Utilicraft Aerospace Industries, a spin-off of American Utilicraft, last month gave Metalcraft Technologies (MTI) the go-ahead to construct the initial subassembly center fuselage section of the prototype FF-1080-300, as per the terms of a manufacturing agreement struck between the companies late last year.
After several months of meetings between engineers and executives representing both companies, MTI and Utilicraft last month decided to cut metal on the freight hauler’s center fuselage section. Under the terms of the contract, MTI will manufacture all of the details for the FF1080-300’s forward, center and aft fuselage and empennage assemblies; design and manufacture all required assembly jigs and fixtures; assemble the forward and aft sections of the fuselage at its facility in Cedar City, Utah; and provide technical assistance. Utilicraft’s final assembly facility is expected to be located at Double Eagle II Airport in Albuquerque, N.M.
At press time, the Navajo Nation had backed out of a deal to invest $34 million in Utilicraft. The tribe’s Economic Development Committee voted unanimously to scrap the deal after a preliminary review by the New Mexico Finance Authority labeled such an investment “too risky.”