Airbus 321

Aug. 18, 2022 — At a media event and celebration today, Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research WERX and Erickson Precision Ventures LLC announced their first collaborative passenger to freighter conversion program of an Airbus 321.

A DHL plane gets loaded with cargo.

May 25, 2022 — The WERX program at Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) and Erickson Precision Ventures have reached an agreement to work cooperatively on modification, maintenance and engineering for various Boeing and Airbus aircraft.  

777 taking off

April 26, 2022 — WERX at Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research has completed the first pre-modification baseline test flight for the Kansas Modification Center’s 777-300ERCF passenger-to-freighter conversion program.

NIAR completes ground vibration testing for Kansas Modification Center’s 777-300ERCF conversion

March 14. 2022 — Things are shaking in Wichita with the Kansas Modification Center’s 777-300ERCF conversion program at Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR). The team at NIAR WERX completed ground vibration testing last month.

B1B in a Wichita State parking lot

On March 9, 2022, the B-1 System Program Office (SPO), Tinker AFB, OK awarded a six-year, $100 million follow-on contract to Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) to continue the B-1’s Digital Engineering (DE) transformation. The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) helped form the strategic partnership and created a flexible contract structure, which allows NIAR and the B-1 SPO to adapt requirements real-time to meet critical warfighter needs.

WSU's NIAR team celebrates milestone in 777 conversion project

Jan. 20, 2022 — Wichita State University and Kansas Modification Center have reached another significant milestone to advance the passenger-to-freighter aircraft conversion of the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft at WSU’s National Institute for Aviation Research WERX

NAIR WERX

Nov. 4, 2021 - A $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce will help Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) purchase tools and supplies to support Flight Test Research Center and Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul facility at NIAR WERX.

Today, Spirit AeroSystems Inc. held a grand opening event and ribbon cutting ceremony for its National Defense Prototype Center (NDPC), a joint project with Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR).

Oct. 15, 2021 – Today, Spirit AeroSystems Inc. held a grand opening event and ribbon cutting ceremony for its National Defense Prototype Center (NDPC), a joint project with Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR). This new research center will significantly expand Spirit’s capabilities and production efficiencies in the defense and space market.

NIAR MRO

Oct, 1, 2021 - The 777 conversion program will provide unique applied learning opportunities for WSU engineering and WSU Tech students. NIAR’s ability to provide applied learning experience for students will expand with a $2.1 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration for the purchase and installation of equipment for the institute’s Flight Test Research Center and Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility on South Oliver near Spirit AeroSystems.

The Boeing 777 aircraft rests at NIAR facilities.

Sept. 8, 2021 — WERX at Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) has received its first Boeing 777-300ER passenger aircraft. As part of its rapidly growing Maintenance Repair and Overhaul program, WSU-NIAR WERX, in conjunction with Kansas Modification Center, will convert the passenger aircraft into a freighter that will be transferred to an external client to meet the growing needs of the e-commerce and express cargo market.

The ATLAS lab at NIAR

Aug. 18, 2021 — The Department of Defense (DoD) has designated South Kansas as a Defense Manufacturing Community (DCM), making the region eligible for $5 million through the Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation’s Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program. The initiative is led by Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR).

F16

June 30, 2021 -- The U.S. Air Force is launching a new program with Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) to make a digital replica of the F-16 Fighting Falcon in an effort to improve the sustainment and modernization of F-16s operating around the world.

B-1B arrives at Wichita State

June 7, 2021 — The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center B-1 Division is sponsoring a research project with Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research to study the effects of flight operations on aircraft structures.

Tom Gentile

May 3, 2021 - The W. Frank Barton School of Business at Wichita State University has launched its Executive-in-Residence program. This program will provide Barton School students, faculty and the Wichita community with vital perspectives and knowledge from industry leaders. Tom Gentile, president and CEO of Spirit AeroSystems, will serve as the program’s first resident for the Fall 2021 semester.

Wichita State student

April 1, 2021 - In the latest U.S. News and World Report rankings of universities offering a Ph.D. in engineering, the College of Engineering at Wichita State University is again ranked in the top 100 engineering graduate programs, the only institution from the state of Kansas to make it in the top 100. Wichita State ranks No. 77 on the list, up from No. 94 a year ago.