Buffalo NY September 29, 2015 - Calspan Aerospace has won a $1.57M contract with the U.S. Navy to provide a next-generation Variable Stability System (VSS) for a U.S. Naval Test Pilot School UH-60L Blackhawk helicopter. The U.S. Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS) trains engineering test pilots, flight test officers, and flight test engineers to conduct test and evaluation at the Aircraft Division of the Naval Air Warfare Center. Graduating students use this expertise to work on aircraft and weapons systems, conduct flight tests and manage the introduction of new assets to the fleet.
The project involves the design, fabrication, and installation of a sensor suite, fly-by-wire VSS computer system, pilot and aircraft interfaces, safety trip and data recording systems on the UH-60L Blackhawk Helicopter. The modified aircraft will be used to expose students at the school to a myriad of helicopter handling quality characteristics, bringing classroom academics to life using a single airframe. The project is set to be conducted over the next six months at the Calspan Aerospace headquarters in Niagara Falls, NY.
The helicopter will become the third-generation variable stability H-60 to be used in the school's training programs and the latest in a long line of variable stability fixed and rotary wing aircraft that Calspan has modified and operated over the last 70 years. "We are excited to begin this next project with USNTPS, who Calspan has had a long-standing relationship with, and to help create the best learning environment for future Test Pilot School graduates," said Calspan CEO and Test Pilot, Lou Knotts.
Calspan Aerospace operates its flight research and testing business at the Niagara Falls International Airport, in an 80,000 sq. ft. facility, which the company built in 2005. Calspan operates a fleet of 8 airborne testbeds which are utilized for research, development, test and evaluation work as well as test pilot school training. Customers include both domestic and international government and commercial companies.