Innovative Features

November 2017

As we move closer to production of the Vickers Wave, our concepts are becoming reality.  In this update we are sharing how some of our innovations add function and safety to the aircraft.  


Landing Gear

The Wave has a fixed landing gear system, named Cross-Over™.  This landing gear system reduces the risk of accidents when landing on land with gear up, and landing on water with gear down.  Gear down water landings have been responsible for many accidents and deaths over the years.  With the Wave’s landing gear and suspension system design, the gear stays fixed for both types of landings.  The pilot does not have to remember to change gear position depending on landing surface-this substantially increases safety as there is no pilot interaction required, so it can’t be done improperly.   

Egress Doors

The Wave’s sliding side doors provide an extra measure of ability to egress in inverted situations (land or water), or can also be pushed out for emergency egress.  Additionally, an integrated roll cage provides further protection to the occupants. 

Bow Thruster

Seaplanes are unable to fully stop on water while under engine power; they are constantly in motion.  The Wave has a retractable electric bow thruster for greatly improved water maneuvering, without requiring the engine/propeller to be running.  Maneuverability is greatly improved with this design, as it has 360° of operation range.  Safety is enhanced by better maneuverability during launch, recovery, beaching, docking, mooring, and slow speed maneuvering.  
Seaplanes also tend to draw spectators during operations at marinas or beaches.  The bow thruster allows the pilot to safety maneuver the aircraft away from bystanders before engine start, protecting the general public who might not be familiar with the dangers of spinning propellers, or propeller blast. 

Launch & Recovery Lifting Point Provisions

The Wave has incorporated a launch and recovery lifting point integral to the aircraft.  These systems are commonly called a lift point or davit.  An integrated lift point enhances the ease and safety of launch and recovery options both on the shore, and by larger marine vessels.

Higher Performance Powerplant

The Wave uses the "Continental Titan", a higher horsepower engine than typical LSAs.  While the final details of the induction system are being developed, we anticipate 180+ hp.  A higher horsepower engine for a seaplane provides important benefits including:

  • Less time to become airborne.  Staying on the water for shorter duration reduces hazards with other watercraft that may be operating in the area.
  • Better climb rates to deal with terrain near water.  Many lakes and reservoirs have rising terrain along the shoreline.  The Wave’s engine provides a superior climb rate to help overcome controlled flight into terrain. 
  • Additionally, more power provides increased ability to recover from a high sink rate or wind shear.

In addition to these new technologies, the Wave has also integrated commonly used safety enhancements such as:

  • BRS - Airframe Emergency Parachute - peace of mind
  • Angle of Attack System - increased stall awareness and loss of control prevention
  • Inflatable Airbag Restraints – additional occupant protection 

General Update

We Have recently completed the build of our thermal forming press for foam core.  Cores are used in composite to increase the stiffness of structures.  This heated press allows us to form the core properly to take the shape of the part being made, without cutting or stressing the core. 

Bonding fixtures are currently being designed to facilitate aircraft bonding and assembly.  These fixtures properly locate individual parts in relationship to each other, or other mating features on the aircraft.  Proper fixture design reduces errors - you can’t put a part in the wrong place; and consistency - each part is exactly the shape it is designed to be.             


Every decision we make at Vickers Aircraft, from company organization to detailed aircraft design, supports our key objectives of quality and safety.  A healthy and motivated team, a reliable supply chain, an efficient design and rigid testing standards all lead to an exceptional aircraft.  Vickers’ customers will enjoy enhanced safety and functionality.  Our approach has never been conventional.  We are not followers.  We are innovators and leaders setting new standards for our category.
 
“I want to build an aircraft I would love to fly, and plan to fly with my family by my side, so every decision I make is with them in mind.” Paul Vickers - CEO


Vickers Aircraft will continue to provide updates as we quickly move closer to first flight, certification, and deliveries.  We will continue forward with our low key approach - more doing and less talking.

Follow us on LinkedIn-We will post our progress updates there.

- Click on link below.

Production Update

September 2017

Production Facility

As planned, the second stage of expansion at Hamilton Airport (NZHN/HLZ) in Hamilton, New Zealand is complete; this includes an additional 11,000 square feet. The new area will initially be used as a warehouse for completed items and aircraft assembly stations. The expansion also includes additional office space for purchasing and production control. 






Paint Booth

Our first paint booth has been installed at the factory. The Verta paint booth is a downdraft model and uses gas heating to cure painted components. It features great lighting, filtration, and an air actuated ramp for rolling larger items in and out of the booth. This booth enables us to complete total in-house manufacture.





Production

Carbon fiber production ply kits and core shapes have been finalized for most major components - this is after many test panels and parts have been made to optimize surface finish (improved paint quality, less bodywork/weight), and avoid common defects that can occur in composites such as ply bridging and dry fiber in sharp corners. Production ply kits enable the first aircraft to be manufactured as a production aircraft and this allows for a smooth transition from development to a manufacturing environment resulting in less cost, less time and sooner deliveries without any delays. With major molds complete, work now shifts to bonding fixtures and assembly jigs. 



Vickers has recently completed validation of tooling and parts via laser scanning. This accurately checks that the manufactured part has been made in accordance with the original digital design; an important quality check. The accuracy and consistency of piece-parts ensures a proper fit and function upon assembly each and every time.



Be sure to check out our photo gallery for additional production progress.

 



Certification / Compliance

Certification and Compliance preparations are well underway; getting all the required systems, processes and procedures in place can be as much work as building the aircraft. “We are developing both a product and a company simultaneously, both are important and key to future success, one is no good without the other” said Paul Vickers. Vickers Aircraft is already heavily involved with CAA, FAA and ASTM to ensure a fast transition from testing to compliance and to deliveries.

                 

 



EAA Oshkosh 2017

We were very excited to make the journey from New Zealand to Wisconsin this year and present the first public forum for Vickers Aircraft.  The forum was open to the public and gave time for Paul to speak of the history, current state, and future of the Wave™. 


            

We were able to show some great video footage of the production processes as well during the presentation. The production video is available below.

 

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Vickers Aircraft will continue to provide updates as we quickly move closer to flying and deliveries. A great deal of interest grows and the momentum keeps building as people discover the great benefits of the Wave™.

We are also now on LinkedIn and will also post our updates there. Feel free to follow us there as we make progress updates.

For now, we will continue to manufacture and keep with our low key approach, with more doing and less talking.

- Click on link below.

 

 

 

 

EAA Oshkosh 2017

June 2017

EAA AirVenture/Oshkosh 2017 - Vickers Aircraft has just received confirmation from EAA on the time slot for our forum/meet & greet at AirVenture 2017 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Vickers Aircraft will be at Forum Stage 2 at the Forums Plaza (Knapp St.) from 1:00-2:15 pm on Tuesday, July 25th.  A grounds map can be found at: 
https://www.eaa.org/en/airventure/plan-your-eaa-airventure-trip/maps

Although the aircraft will not be present, we will be giving a short presentation about Vickers Aircraft and the Wave™, and a time to meet with a few of our key people, including Founder and CEO, Paul Vickers.

We hope to see you there! 


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New Manufacturing Facility

April 2017


New Vickers facility with Stage Two (right) currently under construction.

Vickers Aircraft has moved to its new location at the north end of the Hamilton Airport (NZHN/HLZ) in Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand.  This first stage of expansion increases the production area capacity to 11,000 square feet.  Temperature and humidity controlled clean rooms, trim rooms, bonding rooms, and ovens have been installed for carbon fiber cutting, kitting, layup and curing.  The second stage (of four) includes the midyear completion of additional space that will bring the total manufacturing area to just under 20,000 square feet.  CEO and Founder Paul Vickers states, “We are committed to the detailed manufacturing of the Wave, all the way down to the piece-part level.  This expanded manufacturing space allows us to fully utilize the existing equipment, and provides the needed space for the specialized equipment not yet on site, such as our paint booth, which is being installed over the coming months”.





Production 

We have now completed the major molds required for full production, these include the Upper and Lower Wing Skin molds.  We are now shifting our focus onto production components and certification documentation, including the implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software to manage production, traceability and quality systems. 


Upper Wing Skin Mold after vacuum integrity testing.


Exterior Carbon Fiber Ply being laminated on Door Number 3.


Adhesive Film and Foam Core added to door skin. 



Vickers is Growing

Vickers Aircraft has also added essential staff for composite layup and fabrication, aircraft assembly and certification.  We are also happy to announce that Steve Hamblin has recently joined Vickers Aircraft in a key leadership role.  Steve and his family have relocated from the USA to live in New Zealand to help bring the Wave to market.  Steve brings with him a vast range of engineering, manufacturing, and aircraft certification experience including time at Columbia Aircraft (now Cessna), Cub Crafters, GE Aviation, and most recently ICON Aircraft.  Steve is also Vice-Chairman of the ASTM F37 committee for Light Sport Aircraft.  “I’m very excited to join the team here at Vickers Aircraft.  The Wave™ is a great product, and has some innovative features that will really differentiate it in the market.  It’s a refreshing change to get back to manufacturing an entire product under one roof.  My family and I are enjoying the beautiful country of New Zealand, and the adventurous and industrious Kiwi culture”.  



Latest Media

ByDanJohnson.com and Light Sport and Ultralight Flyer produced a recent interview with Paul Vickers, and the Wave; we encourage you to take a few minutes and enjoy the informative video, click on link below.

 



EAA Oshkosh 2017

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 24-30 July 2017- Vickers Aircraft has made the decision to not have a display booth this year, however we will be there for a Meet and Greet and Question and Answer session.  Stay tuned for more details.  The reason in short – we’re committed to stay focused on continued progress in getting the Wave™ ready for you!  No hype, no flash, just simple execution - Oshkosh is fun, but it takes weeks/months of preparation, using precious time and resources for such a show.  The more expense that is incurred during this important design and ramp to production stage will be reflected in the actual cost of the aircraft.  We are determined to keep this to a minimum and spend investment appropriately, the direct result being a cost effective aircraft and a sustainable company.  We’ll keep our heads down and focus on results for now…


 

Vickers Aircraft will continue to provide updates as we quickly move closer to flying and deliveries.  A great deal of interest grows and the momentum keeps building as people discover the great benefits of the Wave.  We are also now on LinkedIn! Feel free to follow us there as we make updates on our progress - Click on link below.

 

 

 

Vickers appoint USA Distributor

November 2016

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Great strides have been made in the past months here at Vickers, we may have appeared quiet but we have been very busy preparing for 2017, which will prove to be an incredible year.

TenCate have joined us as a strategic partner to supply the carbon fiber materials for the Wave. "TenCate Advanced Composites is pleased to support Vickers Aircraft with Carbon Fiber Epoxy Prepreg and ancillary composite materials for the development and production of their light sport aircraft. We look forward to their successful introduction of this unique aircraft platform, The Wave." David Clarke, CEO TenCate Advanced Composites USA. Working with their superior products will enable us to produce an aircraft which will be of the highest quality, and so further securing our key focus of safety."TenCate are leaders in the aerospace composite industry and having them work with us to bring our aircraft to market, will help make the Wave exceptional." Paul Vickers CEO.

We have also secured additional funding from the USA, which will allow us to expand our present operations.  New machinery for carbon fiber part production and larger premises will streamline our processes.  Additional staff have been engaged to fill key roles to ensure smooth production and timely deliveries. "I traveled to various US States in May to personally meet with potential investors and found the ideal partner in Florida. They bring not only a vast wealth of aviation knowledge but incredible USA business experience which will ensure a strong and responsible Vickers brand in the USA."

We have been working hard to produce conforming production components and we are very close to beginning structural testing on production sub-assemblies such as the wing carry thru and rear empinage.
 
Below is a recently infused carbon fiber mold insert just prior to trimming and finishing

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Changes have been made to our website and it now suits all visual formats, including mobile and tablets.

Vickers will be providing steady updates every quarter as we quickly move closer to flying and deliveries.

We have now commissioned a critical part of our production process, our ZUND carbon fiber cutting center. The ZUND cutting center can cut carbon fiber at an astonishing 3 feet per second, ink mark part numbers and bar codes to integrate individual pieces of carbon fiber into our inventory system to ensure full traceability and correct placement during laminating. The Zund has the capacity to produce in excess of 100 aircraft per year. "We looked globally at other industry leaders and concluded that the ZUND was a stand out within composite manufacturing companies" Darryn Todd, VP Composites. 

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Along with the additional funding that was secured we have also appointed the USA Distributor for the Wave. "We are very pleased to have such strong support from the USA, and we are excited to have appointed the USA distributor. Florida is the ideal location for Vickers Aircraft USA." Paul Vickers CEO.

 

 

Oshkosh Press Conference

July 2016

It has been brought to our attention by an AVWeb blog that Vickers Aircraft were sponsoring a press lunch at EAA Airventure Oshkosh 2016 Airshow.

Vickers is not attending Oshkosh this year, and were unaware of any press conferences being held.

We wish to clarify that this was an error made by EAA.

Paul Vickers

CEO.

 

 

Production

March 2016

Welcome to the first update for 2016.

The close of 2015 was a chance for us to reflect on what a fruitful year it had been for us here at Vickers.

We secured USA investors, who with their incredible support helped to shape 2015 into a year of progress and success. Our customers continue to give us the confidence and determination to reach beyond our limits to bring our incredible product to the aviation market. And our endless supporters who with their encouragement, help us to strive for excellence.

Fuselage Upper

The above image shows three upper fuselage carbon fiber production components, some of which are for first customer aircraft deliveries.

At the end of last year we were featured in P1, the leading online business aviation magazine, highlighting the features of the Wave and what it can offer to the aviation market. Download the P1 magazine app for free for the article in issue P1050.

Apple

Google

"From the beginning our plan was to build a production aircraft using realistic techniques and real world solutions, and I am pleased to say that is exactly what we are achieving. The LSA sector is screaming out for an amphibian that is real and delivers on its promises, the Wave will be the first to do so, you have my personal guarantee" Paul Vickers CEO.

2015 also saw our first carbon fiber curing oven operational, and we are well underway with producing the pre-preg carbon fiber parts for the first production cycle. This oven is capable of producing components for 30+ aircraft per year. Custom developed PLC software enables detailed control of heating cycles and offers the full traceability that is required to manufacture aircraft. All components for the Wave, both aluminium and carbon fiber, are made in house by our dedicated team. In the below image the windscreen mold has just been cured and is now ready for the first batch of screens to be made.

Oven 1

Having created and proven our in-house CNC Carbon Fiber cutting system we are now in full swing making components for our first production aircraft as well as components for first customer deliveries. We have increased our staff to provide the necessary technical expertise to enhance this process, and for final assembly. See here for cutting process video.

As we enter into the next stage of growth for Vickers Aircraft we have begun looking for a suitable location to base Vickers Aircraft USA, our sales, training and delivery facility in the United States. We are exploring sites on the East and West coasts.

Be sure to check out our photo gallery for new images of what we have been up to this year already.

Please feel free to email any inquiries to sales@vickersaircraft.com.

2016 is already shaping up to be an incredible year, the year we bring the Wave to market.

 

 

 

Continental Motors' Titan to power Wave™

October 2015

Vickers is proud to announce a new strategic partnership with Continental Motors, and the Titan IO340-CC Engine as the power plant to be used in the Wave™.

CEO, Paul Vickers discusses the rationale behind the choice.

“The Titan is a very modern engine when compared to the competing 4 cylinder products in that power range and has a stellar track record regarding reliability. Now that it’s backed by Continental Motors, we benefit from the financial stability of the leader of the aviation engine manufacturers and, simultaneously, from the expertise of a team that has developed, over the years, lighter, more powerful and reliable engines while integrating the latest technology."

"We looked at all the solutions available, evaluated engine manufacturers and had in depth discussions with them. Many US and European based vendors were trying to convince us that their “off the shelf” product was suitable for the Wave™. But we wanted a modern engine for our modern aircraft, not an engine that has gone unchanged since 1960. We quickly found out that Titan, under their new ownership by Continental Motors, were able to deliver on all the subjects that really matter to us. The Engineering team listened to our needs and came back with answers that exceeded our expectations. Therefore, the choice was an easy one!”

He adds, “The weight characteristics of the Titan IO-340CC was another factor that drove our decision. The weight savings on this engine are enough to allow us to comply with the LSA ASTM standards without compromising reliability or safety. The use of Magnesium alloys in certain parts makes the weight savings even more dramatic. The engine while being lighter, has not lost its durability or reliability as others have by going beyond what is practical. It has the perfect balance. Finally, the whole Continental Motors team sees the potential and shares the vision for our aircraft and is backing us 100%, and for this I am very appreciative”.

View official Press Release here.

With our engine now locked down, there have also been some significant milestones reached and we look forward to sharing these with you in the very near future.

Check out our new production photos in the gallery, the pace is now quickening!

 

 

 

 

BRS parachute standard equipment in Wave™

August 2015

With the OSHKOSH Air Show wrapped up for another year, here at Vickers we have been focussing on safety.

BRS Aerospace leads the world in ballistic recovery systems and is putting their outstanding product in the Wave™. Having sold over 25,000 of its parachute systems and saved over 320 lives, it is easy to see why we choose BRS and why they have received numerous awards and defence contracts. This product sits perfectly with our core philosophy of innovation.

"The truly innovative and well thought out design of the amphibious Wave™ aircraft, when coupled with BRS' long standing leadership role in aircraft recovery parachutes, creates an aircraft that may well set a new standard in performance, fun, and of course, safety. BRS is honored to have been selected by Vickers for integration into this new aircraft design." Boris Popov – Founder and Senior VP of Sales at BRS Aerospace.

Our engineering team is working closely with BRS to ensure you have the very best in safety that enhances an already incredible Wave™, while giving you the ultimate piece of mind for you and your family, and with this in mind we have made the BRS chute standard equipment.

On a final note, thank you to our loyal following from across the world. We appreciate the phenomenal support shown for the Wave™ and look forward to unveiling it soon.

 

 

 

Vickers raises USA investment

June 2015

We are excited to announce that we have secured funding from USA investors. We have been extremely fortunate to have secured investors who share our passion and thirst for innovation in aviation. With their continued support and wealth of knowledge we will be able to bring a fantastic product to the market.

As we are manufacturing all components, both alloy and carbon fiber in-house, this will ensure complete accuracy both dimensionally and with regards to weight. We have opted to use prepreg carbon fiber, that is generally used on Supercars and Formula 1 racing cars, as this material allows for the desired repeatability during production.

The price will be very competitive and this is largely due to keeping the unique part count around 400, considerably less than other aircraft companies. By keeping our part count low we can manufacture a price-competitive aircraft and build a sustainable business. This coupled with the realistic amount of capital having been invested in Vickers appealed to our USA investors as it provides a stable platform moving forward.

Here at Vickers, not only are we designing and building the most innovative light aircraft in decades, we are building a sustainable company that is formed on solid relationships and realistic investments.

As we transition to the next stage of production, we will provide more regular updates on our progress.

"Stand alone styling that is both smooth and strong, incredible innovations, intuitive systems wrapped in functionality for a price that will stun. That is the Wave™." Paul Vickers

 

 

 

Door sliding operation preview

January 2015

Now that the holidays are over, things are heating up at the Vickers assembly facility. 2014 was a very busy but challenging year but we are now ready to tackle the challenges of 2015. Check out the media updates section for the latest press releases. The Wave™ has continued to feature in major publication throughout 2014 and now into 2015. Check out the latest article from Plane and Pilot.

In addition, we have finalised the door mechanism and are in the process of manufacturing the first set that will go into series #001. Click on the following link to see the animation Vickers-Wave-sliding-doors..mp4

 

 

 

Major Production Milestones

October 2014

2014 has been a "huge" year for Vickers Aircraft. Production of the molds, jigs and fixtures have reached a fever pitch with many of the major carbon fibre molds now complete. The Sponsons , Hull and Nose sections have now been lifted from the molds and have exceeded expectations.

(Check out the Gallery section for just a few of the parts)

The "Wave's™" incredible windscreen mold is now finished, with the first screen due to be produced 18th October. This is very exciting as it is one of the key features that will make the aircraft stand out, and provide an incredible field of view for the pilot.

Testing of the Ballistic chute is now imminent with the production of the upper fuselage and main spar nearing completion. We are working very closely with the team at BRS to ensure that this is completed very soon so that the rest of the aircraft can be "put through its paces".

The "Wave's™" unique landing gear is also on track for completion in October with rolling trials scheduled for early November.

Finally, a huge "Thank you" to all the loyal followers who have continued to watch the Wave develop during the past few months.

Keep checking back with us for more details as they unfold.

Lower Sponson Carbon Fiber mold

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See more pictures here

 

 

 

New Sponson plugs

Second set of plugs for sponson production are well underway. Check out the video below to see the router in action.

See more pictures here

 

 

 

The Plug - Post machining

The picture below shows the plug after it has come off the machine and has been prepped for the next phase.

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Update 1: 30ft CNC geared up for production

Our CNC router is working 24/7 producing parts. Metal is "flying" as we forge ahead with components for the second aircraft. See more pictures here