Flight Research Acquisitions Expand Capabilities

Flight Research Acquisitions Expand Capabilities

Calspan’s flight testing and flight training capabilities are both preparing to receive a substantial boost. With the acquisition of a new Learjet 31A and the airworthiness certification of our second Gulfstream G-III jet, Calspan is increasing the availability and reach of its flight services.

Learjet 31A

In early October, 2017, Calspan acquired a Learjet 31A to be used as a new VSS (Variable Stability System) platform. The original Calspan Learjet VSS aircraft is nearing its end of life, and although this 24-series Learjet has served many customers well for over 30 years, new airframes create additional room for expansion of technical capabilities. A feasibility study was concluded by Bombardier to assess Calspan’s requirements, and the Learjet 31A was determined to be the most suitable aircraft that meet the needs of our VSS program. The Calspan VSS will be integrated into this aircraft over the coming year. Our Variable Stability System is used for pilot training, flight testing, and many other services.


Calspan Learjet Variable Stability

One of Calspan’s VSS Learjets

Gulfstream III Airborne Testbed

Adding to the capacity of our airborne testbed programs is one of Calspan’s highest priorities. The recent modification of our second Gulfsteam G-III aircraft ensures that we can continue to service customers in a timely fashion. After nearly 18 months of substantial modification work the G-III is now outfitted with an updated centerline pylon capable of carrying 2,500 lb, a liquid cooling system capable of over 8 KW of heat rejection, new seat tracks, a cabin intercom system, a new SATCOM system, an updated FTE station, and a MAU-12 ejector rack. This aircraft recently received airworthiness approval, and on 30 Nov. 2017, successfully completed its first operational checkout flight.

The G-III will begin supporting customers in early December, 2017. This aircraft is the culmination of over 2 years of work, and is a truly unique asset with a variety of uses for commercial, military, and private industries. From antennas to jammer pods, it’s flight characteristics and cost-per-hour make it an ideal candidate for a wide array of flight test projects.


airborne testbed

Calspan’s newest airborne testbed

Calspan continues to invest in it’s already sizeable aircraft fleet, adding more capability and expanding the potential reach to customers throughout the world. The enormously positive reception of Calspan’s airborne testbed services shows a growing need for additional aircraft and the means to both modify and operate those aircraft in a sweeping range of conditions. Continued innovations in variable stability and it’s widening application scope are also adding to Calspan’s overall flight testing, training, and testbed offering suite.

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