Through a new partnership with Sequoia Aircraft Conversions and the Kansas Modification Center, the National Institute for Aviation Research at Wichita State University will begin a large-scale entrepreneurial Boeing 777 passenger-to-freighter conversion program.
The program, led by NIAR’s Engineering Design and Modification Team (EDM), will focus on the conversion of 777-300ER passenger aircraft from passenger-transport operations into cargo aircraft to meet the growing e-commerce high-volume freight transportation market.
The program allows NIAR EDM to provide engineering, modification, flight test, and certification for this and other commercial and defense programs, initially providing jobs for nearly 40 full-time engineers and 10 Wichita State engineering students. As the program progresses, there will be additional opportunities for WSU and WSU Tech students, especially those in the Aviation Maintenance Technician School.
Sequoia Aircraft Conversions will market the passenger to freighter conversions. Kansas Mod Center will own the STC and license the conversions.
NIAR EDM is based out of the former Boeing Air Force One modification facilities adjacent to McConnell Air Force Base. They provide new product development, production design, initial and Supplemental Type Certification, instrumentation installation, modifications and field support/repair.
The team consists of 140 engineers with more than 3,500 years of combined experience in engineering and program management.
NIAR provides research, testing, certification and training for aviation and manufacturing technologies. Established in 1985, NIAR has a $96 million annual budget; a staff of 650; and nearly one million square feet of laboratory and office space in four locations across the city of Wichita, the Air Capital of the World. NIAR laboratories include Additive Manufacturing, Advanced Coatings, Advanced Manufacturing, Aging Aircraft, Ballistics/Impact Dynamics, CAD/CAM, Composites/Advanced Materials, Crash Dynamics, Environmental/Electromagnetic Test, Full-scale Structural Test, Nondestructive Test, Reverse Engineering, Robotics/Automation, Virtual Engineering, eXtended Reality and the Walter H. Beech Wind Tunnel. www.niar.wichita.edu
About Wichita State
Wichita State University serves as the Kansas urban-based research university, enrolling more than 20,000 students from every state in the U.S. and more than 100 countries. Wichita State and WSU Tech are recognized for being student centered and innovation driven.
Located in the largest city in the state with one of the highest concentrations in the United States of jobs involving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), Wichita State University provides uniquely distinctive and innovative pathways of applied learning, applied research and career opportunities for all of our students.
The Innovation Campus, which is a physical extension of the Wichita State University main campus, is one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing research/innovation parks, encompassing over 120 acres and is home to a number of global companies and organizations.