Retired jet to serve as St. Paul classroom

A retired cargo jet scheduled to land at St. Paul's Holman field Tuesday morning has a future as a classroom.

FedEx is donating the 727 freighter jet to the St. Paul School District and the Minnesota Association of Women in Aviation.

The plane will remain parked at the airport and its engines will be removed, but the association's Janese Thatcher said some of its systems will remain in operation for students to use.

"We're going to leave the radios on so the students can learn communication skills and navigation skills and they can listen to the tower talk to the pilots," Thatcher said.

The plane will be used by aerospace students in two St. Paul schools, but is also intended to serve as a math, science and engineering classroom for students from around the area.

"We're trying to give them an experience that fuels their inspiration for math and science their entire life," Thatcher said.

The three-engine 727, which bore the name Timothy, is the 77th FedEx has donated for educational purposes since 2000.

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