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Calspan investing $6 million in wind tunnel

Calspan will invest over $6 million in its transonic wind tunnel in Cheektowaga.

The aviation and transportation research company said the investment will improve the efficiency, reliability and repeatability of the tunnel, which its customers use to test aircraft and aerospace components.

The funds will go toward compressors, air storage, cooling towers and balances for the tunnel, along with upgrades to the tunnel's testing capabilities system.

"These investments to this unique asset reinforce our commitment to our customers and will position Calspan as a leader in the aerospace development and testing space for decades to come," said Louis Knotts, Calspan's CEO.

Calspan will devote part of the investment to a laboratory that will allow for customer setup and ground testing while other tests are under way in the wind tunnel. The company expects to finish the investments by the end of 2020.

Calspan says it has the only independently owned and privately held transonic wind tunnel in North America.

Calspan has research and testing facilities across from the Buffalo Niagara International Airport and next to the Niagara Falls International Airport. About two years ago, the company took the wraps off a $20 million lab for crash-testing vehicles on its Cheektowaga property.

Locally, Calspan has just over 250 employees.

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