Real-World Field Trip Visits EFSC Aviation Maintenance Students

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August 1, 2017 - The classroom took an exciting show-and-tell spin Tuesday as Eastern Florida Aviation Maintenance Technology program students got to see and hear how the engines they work on perform when used inside a jet drag racer.

Aviation Students with Jet DragsterPalm Bay-based Larsen Motorsports brought one of the racing team's jet-powered dragsters to EFSC's Aviation Center located at the Melbourne International Airport, where company founder and head crew chief Chris Larsen talked to the class about the car and how it works.

Aviation airframe and powerplant  maintenance (A&P) students got to see the Miller Welding jet dragster engine in action as driver and owner Elaine Larsen got into the cockpit and fired up the 5,000-horsepower General Electric J-85 engine.

"In the powerplant section we train on two engines, the reciprocating piston engine and the turbine engine. The engine in this car is the engine they train on — what they disassemble, check out and assemble again and to see one function is very important so they understand what the real-life project is like," said Eastern Florida State College Director of Aviation Programs Lanny Schott.

"The piston engines we can see because they are on the airplanes and we see them run, but this is the only opportunity to get to see a jet engine run."

Larsen Motorsports, Inc. is a multi-team exhibition jet racing company that was featured in a July 2016 episode of the CNBC television program "Jay Leno's Garage."

After the demonstration, EFSC students had the opportunity to talk with both Chris and Elaine Larsen about what they do and how they use the engines in their racing business.

For more information about Eastern Florida's FAA-certified A&P program, visit