The National Institute of Aeronautics Research (NIAR) WERX Program at Wichita State University and Erickson Precision Ventures have entered into an agreement to work cooperatively on the modification, maintenance and engineering of various Boeing and Airbus.
NIAR will soon complete conversions and maintenance – which began last year – for Erickson’s subsidiary, Erickson Aero Tanker.
In the third quarter of 2022, NIAR WERX will begin performing passenger-to-cargo (P2F) conversions for Erickson, adding two new aircraft to its conversion portfolio with the expectation of performing 12 to 24 per year for Precision Aircraft Solutions (Precision ) to NIAR WERX.
“The unprecedented demand for Airbus and Boeing products is a testament to the investment and teamwork required to create industry-leading products for our community and our customers,” said Gary Warner, President of Precision. “Precision is working with facilities around the world to meet this demand, and NIAR WERX is a truly unique addition to the team. Through its applied research and technology, NIAR WERX has the personnel and facilities necessary for the required levels of production, a goal-oriented team, and the state-level support needed to realize its overall vision.
“I am extremely proud of the team of engineers, technicians and students we have assembled here in Wichita,” said NIAR WERX Executive Director David Jones. “They have taken on and taken on the challenge of completing some of the most complex conversion programs. As WERX continues to build the first new air vehicle development and modification center in Kansas, we will make further significant growth announcements in Wichita, Salina and Topeka.
“Kansas has the resources to be the MRO capital, and it’s quickly becoming a reality,” said Sen. Jerry Moran, a strong Kansas aviation supporter. “The strong partnerships that NIAR WERX is forming with Precision will provide skilled, well-paying jobs to Kansans while simultaneously supporting the growth of the aviation industry across the country.”
“The addition of these aircraft to the NIAR WERX portfolio underscores the importance of the Wichita region to the aerospace industry,” Kansas Governor Laura Kelly said. “This expansion creates additional career opportunities for Kansans while underscoring to other businesses that Kansas is a place of growth and opportunity.”
Based on this new partnership and the recently announced expansion of the Kansas Modification Center’s P2F 777-300ERCF conversion program, NIAR WERX expects to create nearly 1,500 jobs over the next five years.