Spirit AeroSystems has opened its National Defense Prototype Center (NDPC), a joint project with Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR).

Plans are for the 125,000 ft2 research center to cover aviation, defense, and space programs with a focus on high-temperature materials, such as hypersonic missiles, that can withstand temperatures of 2,500-5,000°F. It has processing and characterization capabilities such as high temperature testing, furnaces for fabricating and processing materials, multi-method non-destructive inspection, robotic automated fiber placement technology and a large autoclave.

‘NIAR has been a tremendous partner in the development of the [NDPC] and enabling Wichita as a center for defense growth,’ said Duane Hawkins, Spirit AeroSystems VP. ‘The NDPC provides a secure space for high temperature materials testing, as well as development, prototyping and industrialization capabilities to support Spirit’s growth strategy targeting $US1b of defense revenue by the mid-2020s.’

This story uses material from Spirit, with editorial changes made by Materials Today.