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September 29, 2004  -  Volume 1, Number 1

Aviation Institute gains
full-scale structual testing lab

The Institute's new
full-scale testing facility

The National Institute for Aviation Research is greatly expanding the reach of its global aerospace R&D laboratory with the addition of substantial full-scale aircraft structural fatigue testing facilities from a major aviation manufacturer.

The National Institute for Aviation Research will provide proprietary full-scale aircraft fatigue testing services for the entire aviation industry from facilities

obtained from Raytheon Aircraft Company and located at its manufacturing campus in Wichita, Kan. The new operation will be called the Aircraft Structural Testing and Evaluation Center.

Raytheon Aircraft is the Institute's launch customer for the additional facility. The laboratory will provide structural testing for Raytheon Aircraft's entire product range, including current work on Hawker Horizon fatigue and static tests.

"With these additional substantial testing facilities, the National Institute for Aviation Research strengthens its structural testing lab capabilities so we can now offer expanded services to the leading aviation manufacturers and designers from around the world who utilize our qualified research team," said John Tomblin, executive director of the National Institute for Aviation Research.

"I appreciate Raytheon Aircraft's enterprising approach to achieving full utilization of these aerospace testing facilities while fortifying the R&D capabilities of the institute," he added.

The innovative arrangement will permit the Institute to utilize the former Raytheon structural fatigue testing facilities to accomplish proprietary work for any aircraft manufacturer or designer, including Raytheon competitors. The Institute will continue to offer services to the aerospace industry while providing individual companies with competitive security.

"The National Institute for Aviation Research has performed laboratory research for many distinguished aerospace manufacturers, aircraft designers and government agencies, and these added facilities and equipment will permit our business to grow even further," Dr. Tomblin said.

Included in the structural fatigue testing lab facilities are 46,000 square feet of hangar space, access to an 8,000-foot runway, approximately $10 million in reliable test facilities and numerous skilled technicians to operate the equipment. The Institute will relocate its Aging Aircraft Research Laboratory to the new fatigue test facility.

This adds substantial capacity to existing National Institute for Aviation Research facilities, which already encompass a 74,000 square foot laboratory complex and a talented workforce of more than 200, including 130 qualified staff members and associates who have undergraduate and post graduate degrees in aerospace and engineering related disciplines.


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