The world changed in 2020 in many respects, but I will remember it as a pivotal year for our two companies as we position them to relaunch manufacturing in 2021.
Blackhawk Aerospace Composites
In 2020, we saw Skywheels rotor blades re-emerge after an 18-year hiatus and be manufactured again. Test flights followed during the summer months and into the fall. Refer to Greg Bradley's podcast for the results. From this experience a new partnership formed between our companies and Blackhawk Aerospace Composites to manufacture rotor blades and gyroplane kit parts in the USA following AS9100 aerospace quality standards and work management processes. Recently, Blackhawk purchased a 21,000 square foot building, which Air Command and Skywheels will be located for manufacturing, testing, and gyroplane assembly.
Skywheels Rotor Blades
Currently, our team is working to complete a $10,000 upgrade to the rotor blade spin-up test fixture. The newly purchased digital equipment will track the A and B rotor blades within 1 millimeter of each other, which is very impressive. The result for our customers will be a smooth performing blade set right out of the box. Once these improvements are completed in January, we'll begin shipping rotor blades. Customers can preorder rotor blades now.
Air Command Gyroplane Kits
We delayed new gyroplane kit sales until we could successfully complete Skywheels blade production and test flights. As a gyroplane company, it was important to offer new blade sets to go along with the kits. As many customers told me, Skywheels was the best, especially when paired with an Air Command gyroplane. We plan to begin manufacturing kit parts and accepting gyroplane preorders in the first quarter of 2021. We've made improvements to the single-seat model and look forward to sharing these details as well as price information. Details will be announced soon.
Air Command Advisory Board
This past year we created the Air Command Advisory Board. The group has met quarterly since May and has offered excellent input. Some of their recent suggestions will be evident in the first quarter of 2021 regarding flight training and a new online community forum dedicated to Air Command owner-builders and users of Skywheels.
My Appreciation and Gratitude
My appreciation and gratitude to our customers, partners, and suppliers for this past year's business and completed projects. Our plans continue to move forward, and I'm excited for the year ahead and bringing others into sport flying. To keep this in perspective all year long our 2021 slogan is "Don't wait, go fly"™.
Please accept my best wishes for a happy and safe New Year.
Air Command & Skywheels
(Photo: Joe Covelli with Blackhawk Aerospace Composites Manufacturing Manager Bill Smrtic.)