Great article about Vern Rayburn and his company Eclipse. Very, very important to aviation. Also a friend of mine helped foster this and other efforts at NASA and that team just won the Collier Award for their efforts. Eclipse won the trophy. which will be presented May 15 in DC.
Truely wil be disruptive, maybe to the military as well.
The best part is the manufacturing:
About the only thing Eclipse will do is snap the pieces together at its factory in Albuquerque. And even there, Mr. Raburn is counting on the technology to cut labor costs. Eclipse invested more than $30 million in a process called "friction-stir welding," which will enable it to save about 1,800 hours of labor on each airplane by eliminating 60% of the rivets that hold together the aluminum fuselage panels.
Eclipse plans to assemble each aircraft and have it in the customer's hands within 10 days of the beginning of final assembly. Twenty days later, Mr. Raburn will pay his suppliers.