FedEx Express has donated a Boeing 727-200F to California Baptist University for its new aviation science program. The cargo jet made its final taxi Jan. 10 after landing at the Riverside Municipal Airport. The aircraft will be on permanent display at the airport and will provide a working laboratory for CBU aviation science students, reports Baptist Press.
Before its final flight, the aircraft with registration number N266FE provided FedEx with 20 years of service, transporting packages to destinations throughout the United States. The plane is FedEx's 60th donation of a Boeing 727 to various organizations for educational purposes. Prior to its service with FedEx, the aircraft served as a passenger plane for Air Canada.
Daniel Prather, founding chair of the university's aviation science department, said the aircraft "reached the end of its useful life in commercial service after 33 years" but is "beginning a new life here at the Riverside Municipal Airport as a working lab for CBU aviation science students."
Prather noted that Women in Aviation International helped facilitate the FedEx donation. WAI is a nonprofit Ohio-based organization that encourages the advancement of women in all aviation careers and interests.
"FedEx is always proud to give back to the communities where we live and work," said David Sutton, FedEx managing director of aircraft acquisition and sales, "and this donation of a 727 from our fleet is a good example of the company's community spirit. This marks the 60th aircraft we have donated coast to coast, reflecting the community pride shared by all FedEx employees in support of educational endeavors."
"Starting a program with a B727 already on hand," Prather said, "is more than I could have ever expected."