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.  

Image of Samantha Rowan.

May 2, 2022 — Samantha Rowan is graduate and a first-generation student. She plans to work with elderly after she graduates. Samantha is one of more than 2,400 students eligible for spring 2022 graduation. Learn more about her time at Wichita State and what is next for the grad.

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.

Juan Aguilar is standing outside behind a metal sculpture.

Feb. 7, 2022 — Four years ago, Juan Aguilar made a decision that is about to make his last two years in college a whole lot more affordable.

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

Valeria Esparza sits in front of the Wichita State University sign. She is wearing a grey sweater and black turtleneck and is sitting on a brick ledge. There is some shrubbery below the sign.

Dec. 8, 2021— Valeria Esparza’s dream was to attend college as a first-generation student. She is now guaranteed a position to teach elementary education as her future job following graduation. Esparza is one of more than 1,100 students eligible for fall 2021 graduation.

Aunjnae White, a first-generation student, posing with her degree in psychology.

Nov. 22, 2021 – New beginnings are usually an adjustment, and it can be a leap of faith if you are the first to go to college in your family.

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.

Shocker Nation graphic

Sept. 30, 2021 -- Enrollment for fall 2021 at Wichita State University and WSU Tech is showing strong growth despite a decline in 2020 caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the loss of thousands of local jobs.

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.