TSU’s Air Force ROTC Program Gets Major Boost With New, Top-Notch Flight Simulator

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Cadets in the TSU Air Force ROTC Detachment 790 interested in becoming Air Force pilots will now be able to take advantage of a state-of-the-art new X-Plane 11 flight simulator.

TSU President Glenda Glover cut the ribbon Tuesday officially opening the room in a ceremony surrounded by AFROTC cadets.

President Glenda Glover, assisted by Maj. Michael Gordon, Detachment Operations Officer, cuts the ribbon to officially open the flight simulation room. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Walt Rau, a friend of the university, donated the simulator to the Department of Aerospace Studies through the TSU Foundation.

“This is a great day in the life of Tennessee State University,” Glover said. “I thank you all and especially Mr. Walt Rau for bringing this level of technology with a simulator of a top-notch standard so that the students here can learn to carry out their training for careers they have chosen. This offers them unlimited possibilities.”

Walt Rau, son of Walter Rau, a World War II B-24 bombardier who died on a combat mission in Italy, said the donation is a way of remembering his father.

“I have profound respect for my father,” Walt Rau said in a letter to the TSU Foundation.  “As for my sacrifice, I could ramble on about how losing my father has shaped my life, but doing this may be a better way for your students.”

President Glenda Glover takes the control at the flight simulation deck, with Cadets Katelyn Thompson, left, and Jerry Kibet, and Maj. Gordon watching. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

According to Lt. Col. Sharon Presley, AFROTC 790 Detachment commander, the simulator will help cadets prepare for the Test of Basic Aviation Skills (TBAS), a computerized psychomotor, special ability and multi-tasking test battery, as well as the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT).

The system includes upgrade flight controls, rudder pedals, graphics intensive computer, and top-of-the-line X-Plane 11 flight simulator software.

“The flight simulator is an important part of enhancing Detachment 790’s training program to meet Air Force goals,” said Maj. Michael Gordon, assistant professor of aerospace studies and Detachment Operations Officer. “This will introduce cadets to flight training and inspire them to pursue aviation careers in the Air Force.”

Cadet Jackson Sloan was one of the first to test fly the new simulator.

“I’ve wanted to be a pilot since junior high,” said Sloan, a senior aerospace pro-pilot major from Brentwood, Tennessee, who is slated to attend Air Force pilot training after his graduation in May. “This is really a major boost to our training.”

Presley thanked Walt Rau for his donation to refurbish the TSU Department of Aerospace Studies Flight Simulator room.

“Through his donation we were able to restore modern controls, a set of modern rotter pedals, brand new high intensity graphic computer and the most top-of-the-line flight software available,” Presley said.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.