Lewis University is proud to be a veteran friendly school. Many veterans choose Lewis’ Aviation degree programs as an extension of their wartime careers. Aircraft technicians, pilots, air traffic controllers, and many other vets choose to attend Lewis. Aviation Faculty are also proud veterans. I myself, served in the U.S. Navy as an Aviation Structural Technician in Antarctica and New Zealand. Thirty-five year Lewis Professor Louis Revisky served his country as a Marine during the Vietnam War. He has remained true to his service and proudly helps many veteran causes. However, it was this last semester that he chose to graphically display his pride. Professor Revisky and members of his Aviation Structures II class sought to restore a damaged Radome that was used on a Boeing 737 and pay tribute to our veterans.
The Radome is the portion of the aircraft that most people think would have to be the strongest portion of the aircraft. It is the “tip of the spear” as the aircraft pushes through the air stream. Ironically, the radome is simply a fiberglass shell that covers a weather radar system and navigational antenna’s. The radome actually provides zero structural integrity to the aircraft, other than aerodynamic wind resistance. However, the forward pressure bulkhead that is hidden under the Radome, which the weather radar and antenna are attached, provides incredible structural integrity to the airframe and is crucial for cabin pressurization.
These fiberglass shells do get rock chips and foreign object damage, wearing them down over time. They are frequently changed for material degradation and as part of a scheduled maintenance program. One of these damaged Radomes made it’s way in to professor Revisky’s shop. He tasked members of his class to strip the paint, repair the damaged areas, and paint the large structure. One of the students, John Quarello was an Air Force veteran with distinguished service on A-10′s during the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. “Rev” downloaded a copy of an A-10 with nose art that honored one of the most storied squadrons in Army Air Corps history, “The Flying Tigers.”
The students worked tirelessly to repair and painstakingly duplicate the intricate paint design. After each process was completed the Radome had to cure and be hand sanded and prepped. The application of paint is actually the easy part, as anyone who has painted a car, boat, or airplane will tell you; prepping the project is everything! This paint job takes tremendous skill and craftsmanship to complete.
The Lewis University aviation and aerospace maintenance students exceeded all expectations. The Radome turned out beautifully! During the annual Aviation BBQ at the maintenance hangar the radome was installed on the University’s 737 to honor the service of our veterans, past and present. Students alumni, and faculty took pictures of the fabulous results.
Subsequently, the Lewis University original Radome was installed back on the 737 with the help of John Quarello and others. The Radome with the “Shark Teeth” paint job will be saved and hung in a place of pride to honor our veterans who have served, and those ROTC students who will serve in the future.
If you are interested in continuing your education at a veteran friendly school that respects and honors it’s veterans, Lewis University could be a great fit. Lewis University Aviation and Transportation Department is the winner of the Loening Trophy presented annually to the outstanding all around collegiate aviation program in the nation. The Loening Trophy is the rarest and oldest of all collegiate aviation awards.
Contact Roman Ortega Jr.,M.B.A.
DIRECTOR OF VETERANS AFFAIRS AND RECRUITMENT at Lewis University, firstname.lastname@example.org.