We are used to seeing Chip Yates breaking records – speed records, mostly – but there is a side to Chip that comes as a surprise to most, and his new position as Vice President of Marketing for Norsk Titanium AS (NTi) might come as a shock beyond surprise. Chip continues with his other enterprises, noting, “Yates Electrospace Corporation was awarded a development contract for the U.S. Marine Corps to design and prepare to build a 1,000 pound payload, disposable drone to resupply troops in harm’s way!”
NTi prides itself on being, “The first U.S.-based 3D printing company capable of producing complex titanium components that will meet aerospace quality requirements. The patented additive manufacturing technology uses titanium wire feedstock as raw material with a patented plasma arc as heat source to offer significantly cost benefits and shorter lead times in the manufacture of titanium components.”
NTi explains, “Mr. Yates will ensure the company anticipates and exceeds the needs of its clients in the aerospace, defense, energy, automotive and maritime sectors with new product and service offerings. In that capacity, he will report to Chet Fuller, the newly appointed Chief Commercial Officer.”
For those of us used to seeing Chip astride a Pikes Peak record-setting motorcycle, or flying his Long-ESA (Electric Speed and Altitude) over China Lake on a mission to break electric aircraft speed records, the image of him in a business suit may be a bit novel. He does have an MBA in Business Entrepreneurship from the University of Southern California, has given TED talks, speaks frequently and eloquently to young audiences on science, technology and mathematics (STEM) topics, and has 15 years in executive positions with Boeing and Honeywell Aerospace.
NTi President & Chief Executive Officer Warren M. Boley, Jr. explains his company’s interest in a motorcycle racing, flight-record-setting executive. “Chip is a passionate and disruptive thinker who will leverage our technologies to create significant value for our customers.”
Chip thinks, “The innovations coming from the scientists at our Norway technology center can revolutionize the manufacturing of titanium and other performance materials. I look forward to opening a pipeline of safety critical, precision manufactured parts to our global customer base at unprecedented speed and cost.”
NTi’s production method works with additive-type manufacturing to create parts with “substantially lower wastage, greater production flexibility, reduced costs and environmental benefits compared to traditional production methods. Because their Direct Metal Deposition achieves a near-net shape, little machining or finishing is required for the final product.
NTi claims shorter turnaround times and high productivity rates for large and small components, coupled with “unsurpassed process monitoring and control.” They say their processes make “Titanium affordable for applications where traditional methods today make it impractical.” This would benefit small electric aircraft, where every gram or ounce is at a premium.
Chip has spoken at recent Electric Aircraft Symposiums, and always brings a welcome blend of information and enthusiasm. We anticipate that this will carry over in his new career and that titanium parts may replace aluminum and steel in his Long-ESA before long. He even envisions complete 3-D printed aircraft!