The FAA is coming out with new rules requiring that drones have no exposed rotating parts — good news for Lectratek’s ducted fan propulsion systems. The final rules will be released in January.
Under the Operation of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Over People rules, drones will be required to have no exposed rotating parts that could potentially lacerate human skin. For example, if the propellers that provide lift and thrust for the small unmanned aircraft are internal to the unmanned aircraft, such as in a ducted fan configuration, and are incapable of making contact with a person as a result of an impact, then the parts would not be exposed, and the aircraft would satisfy this proposed requirement.
Lectratek is poised to provide the suitable propulsion systems as well as lightweight batteries required for electric flight.
Launch Dayton, Dayton’s on-line startup community of entrepreneurial “ecosystem builders,” announced the top 10 startups to watch in 2021. Lectratek was listed among them.
“Lectratek LLC is looking to power the world’s first flying cars. The startup is focused on powering eAviation technologies for an industry poised for dramatic growth in the coming years. A spinout of private aerospace and defense firm Cornerstone Research Group, Lectratek leverages two decades’ worth of federally sponsored research into electric aviation for applications from commercial and industrial drones to mid-tier commercial airliners. The current team is actively recruiting for executive leadership and business development positions.” –Launch Dayton
The Dayton Business Journal published an article titled, “CRG Venture Studio launches new electric aviation company” about the formation of Lectratek LLC. An excerpt below:
“Cornerstone Research Group Inc. (CRG), a privately held aerospace and defense firm based in Miami Township, announced Monday its new company — Lectratek LLC. The new business, launched by CRG’s Venture Studio unit, is an electric aviation technology company. It is focused on powering “eAviation” tech for an industry the company says is poised for dramatic growth in the coming years.”
The Dayton Daily News published an article on the formation of Lectratek by CRG’s Venture Studio, titled “Miami Twp. defense contractor announces new aviation spinoff.” An excerpt is below:
“Creating new businesses and divisions is all in a day’s work for Cornerstone. Lectratek will take advantage of CRG-developed technologies, including engineering services and aircraft parts related to electric propulsion, advanced composites and safe energy storage, the company said in a release,” says an excerpt from the article.
CRG’s Venture Studio today has launched an electric aviation (eAviation) technology company, Lectratek LLC. This new company is focused on powering eAviation technologies for an industry poised for dramatic growth.
Lectratek leverages core proprietary technologies developed over the years by CRG. Initial offerings will include engineering services and aircraft components related to electric propulsion, advanced affordable composites, and safe energy storage. Growth over time is anticipated to eventually touch virtually all aspects of electric aviation powertrains and some structural components. The new company is already off to a strong start, leveraging over $25 million of prior DoD/NASA investment at CRG, including three new Agility Prime contracts.
“Nothing could be more appropriate to the Dayton region’s inventive roots than growing a company to be a leader in the next wave of aviation,” said CRG’s CEO Patrick Hood. “Electric aviation is rapidly moving from something people dream about to something people will use every day, and Lectratek is positioned to be a leader in the field.”
Lectratek is the first new company coming out of CRG’s recently formed Venture Studio to gain critical mass, according to Andrew Cothrel, CRG’s Chief Venture Officer. “We are really pleased with how quickly customer demand is becoming tangible for Lectratek, particularly for our highly unique propulsion solutions,” said Cothrel. “While it is still early days in eAviation, this is a market forecasting to be worth $178B by 2040, and we think Lectratek has something to offer that can lead to enduring success.”
The Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL’s) Manufacturing and Industrial Technologies Division and the contractor team of Cornerstone Research Group, A&P Technology and CRG’s affiliate, Spintech LLC, conducted research to quantify the benefits of replacing legacy manufacturing processes with novel processes for the fabrication of an 11-foot long, S-shaped engine inlet duct.
The approach replaces the hand applied composite prepreg with an automated overbraid process which applies dry fiber to a mandrel. The very heavy multi-piece steel mandrel was replaced with a light-weight single-piece shape-memory polymer mandrel and the dry braided carbon fiber was processed with a low cost epoxy resin using a vacuum assisted resin transfer molding process. The team completed analysis of the overbraid architecture, fabrication of a shape memory polymer (SMP) forming tool and construction of the SMP mandrel that will serve as the tool during the preform overbraid process.
One of the primary goals of this program is to understand part cost and production time benefits from introducing the new tooling and processing solutions. The final inlet duct will be delivered to the government for further integration into the Aerospace System’s Directorate’s complementary airframe design and manufacturing program. Personnel at the Aerospace Vehicles Division will conduct static ground testing of the integrated braided fuselage and inlet duct structure. Read full article here.
On January 28, 2020 CRG acquired new facilities located on Washington Church Rd. in Miamisburg Township. Because of the company’s rapid growth last year (48% increase in staff) and growth projected over the next few years, they required more space for offices, production lines and labs. See DBJ Covers CRG’s Plans to Expand.
This new property more than triples CRG’s facility space. The building is fully climate controlled, with a total of 174,000 sq ft. Located on 60 acres, the new facility adds 126,000 sq ft of manufacturing or production space, 36,000 sq ft of warehouse space, plus 12,000 sq ft of office space. This acquisition leaves room for expansion, including space available for additional new outbuildings. Once the new building is fully occupied, the current space at Earl Blvd. will be used for composites development and manufacturing.
CEO Patrick Hood said, “I am excited to have worked with the Dayton Development Coalition, JobsOhio, Montgomery County and Farmers and Merchants Bank to acquire the property on Washington Church Road. This property will be instrumental in our expansion plans. Our team has developed several new technology platforms rapidly reaching maturity and will require space for both production and added business staff. This property has the space to expand our development and production capacity as well as plenty of acreage to build out a campus to support additional growth.”
CRG also recently leased and moved some of its aerosystems projects into 77,000 sq ft in a building next door to their current space on Earl Blvd. In addition, Advantic, a subsidiary of CRG, has moved into 55,000 sq ft of that extra space next door to support its incredible growth. They tripled their staff in the past year.
After some renovation and re-outfitting, CRG plans to begin moving some activities to their newly acquired building in June.
One of CRG’s subsidiary businesses, Advantic, is moving to a new location in Miamisburg, Ohio. After more than doubling sales in 2018 — and growing from 12 to more than 30 employees — Advantic is moving into an eleven-acre, standalone facility at 511 Byers Road in early 2020. The building is near the Byers and Lyons roads intersection, next to Cornerstone Research Group’s headquarters.
The engineering company’s new location will triple its office footprint and nearly double its production area. Advantic’s roots are in industrial and mining industries, helping companies replace conventional building materials such as steel and concrete with advanced, non-corroding structural materials for infrastructure applications.
On May 8th, 2015, the Dayton Business Journal published a cover story about CRG titled “Innovation Machine.” The article highlighted CRG’s spin-off businesses Advantic, Spintech and NONA Composites and the industries they target.
“Patrick Hood spent years trying to perfect a model to commercialize products from his research and development firm. Seems he found the right formula and now the Dayton region stands to benefit.” If you’re a DBJ subscriber, read the full article here.
On April 13th, 2015, the Dayton Chamber of Commerce FOCUS magazine released an article about NONA Composites, LLC. NONA Composites is this year’s recipient of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce’s Soin Award for Innovation. The award, created in 2007 and named for its sponsor, local entrepreneur Rajesh Soin, recognizes a company with a unique product that exemplifies the region’s tradition of innovation and entrepreneurship.
The Soin Award is designed to identify, honor and financially assist a company in the Dayton region that demonstrates the historical innovative spirit of the community. It carries a $25,000 prize – no small matter when a company is less than two years old. “We’re still a very small business and every dollar counts,” said NONA Composites President Ben Dietsch. “This award has helped us go a long way in being able to continue to reach out from a sales and marketing perspective and do some internal product development.”