Phenix Solutions' Journey to Success in Aerospace Industry
February 7, 2023
As we focus our sights on 2023, we want to share some of the hard work accomplished in 2022 by the TEAM. The aerospace industry by its nature presents no shortage of challenges for companies to overcome, and Phenix Solutions, has certainly faced our share of such challenges this past year. However, we’ve been able to overcome these obstacles with the strength of our employees, our Teammates, and our customers. Traveling this road with each of you over this past year has been truly amazing, and I’m humbled by your continued contributions!
I want to take this opportunity to highlight a couple of key events that marked our success. This past year, Phenix continued to develop new relationships and deepen existing relationships with key suppliers and Teammates. We transitioned two key Phase I SBIR’s for Digital Engineering and Agile Manufacturing to follow-on Phase II’s with the USAF. These STTR’s helped us plan and build out our production facility and deliver a Digital Twin for the the Ultra 2XL. Our friends at Agility Prime provided crucial In-Kind test support with the US Army at Ft. Eustis, VA while the team at Eagle accelerated production to ensure test articles would be available for these critical test events. It is with great pride that I can report on the achievements noted above, however, none of this would have been brought to conclusion without the help of a new relationship we cultivated this past year with our friends at Banner Bank. They provided the financial tools we needed to bridge gaps because they believe in us, believe in our story, and they believe in all of you.
Additionally, in partnership with our friends at NWUAV, we opened our production facility in McMinnville, Oregon. This facility allows us to make steady progress on the Ultra 2XL and affords ample space for key activities such as receiving inspection, inventory, assembly, test and shipping. The facility not only supports Ultra 2XL production, but also supports engineering, sustainment, and training functions, as well. This provides an excellent opportunity for guests and customers to see the production, test fly the Ultra 2XL in our HIL Simulator, and visit the test flight range; while leaving enough time to enjoy a glass or two of Oregon Pinot Noir in the area’s many world class wineries in one day!
After adding the extension to our new facility, we focused on marketing efforts by launching our website www.phenixuas.com and identifying tradeshows and conferences to share our unique aircraft's development with the aviation industry. Our executive team successfully debuted Phenix Solutions and the Ultra 2XL at the HAI Heli-Expo in Dallas, Texas. Presenting information in the first-time exhibitor area, we had a significant amount of traffic from attendees from around the world and met with essential vendors. After the success of HAI, Phenix's team attended the Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA) later that month in support of a critical teaming partner. We utilized the opportunity to review other recent military aviation advancements and also had introductory discussions with potential vendors. We participated in three other aviation industry events in 2022, strategically positioning the Phenix team for a successful 2023.
Phenix Solutions was able to identify, meet, and finalize partnerships with crucial vendors with an enterprising spirit, such as CP Technology Products. Phenix and CP worked together to build the Ground Control System (GCS) for Phenix and its operators. We recently received our first GCS unit which powers our Hardware in the Loop (HIL) training simulations and demonstrations for customers and military personnel. Our CP unit consists of the highest quality materials that ensure its ruggedness, creating a high-value product able to navigate varying environmental scenarios over many years. We also continued our partnership with Eagle Technology by selecting their team to design, build, and manufacture multiple major components for the Ultra 2XL's final form. We count on Eagle Technology's proven history of success and capability to create our unrivaled rotor system and blades. Phenix has also continued to work with Fuel Safe Systems, which has collaborated with us from the beginning with Phenix's primary tank fuel system. They are customizing Phenix, an auxiliary pod fuel system, to allow operators an unmatched flight endurance capability. This fuel tank system will enable the Ultra 2XL to fly for approximately 300 nautical miles; however, with the auxiliary system included, we bolster the Ultra 2XL to potentially 1,000 nautical miles.
Phenix Solutions had significant advances in its certification efforts as well. Global organization SAE selected Director of Aircraft and Certification Dan Wright to join their G35 committee for modeling simulation and training for emerging aviation technologies and concepts. This group works on an assortment of regulations to help move the UAV industry forward in the currently regulated airspace. Dan has been a champion of this group and a key member of the Phenix Solutions executive team. His efforts are evident in our continued success with FAA milestones. Due to his work, Phenix received a registration number for the Ultra 2XL production model, PSCP approval, and awarded a project number. Unlike other drone companies seeking certification through the FAA, Dan and his team had selected a pathway for our type certificate (TC) that has given us an advantage on the overall market by focusing our efforts under the FAA part 27. Dan also continues monthly meetings with the FAA to maintain our momentum and work on our military airworthiness process.
On the production side, Phenix Solutions completed two major SBIR contracts - one for an Agile Manufacturing Phase I and one for a Digital Engineering Phase I. The Agile Manufacturing contract with the Air Force Agility Prime program has specific goals to reduce manufacturing time and costs (ensuring repeatability and availability) - but, most of all, to support safety. These goals also explore, develop, and demonstrate innovative manufacturing and sustainment technologies. We have chosen a best-of-breed mantra for COTS parts to minimize life-limit parts in our engineering design for the Ultra 2XL. This mantra allows us to meet all Agility Manufacturing criteria. The Digital Engineering Phase I contract completed earlier in the 3rd quarter and was focused on reducing costs and increasing reliability and safety for Military, Government, and Commercial end-users. The Phase I project was an incredibly educational and practical exercise that yielded noteworthy results and a solid foundation for moving into Phase II of this development program.
As 2023 continues we at Phenix look forward to a bright future and continuing our trajectory. CEO Brian Riese will present the Phenix Ultra 2XL and the development of authentic heavy-lift drone technology at the Natural Disaster Expo (NDE) in Miami, Florida, in early March. The following week, we will return to HAI Heli-Expo in Atlanta with a booth 3146 and static 3438 where we will have an aircraft on display as a demonstration of our company's progress. Phenix will also be at AAAA in April and present at several other trade show events throughout the year.
President & CEO
Phenix Solutions, Inc.