Comanche test director to launch Rotorcraft Technology Summit

Comanche test director to launch Rotorcraft Technology Summit

12-Aug-2016 Source: Rotorcraft Summit

NASA Astronaut and International Space Station Commander Tim Kopra will launch the ​​Rotorcraft Technology Summit with a Sep. 19 keynote address at the day-and-a-half event in downtown Fort Worth, Texas.

Kopra returned to Earth June 18 after 186 days (109 as commander) on the orbiting research laboratory. Combined with his past NASA missions, the retired U.S. Army aviator has flown 244 days in space, including more than 13 hours performing space walks to expand and maintain the space station. Kopra will share highlights of his recent mission and insights from his career with summit attendees.

The Rotorcraft Technology Summit is designed specifically to identify and explain new and developing innovations that can help leaders in the global vertical-flight industry achieve business and operational goals. Its attendees will include those who run commercial helicopter outfits, public agency aviation units, rotorcraft and engine manufacturers, equipment suppliers and maintenance/repair/overhaul facilities, as well as representatives of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board.

“With his background as a U.S. Army aviator and experience in U.S. and international spaceflight operations, Colonel Kopra will add unique perspective to the Rotorcraft Technology Summit’s discussions about bringing technology to bear on operational challenges,” said R&WI Editor-in-Chief James T. McKenna. “We are honored to have him join us to kick off this important event.”

Before his 1998 assignment to NASA as a vehicle integration test engineer, Kopra served as a U.S. Army helicopter pilot, aviation unit commander and experimental test pilot. His military duties included a tour with the Army Aviation Technical Test Center as

​​ developmental test director for the RAH-66 Comanche helicopter program. Selected by NASA as an astronaut in 2000, he retired from the Army as a colonel in 2010.

After his commissioning as an Army second lieutenant from the U.S. Military Academy in 1985, Kopra served as an aeroscout platoon leader, troop executive officer and squadron adjutant in the 101st Airborne Division’s air cavalry squadron. In 1990, as a member of the 3rd Armored Division in Hanau, Germany, he deployed to Southwest Asia for operations Desert Shield and Storm. There, he served as an aviation liaison officer, coordinating operations between aviation and armored brigades in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq. He completed his tour in Germany as an attack helicopter company commander and an operations officer.

Kopra was selected in 1995 to attend the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School. He also is a graduate of the U.K.’s Empire Test Pilot School. Kopra holds a Bachelor of Science from West Point, a Master of Science in aerospace engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College and a Masters of Business Administration from Columbia University and the London Business School.

Visit to register for the event, which is scheduled for Sep. 19 and 20 at the Hilton Fort Worth.

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