Hawker Beechcraft lead classroom in the sky with Barrington Irving
Hawker Beechcraft executives joined Barrington Irving, the youngest pilot to fly around the world solo, today at the NBAA in Orlando to launch classroom in the sky, an initiative of his non-profit organisation, Experience Aviation. Hawker Beechcraft will serve as title sponsor for classroom in the sky by providing a Hawker 400XPR for the duration of the around-the-world mission to transform an airplane into a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teaching tool for youth.
“Sponsoring Barrington’s Classroom in the Sky initiative is a natural fit for Hawker Beechcraft: we provide an aircraft that showcases its ability to meet his rigorous mission requirements anywhere in the world and we help highlight the importance of STEM education in creating a strong future for aviation and other industries,” said Shawn Vick, HBC’s executive vice president, Customers.
Vick added: “There’s no better platform for Barrington than the Hawker 400XPR, the light jet that leads its market segment in design, performance, reliability and support. It is the perfect classroom for real-life lessons in cutting-edge propulsion systems and aerodynamics, along with the latest in avionics technologies.”
Irving, who at the age of 23 became the youngest person and first black pilot to fly solo around the world, founded Experience Aviation in 2005 to build STEM skills in students and direct them toward careers in aviation and other STEM-related fields. The 28-year-old plans to launch the classroom in the sky expedition in October 2013 at NBAA and circle the globe in the Hawker 400XPR.
“Transforming a light jet into the world’s first flying classroom would remain a dream of mine without the generous support of Hawker Beechcraft,” Irving said. “Not only will the Hawker 400XPR provide the transportation for my mission to span the globe, it will play a lead role in highlighting advances in technology, engineering and science along with lessons in math, geography, culture, history and so much more.”
“There are probably millions of kids out there like me who find science and exploration amazing, but lack the confidence or opportunity to take the next step,” Irving said. “I’ll be able to teach millions of students worldwide from 45,000 feet and continue the education when I land at different destinations on all seven continents. To give you an example, I will fly to Tanzania. I’ll attempt to climb Mount Kilimanjaro as students virtually guide my path and help me solve math and science challenges along the way. In addition, we will highlight the environmental challenges of trash on Kilimanjaro and green initiatives students can conduct in their own communities.”