Carter Aviation's president and CEO said the company has made strides toward increasing number of employees to 50 but hasn't yet reached that goal. So, while the company is looking at repaying a $3-million dollar loan from the city, Carter Aviation officials say they have something in the works that could have the company skyrocketing to a new height.
Carter Aviation Technologies is known for it's unique aircraft that takes off and lands vertically like a helicopter and flies as fast as a fixed-wing airplane. Now, the company says it's Personal Air Vehicle recently broke five of its own records, including flying 204 miles per hour at an altitude of more than 16,000 feet and flying well over an hour-- the longest flight the craft has made to date.
But despite those aeronautical performances, Carter officials say they haven't performed so well meeting one of several mandates the city of Wichita Falls required for the loan.
"We met seven of the eight milestones. The eighth milestone is the one were we had to have 50 employees. So, we just haven't met that," says Jay Carter, Jr., president and CEO of Carter Aviation
In November 2009, Carter Aviation licensed its technology to a major aerospace company, AAI, but Jay Carter, Jr. says the company encountered a setback.
"We had some issues with the software developing a controller that would control the router rpm and that took us over a year to resolve," Carter says.
Carter says because of that setback, along with some others, the company was forced to reduce its number of employees to 13 but Carter hopes the company will soar out of trouble soon. He says Carter Aviation is being considered for a multi-billion dollar contract with the Department of Defense.
"Whoever wins that contract, the Navy has said that is their highest priority and they need at least 1,000 aircraft," Carter explains.
Carter says he's had a difficult time finding investors in Wichita Falls but will not move his company, if it comes to that, until he repays the city the $3-million loan.
As for the DOD contract, Carter says it's expected to be awarded in August.
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