NIAR to take over some Hawker Beechcraft testing

Hawker Beechcraft Corp. said today that it will transfer equipment and operations of some test laboratories to Wichita State University's National Institute for Aviation Research.

The operations include electromagnetic compatibility, mechanical and environmental test laboratories.

Under the arrangement, NIAR will gain new testing capabilities, additional space and experienced staff, the company said. NIAR will operate facilities within two Hawker Beechcraft buildings on its main campus in Wichita, totaling 49,000 square feet.

NIAR will pay $400,000 to Hawker Beechcraft to pay off the remaining balance on the equipment. The rest of the equipment, valued in the millions, will be donated to NIAR.

Ten Hawker Beechcraft employees are affected by the move and will have the opportunity to stay on with NIAR.

With the change, NIAR will be able to perform testing for the industry and federal agencies and provide hands-on training for students, university officials said.

The labs have the capability to perform a variety of environmental tests, including electromagnetic effects, lightning effects, temperature and altitude, humidity, operational shock and vibration, salt spray, flammability and icing and other specialized testing for aircraft safety assurance and certification, the company said.