Dr. Nick Wilson

Dr. Nick Wilson

Associate Professor, Aviation, John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences, University of North Dakota

Dr. Nicholas D. Wilson is an Associate Professor of Aviation at the University of North Dakota (UND). Nick holds a BBA in Aviation Management (2006), a BA in French (2006) from UND and received his MBA from Bethel University in St. Paul, MN in 2012. Nick completed his PhD in Educational Foundations and Research in May 2021.

In industry, Nick worked for Northwest Airlines as a Manager of Customer Service, Airport Operations as well as Northwest/Delta Air Lines as a Sr. Flight Training Procedures Instructor on the Airbus A320, where he supported significant transition of A320 flight operations training during the merger between those two companies. He also applied his MBA and aircraft systems knowledge while working for UTC Aerospace Systems (now Collins Aerospace) in business development on subsystems for Airbus and Boeing commercial aircraft, including certain high program value, long-horizon projects. Nick also worked at Endeavor Air in flight operations training prior to returning to UND in 2014.

Nick’s research interests include fatigue risk mitigation and cognitive workload in aviation, improving pilot situational awareness using novel technologies, student motivation and performance. Nick also holds a patent with a colleague in the Department of Biomedical Sciences related to haptic cueing. Recently, Nick has supported Department efforts to make progress within sustainable aviation. Nick specializes in teaching advanced aircraft systems and primary aviation training. Nick¬†is an active pilot and aviation instructor.

Feasibility of Electric-Powered Aircraft in Collegiate Aviation

Electric-powered aircraft have entered the market. The arrival of the Pipistrel Velis Electro and other developmental efforts by companies such as Bye Aerospace, Piper, and eViation, have signaled to the aviation community that more electric-powered aircraft can be expected in the coming years. The proposed benefits of electric flight are reduced hourly costs, lower carbon emissions, and reduce noise and vibration. But how useful are these aircraft for training pilots in a Part 141 collegiate aviation environment? To identify candidate flight lessons, the authors examine flight hour distribution of one-year window of invoiced flights (N=52,757), including data cut-points at 60 minutes (n=6,057) and 90 minutes (n=25,455). The data distribution suggests that approximately 11.5% of the candidate flights would fall within a 60-minute expected flight duration, whereas 48% of flights would fall within a 90-minute flight duration. These calculations provide realistic targets for designed minimum flight duration (plus inclusion of required FAA reserve) in order to be determined a feasible trainer in many high-density Part 141 training environments. In addition to minimum flight duration, other feasibility questions are included in this analysis such as regulatory requirements, battery duration, aircraft turnaround time, multiple charge-discharge cycles per day, environmental factors, airport charging infrastructure, and maintenance factors.