NASA’s Glenn Research Center has said goodbye to its recently retired de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter after almost 40 years of service. The aircraft will be spending its retirement at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) where it will be used for training students in the school’s maintenance management degree program. NASA noted that the Twin Otter was one of the originals of its type, serving the agency as a research aircraft and airborne science lab for the past four decades.
“We logged a lot of hours on the Otter, and it provided many valuable research insights over the years, but it was just not mechanically or financially practical to continue flying,” said former Glenn Twin Otter crew chief Phil Beck. “While we’re sad to see it go, sending our retired aircraft to aviation schools as training aids is something we—through the General Services Administration (GSA)—have successfully done in the past, and we’re glad to see the Twin Otter’s workhorse legacy live on.”
The aircraft made the trip from Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, to MTSU in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, via truck. According to MTSU professor Bill Allen, the school’s maintenance students will be able to gain hands-on experience working on the Otter’s Pratt & Whitney PT-6 engines as well as “perform airframe repairs, work on flight controls, and conduct other system-level inspections.” An approved FAA Part 147 maintenance technician school for airframe and powerplant mechanics, MTSU also offers programs in aviation management, flight dispatch, professional pilot, aerospace technology and unmanned aircraft systems operations.