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Boeing receives southern hemisphere's 1st NATA accreditation for E3 testing

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: 20 April, 2009  (Company News)
Boeing Defence Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of Boeing, has become the first company in the Southern Hemisphere with the authority to test medium-sized military and commercial aircraft, and a range of other military equipment and commercial platforms, for electromagnetic environmental effects (E3).
National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) Australia Chief Executive Alan Patterson presented the accreditation certificate to John Duddy, managing director and vice president of Boeing Defence Australia, on April 15. NATA is the authority in Australia for the accreditation of facilities conducting tests, calibrations and measurements in technical fields.

Boeing's E3 testing accreditation is 'a significant and unique achievement in Australia that NATA wants to publically recognize,' Patterson said. 'It is a testament to the efforts of all involved.'

NATA has accredited Boeing to test aircraft and other platforms that emit on frequencies between 4MHz and 400MHz, such as the C-130 Hercules military transport or the Boeing Next-Generation 737 passenger carrier, at its E3 facility at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Amberley, Queensland, and at mobile test sites.

The purpose of E3 testing is to measure and provide empirical results regarding an aircraft's electromagnetic susceptibility to certain frequencies, which can affect flight-critical and other systems within the aircraft.

Duddy said the accomplishment 'demonstrates that there is no company better qualified in the Southern Hemisphere to perform E3 tests on aircraft. Aircraft operators, both military and commercial, no longer need to go to great expense flying their aircraft overseas to identify any potential electromagnetic interference and detrimental environmental effects.'

Boeing will test customers' aircraft in Australia at its accredited facility at RAAF Base Amberley, or by sending Boeing engineers and equipment to customer sites.

The tests are completed using three software programs developed and written in-house by Boeing's E3 team over a six-year period. These programs underwent a complete document, software and technical review to achieve authorization, including a five-day site assessment in October with NATA officials and observers from the Commonwealth Government of Australia's Director General of Technical Airworthiness, Defence, Science and Technology Organisation and Land Engineering Agency.

'This is a proud day for our employees, who have worked hard over several years to ensure Boeing has an E3 testing capability second to none on this side of the globe,' Duddy said. 'It has been a great collective effort, and I would also like to thank NATA and the government agencies that were able to support this accreditation.'

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