- Associated Press - Thursday, August 27, 2015

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - An aircraft manufacturer has donated a 20-foot-long airplane part valued at $500,000 to the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology to support education and research efforts.

Airbus Americas has donated the A320 elevator, which is used to generate and control an aircraft’s pitching motion.

Airbus Americas president Barry Eccleston says the company sees the donation as in investment in its future because the school will use the elevator for teaching and research.

The school is expected to use the elevator to research cold-spray technology, which can help repair metals by blowing metal powder at extremely fast speeds.

U.S. Sen. John Thune helped facilitate the donation. He says the gift is an example of how public-private partnerships can help educate people for careers that meet the demands of today’s economy.

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