NIAR: European safety agency agrees to accept material data from Wichita center

The European Aviation Safety Agency will now accept the National Institute for Aviation Research’s specifications and design values developed for composites, a move that will shorten the certification process for planemakers, NIAR said.

EASA, Europe’s safety agency for civil aviation, will accept the material data developed at NIAR through its National Center for Advanced Materials Performance at Wichita State University as certification data.

EASA’s acceptance follows similar acceptance by the Federal Aviation Administration in the U.S.

The National Center for Advanced Materials Performance at NIAR has now qualified six composite materials systems. That will allow the material suppliers to more effectively market their materials, NIAR said.

And it will shorten the certification process for manufacturers using the qualified materials, which will result in cost savings, it said.

EASA has been involved with the National Center for Advanced Materials Performance, or NCAMP, and Composite Materials Handbook-17 working groups for many years, John Tomlin, NIAR’s executive director, said in a statement.

“Their support of the handbook and NCAMP initiatives is crucial to the ultimate success of the program,” Tomblin said.

The working groups develop content for the composite materials handbook and ultimately approve or deny materials qualified by NCAMP for publication in the handbook.

NCAMP began in 2005 as a FAA-funded program within NIAR and stemmed from NASA’s 1995 Advanced General Aviation Transport Experiment, NIAR said.