Carter Aviation Lands Multi-Million Dollar Development Contract

- Carter Aviation Technologies is one of five companies selected to develop plans for a medium-altitude, long ranged unmanned aircraft for potential navy use.

The five companies are competing for the eventual contract to build the unmanned craft for the military's advanced research projects agency.

The aircraft would allow launching and recovery of the craft from smaller ships.

Jay Carter, president and CEO of the company, says, "We thought we were going to need the support of some major aerospace companies because this is a really big contract, and so we talked to these major aerospace companies to see if they'd like to team with us or work with us, and they turned us down. So we ended up bidding it by ourselves, and like I said, we won and they lost."

While this project is propelling the company, it hasn't been all smooth flying for the company to this point.

Hopes for more private investment to add to the incentives the city has provided have not met expectations

"We've really had to cut back," Carter says. "We haven't gotten the financing we had hoped to get. We really hoped to get some financing from Wichita Falls and it has not come forth."

But, Carter remains optimistic.

"We can do what it is that the Navy was asking, and I don't know of anybody else that can do it."

He says if his company can land the long-term contract, it could take them to new heights: producing thousands of unmanned aircraft for our nation's armed services.

The winner should be announced around this time next year.

Carter Aviation is the recipient of Wichita Falls 4A funding.

So far, they've been able to meet seven of their eight milestones required to receive funding.

Their last milestone is to employ 50 workers.

Carter says they're not quite there yet, but if they win the long-term DARPA contract, they'll exceed that milestone.

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