WICHITA, Kan. – Wichita Area Technical College (WATC) received a stunning 275 square-foot mural from educational partner Snap-On that showcases their pride and support of Wichita aviation.
After two years of planning and an eight hour install, the 22-foot by 12.5-foot mural was completed in early February.
Suitably placed at WATC’s main campus, the National Center for Aviation Training (NCAT); this display celebrates the forefathers of Wichita aviation, including Clyde Cessna, Walter Beech and Lloyd Stearman.
“The mural truly captures the rich aviation history of Wichita that we are all so proud of. No one player is overly represented, showing respect to all that made Wichita what it is today. The past, present and future of Wichita aviation is brought to focus just as it should be in a facility such as NCAT,” said Kent Irick, WATC Dean of Aviation Programs.
It encompasses the influential history of aviation from the first Cessna Silver Wing plane to today’s Boeing 787 and the purposes of air travel from mail and military, to the first corporate jet and commercial aircraft.
The goal was to show the history and future of aviation and how Snap-On can help support it along with WATC’s additional educational partners. These include Spirit Aerosystems, Learjet, Boeing, Beechcraft, Airbus and Cessna.
“When I first heard of the mural project, I must say I was apprehensive that it wouldn’t fit into the college setting and might be too flashy, more of a billboard than an artistic statement. But once it was installed, I can highlight it with pride as I guide the many tours through the NCAT facility,” said Irick.
After a century of leadership designing and manufacturing the world’s most advanced aircraft, Wichita now takes its rightful place as a global leader in aviation education. NCAT, built by Sedgwick County fuses Kansas’ aviation experience and expertise with cutting-edge instructional techniques and technology to forge a new educational standard.
Snap-on is a proud supporter of WATC. The Snap-on partnership program has had a large impact on the tools and storage solutions used at the WATC main campus, NCAT. Snap-on helps in supporting WATC’s needs and growth, as well as the Student Excellence Program, which allows students easy and affordable access to the number one tools used by professionals.
Along with other WATC supporters, Snap-On is confident in the college’s ability to grow their position as a global leader in aviation research through its partnership with WSU’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) and provide flexible, business driven, high-tech training to meet future skilled workforce needs as they teach new practices for the aviation industry.
“We’re excited to be part of this unique partnership of training and research that will benefit not only WATC and NIAR, but especially local aviation companies and the community,” said Dr. John Tomblin, Executive Director, NIAR.
WATC strives to provide quality higher education and leadership in workforce training that supports economic development for a global economy. From aviation maintenance to composite materials, robotics technology to aircraft completion, WATC will deliver training for a wide range of jobs critical to all phases of aircraft manufacture.
With great pride in being part of Wichita’s future in aviation, WATC values its educational partners who make it possible. For more information about WATC’s Aviation Programs, Snap-On partnership or an opportunity to see this showcase of aviation history, call 316-677-1337 or visit 4004 N. Webb Road, Wichita KS.