Utah State University (USU) became involved with aviation in the mid-1930's when the Aviation Technical Training Program was developed. Students were trained to maintain aircraft in one of the earliest aviation maintenance programs in the United States. The program quickly gained national prestige and became the largest training program for aviation mechanics in the West.
During World War II, the Army Air Corps established its Aviation Maintenance and Flight Training program at USU. In 1940, USU trained 4,012 mechanics for the Army Air Corps. The Army and Navy expanded the Logan Airport in 1941 to become a major pilot training center during the War.
The Aviation Technical Training program, now a component of the College of Engineering's Industrial and Technology Education Department, has continued to grow and expand its scope of studies. In addition to aviation maintenance, programs of study include electronics, flight technology, welding engineering technology, and industrial teacher training.
In 1957, USU College of Engineering developed the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) Department. Senior MAE students have participated in every American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Design-Build-Fly competition since the organization's inaugural event in 1997. The USU team has placed among the top five collegiate teams in each competition including two first place overall finishes in 1999 and 2000. They have opted not to participate during 2002 and 2003 in order to build the USU Wright Flyer.
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