New class takes flight

Aviation course offers students opportunity to build airplane

Story by Kamryn Jean, Staff writer

Aviation students will be introduced to yet another opportunity to further their aeronautic education. The Tango flight program will provide students the chance to build a plane and will be offered next year as another STEM class. 

“The Texarkana Board of Trustees approved a partnership with Tango Flight, an innovative course in which students build virtually all of a full-sized, fully operational airplane in school,” administrative assistant Gayle Hale said.

Preparations for the upcoming program will soon begin. Chief operating officer Ken Reeves will be renovating a portion of the barn behind the agriculture shop, which is where the class will be held.

“We will start building a classroom in the barn early/mid May,” Reeves said.” “[It is] to be completed by August 1, 2022.”

The Texas Pioneer Foundation approved a $49,000 grant to the Texarkana Public Schools Foundation that will fund the first annual fee of this program and half of the aircraft kit. Texas High will be one of five schools in Texas that will offer the Tango Flight course. 

“As a board, we are committed to providing our students with STEM opportunities that are innovative and meaningful, as well as opportunities and skill sets necessary to be smart, competitive and successful adults,” Board President Fred Norton said. “The Tango Flight program will go beyond anything our students have experienced before, and we cannot wait to see the aircraft our students build.”

The Tango Flight program was designed to prepare the next generation of pilots, engineers, technicians and aviation mechanics because it allows these students a chance to better understand their trade. Students taking this course will have the opportunity to build an RV-12 composite propeller aircraft all while continuing the regular aviation and aeronautics curriculum. 

“As a district with a strong innovative spirit, we are thrilled to introduce yet another STEM opportunity that sets us apart, promotes career exploration and gives our students a leg up on their futures,” Superintendent Dr. Doug Brubaker said.

Not only will students receive a beneficial education and exciting interactive experiences, but they have a chance of receiving scholarships up to $20,000 exclusively for those who have been a part of the Tango Flight program.

“There is a growing demand for employees in the aviation, aerospace and outer space industries,” said Craig Anthony, Director of Development for Tango Flight Inc. “These opportunities represent high-paying, high-rewarding job opportunities for young people.”