Jay Carter is seeking joint venture partners to bring smaller versions of the CarterCopter to market, noting in a Jan. 6 press release that buyers interested in smaller versions of this unique flying machine regularly contact the Wichita Falls, Texas, firm.
“We have a great deal of interest getting a relationship started with a major aerospace company to produce large-scale CarterCopters, but we cannot ignore the demand at the lower end,” Carter said in the news release. “We get frequent inquiries regarding vehicles even as small as single-place so we are going to put some energy into developing business for a smaller set of vehicles, too.”
Carter, at work for years building an aircraft that uses a combination of wings and a slow-turning, free-spinning rotor to produce lift, a pusher prop for forward motion, and a unique combination of airplane and helicopter flight controls, announced in May a push to license the technology to manufacturers able to produce large-scale versions. That effort continues, and the company hopes a slightly different approach—joint ventures instead of licensing—will spark interest from smaller firms in building three smaller versions, ranging from 2,000 pounds gross weight to 7,000 pounds.
“It avoids some of the financial barriers to entry regarding upfront license fees, and further incentivizes both the JV partners and Carter itself to ensure success,” Carter said.
In May, Jon Tatro, an industry veteran hired by Carter in 2013, predicted that the larger CarterCopter (7,000 pounds and up) was three to five years from reaching the market, and “that’s three to five years after we get a deal.”
The company is preparing to give additional flight demonstrations, and also plans to bring the CarterCopter to the Sun 'n Fun International Fly-In and Expo in Lakeland, Florida, in April.