AVET Building

NIAR’s Aircraft Structural Test and Evaluation Center (ASTEC) is a truly unique facility dedicated to Aircraft Sustainment and Full-Scale Structural Testing. Encompassing a massive 250,000 square feet, the primary building features a 30x70-ft. hangar door, clear span of 265 feet (80 m.) and a 48-ft. (14 m.) ceiling.

ASTEC is a secure site designed to accommodate proprietary defense and industry research and certification testing. The facility houses NIAR’s Sustainment, Full-Scale Structural Test Lab, and Ballistics/Impact Dynamics Labs. It also features large-scale load frames for aircraft component testing, machining facilities, workspace for NIAR’s digital twin programs, client workspace/gym, engineering offices, six conference rooms and two commons areas. 

In its lifetime as a test facility, the lab has performed research and/or full-scale structural testing on aircraft such as the Learjet 85, MQ-9 Reaper, B-52, KC-135, F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, B1-B Lancer and UH-60 Black Hawk, to name a few.



ASTEC Laboratories


The Sustainment Lab supports the federal government and the aviation industry with investigations into the effects of age on commercial and military aircraft.

Virtual Engineering and Flight

The lab assesses the structural performance and durability of aerospace and related structures by performing full-scale and component testing (static, durability and damage tolerance), pressure cyclic testing, hail strike testing and material testing. 

Virtual Engineering and Flight

The Ballistics Test Facility contains a control/instrumentation room and a target room/bunker. The range is setup so that targets can be located at 25, 50, 75, and 100 feet from the gun. 

Britt Brown Arena


ASTEC was founded in 2004 when NIAR took over the Full-Scale Structural Testing operations for Hawker Beechcraft (formerly Raytheon Aircraft Company). At that time, the lab gained $10 million in test equipment and a 46,000 sq. ft. hangar; and relocated its Aging Aircraft Lab there.

In 2012, ASTEC moved to the former Britt Brown Arena at the Kansas Coliseum, pending a rapid 9-month, $7 million renovation.

For more than 30 years, the Kansas Coliseum was the Wichita area’s premiere location for concerts, sporting events and shows. Opening in 1977 in Park City, Kansas, the Coliseum was made up of four pavilions, an RV Park and the Britt Brown Arena.



Melinda Laubach-Hock, Ph.D., Director 
(316) 978-8205

Brandon Baier, Director
(316) 978-8234

1229 E 85th St N.
Park City, Kansas 67147