Wednesday, December 1, 2021

The University of Iowa’s Operator Performance Lab hosted aviation professionals from around the state for the Iowa Business Aviation Association’s (IBAA) quarterly luncheon.

The luncheons allow IBAA members, avionics professionals, and others to network, share knowledge, and assist the mission of growing business aviation in Iowa. 

Over 35 attendees joined for lunch and received a tour of the lab from OPL Director Tom "MACH" Schnell. Schnell is a faculty affiliate and associate director of the Iowa Technology Institute, a research arm of the UI College of Engineering. He is also a professor of industrial and systems engineering and holds the Jim "Max" Gross Chair of Engineering.  

IBAA supports business aviation in Iowa through scholarships, learning opportunities for aviation professionals, a mentorship program, and more.

OPL is a world-renowned flight test laboratory that has been in operation for more than two decades and has over 305 projects with more than 2,400 hours of flight test. OPL houses two L-29 Delfin jets, an L-39 Albatros jet, two Mi-2 Hoplite Helicopters, Humvees, as well as additional manned and unmanned aircraft. The lab conducts research on manned aircraft and intelligent autonomous systems to improve safety and efficiency and human factors in the cockpit.

OPL is one of ITI’s 34 labs. It is based at the Iowa City Municipal airport, which is operated by Jet Air.