Skybolt develops a fastening system for LCASD (Low-Cost Attritable Strike Unmanned Aerial System) or UAS/UAV.
Skybolt President, Ned Bowers is extremely excited to be part of the initial design and specification of specialty fasteners for this new technology known as SKYBORG. “I worked directly on the MQ1 and MQ9 programs with the Air Force and the Army. That experience rolls right into this program based on a revolutionary approach to design objective: Design the system from the end-user, the technician that works on the platform, then proceed back to the engineering phase. My entire engineering life has seen and experienced the exact opposite with one big exception, Apollo. The best success stories (Apollo) instilled this in me and this is the approach we are using in this program”, says Bowers.
Even more exciting to Bowers is why Skybolt was approached over the other dominant players. “The conversation did not start out, ‘based on your vast aerospace experience…’, it started out, ‘based on your racing (NASCAR in particular) experience’, we feel you have the ability to provide a fastening system that meets low cost, is functional, and is technologically advanced.”
Bowers is quick to distance himself from “low cost” as this usually equates to poor quality. But the cost is relative. The cost for a simple quad lead screw on the MQ1 and MQ9 program that we replaced was beyond ridiculous and the design was not adaptive to the environment. It was very user-unfriendly. Skybolt designed and installed a non-thread, quick-release design using the same holes and the exact same tooling as the screw.
The Skybolt design was immune to sand and dirt and it was designed from the technician back-engineering. The objective of the LCASD program is the perfect match to mate technology and practicality to cost. The mission is advanced and Skybolt is proud to be a part of this program. “I will be hands-on at location for P1 (Production) phases of this build going into 2021 to ensure our objectives remain focused on the technician that services these airframes”, says Bowers.