Seattle-based aircraft development company Aerotec has opened an engineering center in the Old Town district of Wichita, its fourth and only location outside Washington. Aerotec said it selected Wichita because of the availability of aerospace engineers.
The announcement comes after the company said last week it was partnering with Universal Hydrogen on a hydrogen-powered Dash 8 conversion, of which Aerotec will lead the aircraft conversion, flight test, and certification activities. It also is involved in 15 other aircraft development programs, including a Rolls-Royce 747-400 flying testbed conversion, Honeywell’s RDR-7000 weather radar test and certification program, and multiple special missions modification and hybrid and electric aircraft development programs.
“The new Wichita office will play a significant role in supporting these programs with critical engineering activities,” said Aerotec founder and CEO Lee Human. The Wichita Engineering Center is initially expected to have 25 engineers with the potential of growing that number to 100 in the next year, Aerotec said.
Besides Seattle, Aerotec’s other Washington operations include a flight-test center in Moses Lake and a manufacturing center in Arlington. Aerotec is also partnered with MagniX to convert aircraft such as Cessna Grand Caravans and DHC-2 Beavers with MagniX's electric propulsion system.