its leadership and address the importance of the industry to Oklahoma before starting the simulator.
“I’m a huge aerospace enthusiast and also a pilot,” Stitt said, adding that nothing he’s flown came close in size to the 747 he was about to simulate.
“This industry is a top economic driver in our state,” Stitt continued. “There’s approximately 144,000 employees (in the industry) that work in Oklahoma, so it’s a great cluster that we want to continue to build on. And with something like a $43 billion impact on our state, in this industry alone, it’s a huge deal."
In addition to experiencing the flight simulator, Stitt was shown some of the other tools used for training and studying at the Boeing campus. Computer programs to study lift and drag on aircraft, 3-D models of equipment, 3-D scanners and 3-D printers were some of the tools on display for Stitt’s tour.
Boeing employs nearly 3,200 in Oklahoma, said Nancy Anderson, vice president of aircraft modernization and maintenance.
“At Boeing, we take great pride in being a part of the growing aerospace industry in Oklahoma City,” Anderson said. “Oklahoma provides a very strong business environment for Boeing and for our employees and their families.”
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Lynch is one employee who has a background in the military and now works in his current role as chief flight instructor. He told the governor the simulator is a great way for individuals to learn the plane even if they haven’t been able to log hours in real flights.
The 3-D technologies provide similar benefits.
Models can be interacted with on a screen, allowing users to explore more than a million parts of hardware on a plane. The scanners can be used to digitally capture 3-D images in a matter of minutes for later use in printing or other purposes.
It all impressed Stitt.
“What they’re doing here, the engineering careers, it’s just fantastic,” Stitt said. “As your governor I am focused on ensuring that we are investing in this industry.”