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Monday, 12 October 2015 22:35

SC Auto Collision Students Refurbish, Design Logo for Vietnam War Helicopter

Some Kershaw County high school students are getting the opportunity to work on a living piece of history.

Applied Technology Education Campus’ (ATEC) auto collision students are refurbishing a 1966 AH-1F Cobra helicopter that was used in combat during the Vietnam War.

Kershaw County Students

Kershaw County students work on Lena.



The students are busy at work on the helicopter for an organization called the Celebrate Freedom Foundation (CCF). According to the organization’s website, Celebrate Freedom Foundation is a non-profit educational and historical corporation dedicated to educating children, promoting lasting patriotism and honoring the military — past, present and future.

"Long term, the kids will have such a blast on this, they’ll remember this for years to come," noted ATEC instructor David Weaver.

Students in Weaver's class are working on a helicopter named Lena. They're enhancing their science and engineering skills, all while touching a piece of equipment pulled right from their history books.
"You see a small hole on one side, and a big hole on the other, and the kids get to understand that that was a bullet hole, so that’s kind of neat for them," Weaver explained enthusiastically. "If you’re a gear head, realizing that you’ve got a 1200 horsepower jet engine underneath the hood, you know that’s kind of cool too."

The project is not only cool, but honorary too. Students are working against the clock, trying to get the helicopter completed by November. US Army generals will come to check out the finished product. A thought that makes sophomore Jay Murray just a little anxious.

"I think it makes me a little bit nervous and I can see why because you want to do it right, you want to make them proud and you want to do it in a way that represents them,” Murray explained.

Graphics communication students will design and send several graphic options of a Bengal Tiger paint scheme to CCF and US Army several graphic options for approval. The school's welding department is getting involved as well by creating the fenders for the helicopter.

After the refurbished helicopter is presented to army generals, the plane will be taken to different schools and air shows all over the nation.

The students will receive commemorative certificates signed by the generals recognizing their achievement.

We would like to thank WLTX for reprint permission.

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