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Winner of 2017 Florida Companies to Watch

We are honored to be named one of the winners of the 2017 Florida Companies to Watch. Our teams dedication and founders innovation has helped us grow as a leading aerospace fasteners manufacturer.


Ned Bowers, co-founder of Skybolt Aeromotive Corp., made his hobby his business. As he learned more about the aerospace parts business, he innovated the business model to develop a strong competitive advantage over the rest of the industry. “Skybolt was originally formed by my dad and me. We both came from an aviation background and we came up with the idea to create an aircraft parts distribution company, which quickly came to be focused on aerospace fasteners,” he said. “We quickly whittled that into something more in demand which was quarter-turn fasteners. Because we had such a difficult time sourcing parts that were common to everything that was built to fly, that led us blindly into making it ourselves. We had to learn how to go from distributor to manufacturer. We started learning at the lowest levels how to manufacture parts and 30 years later we’re still learning and continually improving.”

Debra & Ned Bowers

Skybolt perfected its manufacturing process so much that its lead time is only six days compared to 16 for the rest of the industry. “What makes us truly different is that we are innovators,” Bowers explained. “We have always searched for better ways to do things. We took the design of 50 and 60-year-old aircraft parts and improved them substantially so they are more user friendly. Our automated manufacturing process has resulted in very fast lead times and allows us to set up and run quantities to fit our customer’s needs instead of running 100,000 units to deliver 50,000.”

Bowers appreciates the added credibility that comes with being named as a Florida Companies to Watch. “We are so honored to have been selected as a Top 50 Florida Companies to Watch honoree. We’ve worked hard, we are growing, and it’s incredible,” said his partner, Debra Bowers. “The credibility this gives us, especially in the aerospace industry that is very regulated, is invaluable. One of toughest things we face as a small business trying to get to next level with large companies, like a Boeing company, is establishing our credibility. This is another feather in our cap. We are so honored to be a part of GrowFL. This will really help us when approaching large companies, and the value of just that is paramount.”

Bowers’ advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to prepare to have adequate capital and gain as much knowledge and experience as you can before launch. “Do your homework, come up with a number of what it’s going to cost to form that business and how are you going to accumulate the capital to cover that cost and as soon as you figure out the number – then double it,” he said. “We learned our industry on our own dime making rookie mistakes that were costly. Before venturing off to run your own business, educate yourself as much as possible on what’s involved in running a business. There’s not enough information you can absorb before you start operating and spending money.”

Skybolt Aeromotive Corp is a member of the GrowFL CEO Roundtable Program and a past participant in the GrowFL Strategic Research Program. GrowFL’s support of Florida manufacturers is a partnership program of FloridaMakes. – See More about Florida 2017 Companies To Watch

35th Anniversary Catalog Released

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35th Anniversary Catalog | 2017 | 160 Pages


Skybolt announces the latest edition of the ‘2017 Skybolt Catalog’ while celebrating our 35th year of innovation, manufacturing, and distribution of aerospace fasteners. This edition brings together our extensive manufactured line of ¼-Turn Panel Fasteners along with the traditional AN-MS-NAS fastener hardware. This combination is a wealth of technical information surrounding fastening hardware, particularly the world of ¼-Turn Panel Fasteners that are interchangeable (FAA TSO-C148) with Camloc®, Dzus®, Airloc®, and Southco® fasteners. Like our previous editions of the Skybolt Catalog, this may be one of the best tools in every tool box!

Skybolt has served the Aerospace and Automotive Racing industries since 1982 through distribution and manufacturing of high quality, traceable aerospace fasteners. We specialize in ¼-Turn Panel and Cowling fasteners, specifically in 303 stainless and our unique lightweight, high strength Skytanium® materials.

In 1993, Skybolt developed high tech manufacturing processes to produce innovative ¼-turn fasteners. Developments in the aerospace and racing markets presented opportunities to design higher quality, higher strength lightweight fasteners. Skybolt achieved three US Patents on adjustable designs that allow one fastener length to adjust to any panel thickness. We quickly introduced these designs into the FAA approval process for use on certified aircraft. We have gone on to add additional patent applications for adjustable CLoc® Fasteners.

We identified every weak point in every fastener design and capitalized on better designs. Skybolt became the leading source for all variations of cowling fasteners common to commercial aircraft. To further develop our “kit” concept, and to create better controls on quality, we began manufacturing industry standard cowling fasteners in-house. Skybolt could now enhance quality, strength, and luster finish. We were free to innovate and innovate we did. The new Skytanium® alloys, developed by Skybolt, decreased weight by 40% to 50% while maintaining MIL-F-5591C and NASM5591 strength!

The Skytanium® ¼-Turn fastener and derivatives can eliminate serious weight from helicopters, UAVs, existing commercial airliners, and be the perfect answer to the Boeing 787 and Airbus 380 programs.

Skybolt supports the next generation in aviation

Vans RV Owners Gathered for the 2017 EAA AirVenture Oshkosh Social.  “TANGO FLIGHT” STEM PROGRAM INSTRUCTOR, Dan Weyant is the winner of the Skybolt Vans RV-12 Stainless Steel Quarter-Turn Cowling Fastener Kit!

On Monday, July 24, 2017 at the 2017 Oshkosh RV Social, (hosted by Arthur J.Gallagher & Co. along with Vans Air Force guru, Dan Horton), Ned & Debra Bowers attended a very special gathering of the elite Vans RV builders, owners, enthusiasts, mentors, and dreamers.

Congratulations to Dan Weyant, an instructor/teacher at East View High School (Georgetown, Texas), who won the big prize at the 2017 Oshkosh RV Social. Dan said he will donate the Skybolt RV-12 Stainless Steel Fastener Kit to TANGO FLIGHT, an Aerospace Engineering STEM Class. www.tangoflight.org

The Skybolt ¼-turn fastener kit will be installed on the current TANGO FLIGHT Vans RV-12 aircraft building project. The TANGO FLIGHT course is unique in providing a college level curriculum with hands on experience, building an airplane, and practical experience working on aircraft with local businesses.

Skybolt Aeromotive Corp has also been very involved in promoting STEM programs and Apprenticeship Program startups in Lake County, Florida along with a group of Central Florida’s own Technical Colleges, other programs, and a supportive community of manufacturers.

For more information, email dbowers@skybolt.com or call 352.326.000

New from Skybolt – CLoc® Adjustable Receptacle for blind applications

Now the adjustment feature is located on the front side of the inner support panel, not the backside as previous lockers.

In 1993, Skybolt reformed the ¼-Turn Fastener design by introducing the unique adjusting receptacle. The key to adjusting is a fine threaded locking insert that allows one stud length to grip a broad range of panel thicknesses. Typically, a Camloc fastener has a grip range of .030 or +/- .015 inches. This limits how and what industries would consider this type of quick acting fastener.

However, the Skybolt designed SK213, SK215, and SK245 Series receptacles created a grip range of about .300 or +/- .150 inches.

The challenge from the beginning was how to lock the insert. Our original design and patent used a spring pin to secure the insert. Of course, re-adjusting proved to be challenging. We then patented an external locking band that has served us well for over 20 years. However, the outer band does not support a blind installation or an encapsulated installation.

Skybolt then came up with the pin-ball internal locker that had many advantages except the length of the insert was longer than desired, and the ball was not retained if the insert was removed. Moreover, we had issues with unwanted unlocking which proved difficult to control from lot to lot.

The latest Skybolt Adjusting mechanism uses a rotating cam pin. It answers almost all of our desires in an adjusting fastener, is simple with a positive lock, and contains less mass and moving parts.

As we gain experience with this new patent pending design, we plan to modify all Skybolt adjusting receptacles to this design; we call our Dash 7 (-7) Series. This new generation will allow us to phase out two of our old designs and focus on just one design for all applications, blind, nonblind, encapsulated, and our SK2003-50ADJ Cessna Platemounts.

The only tool necessary is a small flat blade screwdriver similar to common eyeglass screwdrivers.

To adjust, simply locate the slotted locking pin adjacent to either of the two locking indices.

The slot should be in the position shown to lock or unlock properly. (the slot points to the center of the receptacle insert). Turn the pin 180 degrees in either direction. The pin has a camming action as it moves from lock to unlock to lock. When unlocked, the insert is free to turn for adjustment.

Unlike previous internal locking designs, this pin retains itself even when the insert is completely removed.

Note: The insert should not be adjusted such that more than three threads are showing at the top or bottom.

Because of our NASM5591 endurance testing, Skybolt recommends a small drop of oil on all fastener cross pins. This will significantly increase the endurance (cycles) of the fastener