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King Air airplane in background with King Air Research Aircraft: Atmospheric Science

Facility Overview


Link to the Next Generation King Air page

July 2021 update

Under-wing Pylons Flight Testing

Flight testing was completed on the under-wing pylons in July. Pylons on each wing were loaded with weighted ‘PMS-style’ instrument canisters and flight tested for performance and flutter. These are expected the be the last tests needed for completion of the certification of the pylons.

Mission Electrical System Design

Initial design work on the mission electrical system is nearing completion. During this ‘conceptual design phase’, UW and Avcon engineers have been working towards a mission electrical system capable of delivering 400 Amps of 28 Volt DC power for the research electrical system on the new King Air. The Preliminary Design Review for this system is scheduled for early August.

Major and Minor Zenith Ports Design

Preliminary design work is nearing completion on the zenith ports for the new King Air. The ports consist of 5 small (3”X5”) ‘multi-use’ ports for various instrumentation and 2 large (14” diameter) ports for use with the Wyoming Cloud Radar. Preliminary Design Reviews for the zenith ports is expected in August.

PMS-style canisters mounted on wing pylons
PMS-style canisters mounted on wing pylons

June 2021 Update

Installation of nadir ports complete

The first major research modification was completed this month. The installation of the two major nadir ports were completed in June. These ports will be primarily used for the Wyoming Cloud Radar and the Raman and Doppler Lidars.

Manufacture and testing of under wing pylons

The under-wing pylons and wing wiring channels were completed and installed on the aircraft. In late June, ground vibration testing (GVT) was completed—the first step for the certification testing—with PMS-style canisters mounted on the pylons. Flight testing is scheduled for July.

Conceptual design of ‘upper crown’ layout continues

Work continues towards finalizing the upper crown layout, which includes the location of all ports and hardpoints on the top of the fuselage and the locations of antennas (with ‘keep out’ areas).

Plan view of Next Generation King Air model
Wing pylons and canisters
Interior view of nadir ports

May 2021 Update

Installation of nadir ports

Work continues on the installation of nadir ports.

Design of wing pylons finalized, manufacture of pylons begins

The design of the wing pylons has been finalized and approved by the UW. Each pylon will be capable of carrying 3 PMS-style canisters, increasing by 50% the capability compared to the current UWKA.

Wing hardpoints STC issued

The STC for underwing hardpoints, to which will be attached the instrument pylons, has been approved by the FAA. These hardpoints are located near the wingtip, which is a significant improvement over other STCs for wing hardpoints owned by other companies located more inboard, nearer the engines, on other King Air 350 aircraft.

Exterior view of nadir port opening
View of under-wing hardpoints
Model view of wing pylons


April 2021 Update

Design of nose extension/nose boom finalized

The design of the nose extension and nose boom has been finalized and approved by UW. The nose extension is significantly more capable (in terms of weight/volume) than the existing nose extension on the current UWKA. Manufacture of the nose extension will begin in June, with installation scheduled to begin in mid- to late-summer.

Conceptual design of ‘large’ zenith ports completed

The conceptual design for two large zenith ports that will be used by the Wyoming Cloud Radar is complete. Completion of the conceptual design is a critical milestone so that work may begin on the development of the WCR upgrade.

Installation of nadir ports begins

The first major research modification has begun with two large holes (~20”) cut in the bottom of the fuselage. The nadir ports are existing STCs (already certified); the ports will be used for the Wyoming Cloud Radar and the Raman and Doppler Lidars, and will also be available for other downward looking remote sensors.

Modification work in progress
Model view of nose boom extension
Model view of nadir ports

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