Novakinetics produces high-quality composite components and structures to meet any standard, from wet layup fiberglass to autoclave-cured carbon-epoxy prepreg with surface accuracies that are just a few thousandths of an inch from the design model. Novakinetics also hand-crafts modern-day versions of the steel-frame-and-nylon-mesh “Cool Seats” used in helicopters and utility aircraft.
Novakinetics offers a full range of composite manufacturing services, from engineering and design, testing and qualification, to volume production. All our work is conducted to aerospace standards, with documented work instructions, materials traceability, and comprehensive final inspections before product is delivered to our clients.
Our primary activity is composites production, and we are constantly improving our efficiency and quality. We have 17,000 square feet of production space, a climate-controlled clean room for prepreg laminating, and a dedicated, experienced production team that makes it all happen. Our autoclave can process epoxy prepregs at up to 90 psi and 300 degrees F. We also have an oven for out-of-autoclave processes and post-cures to over 400 degrees.
Engineering and Design
Novakinetics provides engineering and design assistance from an engineering team that has many years of hands-on experience with the art of composites. We start with your design requirements and optimize for strength, stiffness, light weight, cost, or an appropriate mixture of those properties. Our favorite tools include Solidworks modeling, 2D CAD, and 3D printing, as well as foam-and-fiberglass mockups.
Novakinetics produces composites tooling, primarily for internal use, but also for clients. Patterns for molds are typically CNC machined or 3D printed, with in-house laser scanning to verify accuracy. We create molds ranging from wet layup to autoclave cured prepreg, with oven post-cures to 400 degrees F.
Testing and Qualification
Novakinetics routinely provides structural testing and analysis reports based on in-house testing or independent lab tests. We generate test plans, arrange testing, and deliver test reports for environmental exposure testing to MIL-STD-810. Novakinetics materials have been successfully tested to MIL-STD-810 standards for sunlight, rain, humidity, blowing dust and sand, fuel, oil, and cleaning fluids exposures, salt fog, fungus, shock, vibration, and temperature extremes.
Novakinetics is an OEM supplier to Air Tractor, producer of crop dusting and forest fire fighting airplanes. We also supply a number of STC holders and military composites customers. All these relationships involve qualification testing for strength, performance, and exposure to environmental factors including temperature and resistance to lubricants or solvents.
Prepreg Advanced Composites
Novakinetics produces well over 100 prepreg carbon-epoxy parts per month. We oven process and autoclave process these parts as necessary. We can hold extremely close surface accuracies when the application requires it. These prepreg parts are used in aircraft fairings, radomes, and SATCOM radio antennas.
Wet Layup Fiberglass
Novakinetics produces hundreds of wet layup fiberglass-epoxy and carbon fiber-epoxy parts each month. We incorporate vacuum bag processing and elevated temperature post-cures when appropriate. These parts are used in aircraft engine cowlings, wing tips, instrument panel surrounds, and fairings.
Novakinetics produces the seats used in the Air Tractor crop dusters, which are a remarkably close copy to the Huey helicopter seats of the 1960s and 1970s. These seats start with a welded frame, crafted from 4130 steel aircraft tubing, incorporate aluminum-backed foam pads in critical locations, and finish with a nylon and mesh cover that is stretched so tight that you can bounce a coin off of it!
Here are some of our more significant projects:
Air Tractor Ram Air Inlet:
n the early 2000s, Air Tractor was feeling the need to improve the ram air efficiency of it’s larger PT6 engine installations. Among the design criteria was the need to not increase the vertical cross-section area at the very front of the airplane, so that lateral-directional stability would not be compromised. In other words, we were challenged to create a ram air nose cowl in the exact same footprint as the existing nose cowl! We used the air inlet design criteria from Pratt & Whitney’s PT6 installation manual and crafted a quick foam-and-fiberglass modification to the existing Air Tractor nose cowl. Initial flight tests showed a significant reduction in ITT temperatures and an improvement in high-and-hot engine performance over the original air intake design. Refined versions of this cowl were adapted for production and have been in service ever since.
Eclipse Engine Nacelles:
In the early 2000s, Eclipse Aircraft set out to build affordable personal and business jets. Novakinetics initially worked with their engineering team to produce engine nacelles for flight test. When the original Williams jet engines failed to deliver the performance that was needed, Eclipse acquired Teledyne cruise missile engines to fly their prototype and obtain much needed flight test performance data. Since these engines were not man-rated, Novakinetics developed a ballistic containment layer that was integral to the structure of the nacelle. With the transition to the Pratt & Whitney turbofan engines, Novakinetics was also involved in design, structural analysis, tooling and limited production of nacelles for the first development airplanes.
Engine Test Bellmouths and Ducting:
Novakinetics has provided the composite structures for a variety of jet engine ground test equipment, including bellmouths, reference nozzles, and external engine ducting. We have produced parts for Honeywell as an OEM supplier, and for a client who specializes in engine test instrumentation.
Killajoule Electric Land Speed Streamliner:
Bill Dube, famous for his A123 lithium battery powered Killacycle motorcycle dragster, and Eva Hakansson designed and built an electric motorcycle sidecar streamliner that ultimately became the world’s fastest motorcycle sidecar, regardless of propulsion means. Novakinetics worked with Eva and Bill during the early development of the Killajoule, and created bodywork that has gone over 270 MPH on the Bonneville Salt Flats.