NIAR Timeline - Aviation research, design, testing, certification

| NIAR HISTORY | NIAR TIMELINE |

1928
Aerospace Engineering Professor Alexander Petroff and his students, Dwayne L. Wallace, Jerry Gerteis and Tom Stalter, construct the first wind tunnel at the University of Wichita.

 

1948
A 7 x 10 ft. subsonic wind tunnel is built by the Wichita State University College of Engineering under the supervision of Ken Razak.

 

1952
The wind tunnel is dedicated as the Walter H. Beech Memorial Wind Tunnel.

 

1985
The Institute for Aviation Research is established at Wichita State University. Labs include Aerodynamics, Composites, Crash Dynamics, Human Factors, Aircraft Icing, Structures, Propulsion, CAD/CAM and the Research Machine Shop.

 

1987
NIAR receives federal funds to expand research support to the aviation industry.

 

1988
The Institute is designated as a Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation Center of Excellence.

 

1989
Construction of the 74,000 square foot research facility housing the Institute is completed and is dedicated on April 30 the following year.

 

1990
The Mid-America Manufacturing Technology Center is established as a part of the Institute.

 

1993
The Computational Mechanics Laboratory is established.

 

1995
NIAR joins the NASA Advanced General Aviation Transport Experiments (AGATE) program.

 

1996
The Institute formally establishes the Aircraft Design and Manufacturing Research Center (ADMRC).

 

1997
NIAR is designated an FAA Airworthiness Assurance Center of Excellence (AACE).

 

1998

The Mechatronics Laboratory is established.

The Institute formally establishes the Manufacturing Innovation and Development Initiative (MIND) in Aviation.

 

1999
NIAR initiates a statewide partnership to launch the Kansas Small Aircraft Transportation System (KSATS) program supported by NASA.

 

2000
The Landing Gear Drop Tower Laboratory is created.

 

2001

FAA awards NIAR the Excellence in Aviation institutional award.

NIAR is designated as a core member of the FAA Center for General Aviation Research (CGAR).

The Virtual Reality Center and the Visual Technology Laboratory are established.

 

2002

The Aging Aircraft Laboratory and the Ergonomics Laboratory are established.

 

2003

The Fatigue and Fracture Laboratory is established.

The Walter H. Beech Memorial Wind Tunnel undergoes a $6 million upgrade.

FAA designates NIAR as the lead institution for the Center of Excellence for Composites and Advanced Materials (CECAM).

 

2004

NIAR creates the National Center for Advanced Materials Performance (NCAMP).

The Crash Dynamics Laboratory undergoes modernization, including a $3 million acceleration sled.

 

2005

NIAR gains the full-scale structural testing facility at Raytheon Aircraft Co. It is established as the Aircraft Structural Testing and Evaluation Center (ASTEC).

The Advanced Joining & Processing Laboratory is established.

 

2006

NIAR’s research efforts catapult WSU to a No. 4 ranking by the National Science Foundation among all U.S. universities in aeronautical research and development. WSU was previously ranked No. 7.

 

The Advanced Joining & Processing Lab receives a grant from the National Science Foundation to become part of its Center for Friction Stir Processing (CFSP).

 

The Calibration & Quality Laboratory is established.

 

2007

The first two Environmental Testing Laboratories, the Susceptibility Test Lab and Indirect Lightning Test Lab, open for their first clients.

 

NIAR gains 14,000 square feet of additional research space in a new building located north of NIAR’s main facility. The building will house additional environmental testing equipment, the machine shop for the Composites Lab, an ASTM lab and 23 MTS load frames for the Structures and Fatigue and Fracture Labs.

 

2008

WSU ranks third among all U.S. universities in aerospace engineering research and development, according to National Science Foundation data, improving its fourth place ranking.

 
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