Wyoming firm selected for its expertise in composite construction of aircraft
Laramie, WY – Nov. 19 ,2008—Firehole Technologies, a leader in advanced composites analysis, and XCOR Aerospace have announced a partnership that will lead to faster construction of XCOR’s two-seat Lynx suborbital launch vehicle. This craft, first unveiled in March, 2008, will be built of composites. It will provide affordable access to space for researchers as well as individuals seeking to view Earth from the edge of space.
“One of the key techniques that make it possible for a small firm like XCOR to build a fully reusable launch vehicle is composite construction,” said XCOR CEO Jeff Greason. “Composite construction provides strength, is light weight, and gives you flexibility in your aerodynamic design.”
“Firehole Technologies has cutting edge technology that will let us analyze our composite construction before and during construction to ensure that the Lynx is both as strong and light as it can be.” Greason added. “That will ensure maximum performance and enhanced safety. Another benefit of the Firehole Technologies analysis is that it will help XCOR lower the cost of construction.”
The two-seat Lynx suborbital spaceship, roughly the size of a small private airplane, will carry people or payloads to an altitude where they will experience weightlessness and see the stars above and the Earth and its atmosphere below. Targeted for a first take off in 2010, the Lynx will be capable of flying several times each day. It will fly to 200,000 feet altitude and reach speeds of at least twice the speed of sound.
“The Lynx presents designers and fabricators with real challenges,” says Firehole Technologies CEO Jerad Stack. “In this partnership, Firehole will utilize our analysis software, Helius:MCT™ in combination with our understanding of the challenges inherent in manufacturing and designing with composites. Based upon our long experience in composite materials and construction, Firehole’s analysis takes the properties of both the fiber and matrix into account. This enables us to demonstrate a higher level of accuracy in composite analysis than other currently available solutions.”
“We have spent the last five years moving this approach from the defense industry into the commercial market and refining it at each step,” Stack added. “We have been able to repeatedly produce much more accurate results in less time than other solutions and look forward to working with XCOR to leverage the advantages our technology can provide.”
“We at XCOR believe that the Lynx will benefit greatly from working with Firehole Technologies,” says XCOR COO Andrew Nelson. “Technology is only part of the equation when you are looking for a good partner. In Firehole we not only found advanced technology and experience, we found a team with leadership and ability that will be as dedicated to ensuring that our project is as successful as we are.”
“We were in the process of finding partners who would allow us to conduct further tests with the Helius:MCT™ software, when we met with XCOR.” said Stack. “They’re knowledge and experience make them a perfect partner. We continue to identify other select partners to work with as we move toward a commercial launch of Helius:MCT™.” Companies interested in working with Firehole’s Helius:MCT™ pre-commercial release, should contact Jason Gies at Email Contact.