VK-30: An Experimental Aircraft
RA Mills Corporation specializes in building and modifying VK-30 kit airplanes. Since 1994, RA Mills has redesigned nearly every component for this aircraft; I was privileged to spend a summer as an intern, working with them to develop interior components.
RA Mills a specialty design and fabrication company based in Medina, Ohio, knows what it takes to turn an idea into an elegant, tested, manufacturable product. As an intern during the Summer of 2009, I spent nearly four months sketching, 3D modeling, prototyping, and manufacturing brand new components for the VK-30 experimental aircraft. Owner Rick Mills, designer and fabrication expert Tim and I often worked as a close-knit team. RA Mills currently sells a pilot seat that was a primary focus of mine.
Throughout the summer, the challenges I faced followed two themes: make it real as soon as possible, and design with the end in mind. Everything I helped design RA Mills would have to manufacture (or outsource), forcing me to consider our manufacturing capabilities, material costs, and labor to realize a design.
What you'll find here
The following series of images is an in-depth, blog-style account of my work during the Summer of 2009. You'll find loads of process, and insight into small scale design & manufacturing.
More infoFor more information on RA Mills and their work, visit the website at RAMills.com
Interior Trim & Overhead Console Development
“You have to get to a physical model as soon as possible; you can do all the sketching you want, but without a physical representation, you have nothing.”
- Rick Mills
Pilot Seat Development