This week Aerovel (www.aerovelco.com) demonstrated and announced a successful transition from hover to wing-borne cruise with their Flexrotor prototype. This was made possible with the successful engineering and fabrication of custom rotor blades by Innovative Composite Engineering (ICE) in White Salmon, WA. This allows the Flexrotor the cababilities of VTOL with range of 3000 km and endurance exceeding a day and a half. Aerovel’s president Tad McGeer came to ICE and CEO Steve Maier for help with the design and fabrication of these blades knowing that ICE has supported the UAV industry for many years.
ICE has been involved in the UAV industry since its infancy and has supported companies such as Insitu and Boeing for over 10 years. This includes the crucial design and fabrication of flight structures for Insitu’s Scan Eagle, which now has over 500,000 combat flight hours. ICE is continuing their support of this industry with Aerovel and the Flexrotor as well as many others.
ICE has been an industry leader in the design, engineering and manufacturing of composite structures for over 20 years. Since 1989 ICE has accomplished all volume manufacturing, design and prototyping programs in house for various industries including aerospace, automotive, industrial and recreation. With a state of the art, 62,000 sq ft production facility in White Salmon, WA ICE has been able to stay on the cutting edge of new technologies.
These technologies include such things as teaming up with Pratt and Miller racing who won the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year with their Corvette Racing Team which featured the composite driveshaft designed and fabricated by ICE. This driveshaft was designed to reduce weight of the vehicle while still able to withstand the world’s most grueling endurance race.