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.
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.
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.
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.