Onward & Upward is the unofficial slogan of our company, Vortex Control Technologies. Charles and I started Consulting Aviation Services, the precursor of VCT, in 1996 and just celebrated our company’s 20th anniversary. In reality I think the slogan for both companies should be “Hurry Up & Wait.”
It has been a long slog to bring Charles’ patented inventions that reduce drag on military and commercial aircraft into the marketplace.
|The team of people working on our project|
A milestone on the way to production occurred this month. At Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert in California, Air Force personnel representing the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia met to review the most recent flight test results using Charles’ devices on the C-17 cargo plane. The consensus of the meeting was that the first test results reached the targeted goals. Thumbs up approval was given to proceed to the next phase of testing which should produce even more drag reduction.
When these Finlets are installed on the C-17, the Air Force will save millions of dollars in fuel. We hope that next year, we’ll be on our way to selling Finlets. However, we’ve been on this roller coaster ride many times before. So we remain cautiously optimistic that 2017 will be the year for the C-17. That has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?
|Finlets on a C-17 Cargo Plane|
For the first time, since we started this project, photos and newspaper articles are available. We can finally talk about it since the information is now declassified.The headline of the Edwards Air Force Base newspaper reads “C-17 Drag Reduction Testing Aims at Saving Fuel.” This picture shows the C-17 aircraft and the temporary installation of the orange flight test Finlets. The second phase of testing will begin in May.
Charles applied for the Finlets patent in 2004 and has been working consistently on this project for twelve years. The government contracts have been slow in coming and we have waited months and sometimes years before receiving another infusion of funds. Our patience has been tested and retested. Every time, we think the project is dead in the water, something will happen to keep the project and our hopes alive. We keep waiting for the day someone says “The check’s in the mail.”
These two late bloomers remind each other almost daily to enjoy the journey since the destination is so elusive. Whether we profit monetarily from all this work, it has been worth the effort. Onward & Upward!
This Bible Verse from Isaiah 40:31 inspires us on the journey.
“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”