Kansas has a proud history as an aerospace manufacturing leader. Some of the industry's earliest pioneers. including Clyde Cessna and Walter Beech. made Kansas their home.
During the 194o's, Boeing's B-29 Superfortresses rolled off Wichita's assembly lines. In 1954, Wichita began producing the iconic B-52 bombers. aircraft that are still in service today.
More than 106 years since the first plane was built in Kansas. the state remains a vibrant hub for aviation manufacturing. Manufacturers in the state leverage low operating costs. a skilled workforce and world class research institutions to build some of the most iconic planes in the world.
Aviation accounts for more than $5 billion of Kansas GDP or nearly 3.5 percent. This far surpasses the national average of 07 percent.
Kansas companies export $2.7 billion in aerospace products annually. This is 23.8 percent of the states total exports.
Research and Training
The National Center for Aviation Training (NCAT) provides industry-driven training courses in the aviation manufacturing industry. It gives students the opportunity to receive hands-on, real-world training in the areas of general aviation manufacturing and aircraft and power plant mechanics.
The National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) at Wichita State provides research, design, testing, certification and training to the aviation manufacturing industry. government agencies, educational entities and other clients, NIAR's clients include Boeing, Bombardier Learjet. Cessna, Beechcraft and Spirit Aerosystems.
The Innovation Campus at Wichita State University is combining industry manufacturing expertise with the university's research, commercialization and education capabilities.
Several companies have located operations on the campus and conducted research in partnership with Wichita State's engineers and scientists. The largest of these is Airbus, which is locating an engineering center with 400 employees on Innovation Campus.