WICHITA, Kansas – A new $300,000 lab aimed at testing the dynamics and materials of aircraft recently opened at Wichita State University.
On Thursday, the National Institute for Aviation Research provided a live demonstration of their ballistics test site.
WSU students, like electrical engineering sophomore William Klausmeyer, spent the day preparing for a live fire demonstration of WSU’s new NIAR Ballistics and Impact Dynamics research lab.
“We’re also giving students like me an opportunity to get hands-on experience and see what it’s like to be an engineer in the real world,” said Klausmeyer.
The demo involved students and staff going through a long checklist before preparing to fire a 50-caliber bullet with the ballistic weapon.
WSU NIAR Director Paul Jonas said the reason behind the demonstration is to simulate the impact of a structural failure on an aircraft.
”We do that testing to assure that those pressurized bottles on aircraft are safe for operation and for transportation,” said Jonas.
Jonas said the unique lab will be cost effective and beneficial to the local aviation industry.
“They’re local and they can test, if you’re going to test in California than you have to ship the test articles and the engineers that are going to watch the test,” said Jonas.
The new lab makes the aviation industry more efficient, giving them better data to provide safe operation and transportation of aircraft.
NIAR is planning to add bird-strike and high velocity projectile capabilities later this year.
The new test facility will be adjacent to the ballistic range.