WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The new Apache Twin Program at Wichita State University’s (WSU) National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) is giving students hands-on experience by turning an AH-64 Apache helicopter into a 3-D model.

“I’m learning things here that I would never be able to learn from a textbook or in a classroom,” said Student Lead Nicholas Inzerillo.

The program was announced on Friday, July 29.

“We are taking a legacy apache helicopter and converting it from two-dimensional data to three-dimensional data in an effort to modernize sustainment for the army,” said Melinda Laubach-Hock, the director of Sustainment for NIAR.

The helicopter is first dismantled by mechanics and then taken over by students.

“We take pictures of parts, and then we move them through the process, edit them, get them to a state where they can be scanned and then [the] scan team will scan them,” Inzerillo said.

The scans are turned into a 3-D model, which is then used by the military for a variety of applications.

Laubach-Hock says the project will take about three years to complete and is giving students real-world experience.

“It’s given me quite a bit of experience working, just like program management,” said Inzerillo. “That’s invaluable and looks incredibly great on a resume.”