News

Morganton’s VX Aerospace Named an Innovation Fund North Carolina Award Winner, Granted Pre-seed Funding

HICKORY, NC Jan. 10, 2014 Innovation Fund North Carolina, an organization created to help entrepreneurs with pre-seed funding and mentorship for high-growth, scalable technology startups, has named VX Aerospace of Morganton, NC as a $25,000 grant recipient.   I congratulate VX Aerospace on the successful completion of such a rigorous process, declared Dr. Tony Mifsud,…

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Multiaxials Enable Blended Wing Aircraft

For a small company, VX Aerospace of Morgantown, N.C., thinks big as big as major aerospace manufacturers.   Thanks to advances in computer-aided design (CAD), CNC machining and composite materials, the gap in capabilities between the big boys like Boeing and Northrop Grumman and small aerospace companies such as VX Aerospace is narrowing, says Robert…

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Prototype to Production

“We are applying modern CFRP technology to make the traditional performance of blended wing body aircraft even better,” says Skillen. The aircraft’s structurally efficient shape eliminates the need for high-strength spars. Thus, the airframe is essentially hollow. Beyond its top skin, bottom skin and four ribs that make up the body, the only other parts…

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First in Flight

The VX-1 KittyHawk strikes a marked contrast with the Falcon. Its blended wing body features wings that are smoothly blended into an airfoil-shaped fuselage, achieving a 50 percent greater lift-todrag ratio than conventional designs. Skillen points out that the most efficient airfoil is elliptical, like a Spitfire. “This is exactly the top profile of the…

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Fast Falcon Retooled

After 18 months of computer modeling every component on the airplane, CAD files were fed to VX Aero’s 3-axis CNC machining unit by Diversified Machine Systems (DMS, Colorado Springs, Colo.), which cut precision masters (top photo, p. 58) from 38-lb/ft3 (0.6-g/cm3) RAKUTOOL plastic board supplied by Rampf Tooling (Grafenberg, Germany). Pattern surfaces were prepped and…

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Materials And Assembly

The spar box is a continuous box beam with 0.1-inch/2.5-mm thick walls. Both its A and B (inner and outer) sides are critical dimensions. The outside locates the fore and aft gussets — they add stiffness and supplementary paths for landing gear loads while the wing spars must fit inside the spar box ends. A…

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Designed For Manufacturability

The single-engine Falcon is 21 ft/6.4m long, with a 31.5-ft/9.6m wingspan. It can cruise at 140 mph (225 kph), burning less than 5 gal/18.9 liters of fuel per hour. For the North American market, VX Aero is maintaining the plane’s look and basic dimensions but also taking steps to improve its structural design.   Because…

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WHY C-PLY?

“My first exposure to the concept which later became C-PLY was as a student in Dr. Stephen Tsai’s ‘Composite Design Workshop’ offered by Stanford [University],” says Skillen. “The approach made a lot of sense,” he recalls. “Rather than try to make laminates that approximate isotropic materials, C-PLY is designed around the fiber properties and ply…

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Small Company, Big Performance

INNOVATIVE DESIGN, OOA MANUFACTURING AND C-PLY LAMINATE CONSTRUCTION PRODUCE “BIG FABRICATOR” AEROSTRUCTURES IN FEWER STEPS AT LOW COST.   VX Aerospace is an advanced composites company near the Appalachian Mountains in Morganton, N.C., close to a growing composites hub in the Carolinas that is home to several of VX Aero’s key suppliers, Chomarat North America…

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