Boeing renewed its contract to use QinetiQ’s Hampshire, U.K.-based wind tunnel to evaluate aircraft designs. The latest extension will see Boeing use the facility for aircraft testing through 2024.
The 40-year, £25 million contract was originally awarded back in 2004, and is reviewed every five years.
“The wind tunnel, which marks its 40th anniversary this year, has played a crucial role in the development of modern advanced aircraft such as Boeing’s 787 and 777X,” said John Anderson, managing director Air and Space QinetiQ.
Thanks to its large size and ability to run up to three atmospheres of pressure, the five-meter wind tunnel helps improve efficiency during landing and take-off.
“This continuation of our partnership with Boeing reaffirms the wind tunnel’s position as a vital national asset, enabling this important work to be carried out right here in the UK,” said Anderson.
In 2016, the wind tunnel benefitted from a £2 million renovation, a project that applied electric motor technology to the scale models tested in the facility to represent the effect of real engines. Half of the funding came from QinetiQ, Boeing, University of Surrey, ATE Aerotech and MTS Systems Corporation, while the other half was part of Innovate UK
Boeing has been among the primary customers of the facility since 1987.