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National Institute for Aviation Research Receives Designation by NASA

27 August 2004

The National Institute for Aviation Research has been charged by NASA with developing nationalized standards for composite materials used in aircraft manufacturing.

Working in conjunction with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Langley Research Center, the National Institute for Aviation Research has established the National Center for Advanced Materials Performance to accomplish this objective. The Institute, located in Wichita, Kansas, has global expertise in aircraft research, design, testing, and certification.

“The Institute’s new National Center for Advanced Materials Performance will develop the process by which aviation composites and advanced materials will be validated through a centralized database. These quality assurance standards will be used by all aircraft and parts manufacturers to reduce costs and cycle times for new products,” said Dr. John Tomblin, Executive Director of the National Institute for Aviation Research.

The National Institute for Aviation Research currently provides some 70% of the composite material research undertaken by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. The Institute will make the most of this extensive composite experience in developing the new national standards.

Increasing the efficiency of advanced material applications for new aircraft models and decreasing the cost of materials will be the primary focus of the Institute’s new NASA-designated centre for advanced material performance.

The Institute expects a trend towards more prevalent use of composite materials, said Executive Director Tomblin. The two major large transport aircraft manufacturers demonstrate this anticipated growth with the introduction of the Boeing 7E7 Dreamliner and development of the Airbus A380 family, which both utilize considerable composite materials technology.

“Advances in vehicle development will likely accelerate during the next decade as new emerging technologies are applied to design and placed into production throughout the aircraft industry,” said Tomblin, who also heads the Institute’s Composites Laboratory and Structures Laboratory.

""This centre not only has local importance, but national importance as well,"" according to John Tomblin, ""This centre will aid the ability to use advanced materials more cost effectively. Companies will have a standardized material property database to go to.""

The National Institute for Aviation Research is a prestigious state-of-the-art aerospace research and development laboratory with global reach and expertise in research, design, testing, and certification. The Institute’s clientele includes many of the world’s aerospace manufacturers, NASA and the FAA. It is the largest aviation R&D academic institution in America. The National Institute for Aviation Research is an unincorporated division of Wichita State University.





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