Bundeswehr Technical and Airworthiness Center for Aircraft

Summary

The Bundeswehr Technical and Airworthiness Center for Aircraft (German: Wehrtechnische Dienststelle für Luftfahrzeuge – Musterprüfwesen für Luftfahrtgerät der Bundeswehr) or (German: Wehrtechnische Dienststelle 61 (WTD 61)) is one of several testing centres of the German Armed Forces. Its tasks are the testing and evaluating of military aircraft and aerial weapon systems. The centre is also responsible for certifications and inspections of modifications made on aircraft already in service with the German Armed Forces. The Bundeswehr Technical and Airworthiness Center for Aircraft is not integrated into the command structure of the military branches of the German Armed Forces but is a branch of Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (Bundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr (BAAINBw)) which is directly subordinate to the Federal Ministry of Defence. Founded in 1957, the centre is based at Manching Air Base. The unit has a strength of about 650 personnel, 50 of which are members of the armed forces, the rest are civilian.[1]

Bundeswehr Technical and Airworthiness Center for Aircraft
(Wehrtechnische Dienststelle für Luftfahrzeuge – Musterprüfwesen für Luftfahrtgerät der Bundeswehr)
or
(Wehrtechnische Dienststelle 61 (WTD 61))
WTD 61.gif
Active1957 – present
CountryFederal Republic of Germany
BranchFederal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support
RoleFlight testing, evaluation, type approval
Garrison/HQManching Air Base
Eurocopter Tiger
Panavia Tornado and F-4 Phantom
Mil Mi 24
F-104 Starfighter

TasksEdit

The responsibility of the Bundeswehr Technical and Airworthiness Center for Aircraft is to ensure that only safe, effective and efficient weapon systems are introduced into service with the German Armed Forces and to evaluate if the systems tested fulfil the requirements expected. The centre also carries out trials on and evaluations of weapon systems which are not planned to become part of the German Armed Forces inventory. Notably, this happened after the German reunification in 1990, when a large variety of former East German aircraft from the National People's Army became available.[2]

The specific tasks of Bundeswehr Technical and Airworthiness Center for Aircraft are defined as:[3]

  • Processing of research and technology proposals
  • Testing and evaluation
  • Sample inspection and approval
  • Technical processing and consultancy of project and usage management
  • Operating of Manching Air Base including its own air space
  • Operating of measuring instruments and installations including data analysis
  • Operating of instrumented test carriers accompanied by test crews and flight trial engineers
  • Basic and advanced training

StructureEdit

The Bundeswehr Technical and Airworthiness Center for Aircraft has a number of subdivisions. Each subdivision is assigned a specialist task. Within each subdivision there are further specialised departments.[4]

  • Staff department
  • Occupational health and safety practitioner
  • Prototype and flight approval office
  • Technical operations service division
  • Prototype inspection division
  • Flight testing division
  • Specialised technical department overall systems and engines
  • Specialised technical department mission systems and avionics
  • Administrative services unit

HistoryEdit

As the earlier Erprobungsstelle Rechlin central military aviation test facility of the defunct Third Reich was well inside East German borders after 1945, following the foundation of the modern German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) in November 1955, the need for a new institution to test military aircraft became apparent. In 1957 the Testing Centre for Military Aerial Equipment (Erprobungsstelle für militärisches Luftgerät) was founded, the predecessor of the Bundeswehr Technical and Airworthiness Center for Aircraft.[5] The centre was based at Oberpfaffenhofen Airfield. Initially, the tasks of this new centre were to create the structure and procedures for the testing centre. Once this was completed, the centre was operational and began the testing and evaluation procedure of aerial military equipment selected for possible procurement by the German Armed Forces. Parts of the testing centre were relocated to Manching Air Base in 1967. The fact that Manching Air Base was also used by Reconnaissance Wing 51 at that time, restricted the testing of new aircraft. Consequently, in 1968, a new airfield was selected, Giebelstadt Airport, to house the units previously based at Manching Air Base. In 1969, all units of the testing centre were concentrated at Manching Air Base. In 1987, the centre was renamed Wehrtechnische Dienststelle für Luftfahrzeuge – Musterprüfwesen für Luftfahrtgerät der Bundeswehr (Wehrtechnische Dienstelle 61 (WTD 61)).[6]

 
Eurofighter Typhoon, being tested by WTD 61

Current projectsEdit

Amongst other projects, the Bundeswehr Technical and Airworthiness Center for Aircraft is currently engaged in testing, evaluating and developing the following systems:[7]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Wagner, Anja (9 January 2012). "Im Einsatz für die Sicherheit" (PDF). Aktuell – Zeitung für die Bundeswehr. Federal Ministry of Defence. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 December 2013. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
  2. ^ B. Vetter & F.Vetter, Deutsche Einsatzhubschrauber, p. 58
  3. ^ "Aufgaben der WTD 61". Wehrtechnische Dienststelle für Luftfahrzeuge – Musterprüfwesen für Luftfahrtgerät der Bundeswehr (WTD 61), Manching (in German). Federal Ministry of Defence. 23 August 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
  4. ^ "Die organisatorische Struktur der WTD 61". Wehrtechnische Dienststelle für Luftfahrzeuge – Musterprüfwesen für Luftfahrtgerät der Bundeswehr (WTD 61), Manching (in German). Federal Ministry of Defence. 23 August 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
  5. ^ "WTD 61 (Technical Test Facility 61) Manching Germany". Retrieved 26 July 2020.
  6. ^ B. Vetter & F.Vetter, Deutsche Einsatzhubschrauber, p. 54ff.
  7. ^ "Aktuelle Aufträge der WTD 61". Wehrtechnische Dienststelle für Luftfahrzeuge – Musterprüfwesen für Luftfahrtgerät der Bundeswehr (WTD 61), Manching (in German). Federal Ministry of Defence. 23 August 2012. Retrieved 14 April 2013.

Further readingEdit

  • Hirschel, Ernst Heinrich; Prem, Horst; Madelung, Gero (2004), Aeronautical Research in Germany: from Lilienthal until Today, London: Springer, ISBN 3-540-40645-X
  • Kausal, Tony (1999), A comparison of the defense acquisition systems of France, United Kingdom, Germany and the United States, Fort Belvoir (VA): Defense Systems Management College, ISBN 1-893833-01-1
  • Lang, Gerhard (2007), Die Flugzeuge der Bundeswehr, Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag, ISBN 978-3-613-02743-5} (in German)
  • Lemke, Bernd; Krüger, Dieter; Rebhan, Heinz; Schmidt, Wolfgang (2006), Die Luftwaffe 1950 bis 1970. Konzeption, Aufbau, Integration (in German), München: Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, ISBN 3-486-57973-8
  • Vetter, Bernd; Vetter, Frank (2003), Versuchsprojekte der Bundeswehr: Flugerprobungen der Wehrtechnischen Dienststelle 61 (in German), Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag, ISBN 3-613-02329-6
  • Vetter, Bernd; Vetter, Frank (2006), Deutsche Einsatzhubschrauber (in German), Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag, ISBN 978-3-613-02672-8

External linksEdit

  • Official website (in German)

Coordinates: 48°42′09″N 11°32′01″E / 48.70250°N 11.53361°E / 48.70250; 11.53361