Calspan acquires KHRI LC, to consolidate Crash Research activities for the Eastern Region of the National Automotive Sampling System – a government research project through NHTSA.
Calspan begins to outfit up to 450 cars in WNY with cameras and data acquisition systems in support of the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP-2) initiative.
CAL/Calspan designated an AIAA Historic Site, Mr. Bill Milliken attends reception and a plaque was installed.
Calspan won the contract award based on a proposal to buy and modify a Saab 340 twin engine regional transport aircraft. Modifications to the Saab were completed and this aircraft was known as the Airborne Systems Training And Research Support aircraft, (ASTARS). ASTARS operated at the USN Test Pilot School with Calspan aircrew and maintenance.
Calspan purchased their first Gulfstream III aircraft (Tail # N710CF) after customers expressed a need for a systems testbed with Learjet performance in a larger airframe and to support Northrop Grumman's Next-Generation Jammer flight test program. The aircraft was modified into a systems test aircraft with engineer stations in the cabin, a reconfigurable antenna base on the top of the external fuselage, a testbed power distribution system, and a centerline pylon that could carry up to a 2,500-lb. external store.
Learjet #2 is used in the several yearlong USAF Sense and Avoid UAV test program to develop sensors and control algorithms for unmanned air vehicles to fly within the National Airspace. Testing was done by flying the simulated UAV against a single multiple ‘intruder’ aircraft. This technology is maturing nicely and will eventually allow unmanned and manned aircraft to share the skies safely without having to designate certain flying areas.
The French Test Pilot School (Ecole du Personnel Navigant d’Essais et de Reception d’Istres or EPNER) and The British Test Pilot School (ETPS) start to utilize Calspan aircraft. There are currently four variable stability Learjets in service supporting training commitments in the U.S. and in Europe.
Learjet #4, 25-354 is modified into an in-flight simulator. The British or Empire Test Pilot School at Boscombe Down contracts with Calspan to provide training services. The French Test Pilot School, called EPNER, located at the French Test Center at Istres contracts with Calspan to provide training to their students.
The Autonomous Aerial Refueling project lasts for several years using numerous test session to refine and test the control laws involved with refueling an unmanned air vehicle. This program ended with the variable stability Learjet #2 flying precisely behind the tanker in the contact position for over 20 minutes during three racetrack orbits over Lake Ontario without any pilot interaction.
Calspan bid and successfully won the Fixed Base Operator (FBO) contract from the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA). A new entity, Calspan Air Services, was created and will provide fueling and ground handling services for transient aircraft at Niagara Falls.
A major update of the tire test facility with the electric motors for both the roadbed and the wheel were replaced and the control system for operating the test facility was upgraded.
Calspan listed as one of the Best Places to Work in Western New York.
Based on the strength of the small, hardworking team of Crash Testers, ownership made the decision to invest $25 million to build a new 58,000 sq. ft. crash test facility. It was designed by one of the Crash Testers and constructed on the back acreage of the Genesee Street complex.
Northrup Grumman X-47B successful completes aerial refuel using Calspan’s Learjet #2 aerial refueling technique. Learjet #2 was fitted with a refueling probe attached to the right side of the aircraft’s nose sensors and software installed into the Learjet’s variable stability system allowing this aircraft to rejoin on a Navy tanker and fly up to and engage the air refueling basket.
Responding to a high demand, Calspan added a second Gulfstream III testbed aircraft (Tail # N721CF) with similar capabilities as their first Gulfstream III.
Calspan acquires Triumph Aerospace Systems and forms Calspan Systems Corporation, a globally-recognized, industry-leading firm specializing in the engineering and manufacture of complex hardware and prototype systems for aerospace.
Learjet #5, serial number 31-226 is purchased and is currently in modification. When it becomes operational in 2021, this aircraft will replace the first Calspan Learjet.
The New Crash Facility Grand Opening with now everything needed to conduct a crash test within a single, fully enclosed, highly secure building. There is a 670 ft in ground guide rail that spans 2 crash halls located at either end of the track. There is capability for frontal crashes in one area while simultaneously side impact tests are conducted in the other area. This state-of-the-art is considered the most capable independent crash lab in North America and one of the best in the world.
The first variable stability Learjet, 24-218 was flown back to Niagara Falls from the NAS Patuxent and retired after nearly 38 years of safe operations.
Calspan’s new crash test facility earns top recognition from Automotive Testing Technology International.