The University of Dayton’s newest lab will be unique.
The UD Research Institute will start to receive a decommissioned Air Force C-130 cargo plane Wednesday morning, expected to arrive in several sections on flatbed trucks.
The plane will be used for research work and education, the Air Force and a spokeswoman for the university said Wednesday.
Once reassembled, researchers from UDRI will perform research with the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Product Support Engineering Division and the center’s C-130 Program Office, Wright-Patterson said in a statement.
“The Air Force spends a lot of money on aircraft sustainment,” said Debbie Naguy, AFLCMC Product Support Engineering Division chief. “The C-130 that is being delivered here today will help us demonstrate and qualify new innovative technologies to lower sustainment costs and improve readiness.”
Air Force and university researchers will together use the plane to test and demonstrate new technologies, with an eye on how to lower costs in sustaining older C-130s.
Keeping older planes flying, and doing that in a cost-effective way, is one of the Air Force’s bigger challenges.
In particular, new technologies such as 3-D printing offer the Air Force a relatively low cost way to replicate older plane components.
UD poured a 2,500-square-foot concrete pad to bear the plane, which weighs 40 tons empty.
The plane has a wing span of more than 130 feet. A university spokeswoman said it may take about a week to fully assemble.
The plane is being delivered from Eglin Air Force Base, near Pensacola, Fla.
The research work is expected to last between 18 and 24 months and will involve students from UD, The Ohio State University, and Wright State University working alongside Air Force and UDRI engineers and researchers, Wright Patterson said in an announcement.
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