Aerospace Industry Day, economic impact study, industry news.
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November 7, 2014

Aerospace Industry Day

On August 19, nearly 400 people attended the inaugural South Carolina Aerospace Industry Day.  Sponsors of the event included the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness, the USC McNAIR Center for Aerospace Research and Innovation and the South Carolina Aviation Association.  The day was filled with high energy speakers, panels of experts and the release of the first economic impact study of the industry.  Plans are already underway for the 2015 conference so look for event information soon.  

The buzz from this year's event made a splash on the front page of The State, and the economic impact study continues to be used by economic and workforce development professionals to advance the industry.  Click the links below for The State's coverage and the full impact study.

Aerospace Industry Taking Off in SC, The State

Uncovering the Stealth Cluster: The Economic Impact of Military and Civilian Aerospace in South Carolina


Wyman-Gordon to establish Dillon County manufacturing plant, create 400 jobs

Investment to support aerospace and power generation sectors

Wyman-Gordon, a manufacturer of large titanium and super alloy forgings for the aerospace and power generation markets, will establish its newest manufacturing operations in Dillon County. The investment is expected to create more than 400 new jobs over the next five years.


Sigmatex selects South Carolina for its fifth manufacturing facility

Initial $12 million investment to establish Orangeburg County operations

 Sigmatex, a world leader in the manufacturing of carbon fiber textiles has selected Matthews Industrial Park in Orangeburg County as the location for its next facility in their global company.  The facility - the fifth manufacturing facility in Sigmatex's global system - is scheduled to be in operation by mid-2015 to begin supplying its North American customers.

Sigmatex, which supplies the aerospace and automotive industries, adds to the growing number of aerospace-related companies that call Orangeburg County home. Its announcement marks the first company to locate in the John W. Matthews Industrial Park. The new 75,000-square-foot facility will be located on 20 acres at the entrance to the park.  In order to meet the company's future expansion goals, the facility will be constructed so that it can be expanded to 150,000 square feet and eventually up to 450,000 square feet to accommodate the prospective growth in the aerospace and automotive industries.

Boeing: 36,700 new commercial airplanes needed over next 20 years

The Boeing Co. (Chicago, Ill., USA) reported on July 10 that it projects a demand for 36,770 new airplanes over the next 20 years, an increase of 4.2 percent from last year's forecast. The company released its annual Current Market Outlook (CMO) in London, estimating the total value of those new airplanes at $5.2 trillion.

"This market is strong and resilient," says Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "With new and more efficient airplanes entering service, the growth in air travel is being driven by customers who want to fly where they want, when they want."
Fueling this year's forecast is the single-aisle market, which is projected to be the fastest growing and most dynamic segment due to the continued emergence of low-cost carriers. 25,680 new airplanes will be needed in this segment, making up 70 percent of the total units in the forecast.  Read the full article here.

“The Wright Brothers created the single greatest cultural force since the invention of writing.  The airplane became the first World Wide Web, bringing people, languages, ideas, and values together.”        
Bill Gates, Co-Founder & Co-Chair Microsoft

Plane photoSouth Carolina’s first aircraft manufacturer

  Just Aircraft, located in Walhalla, SC, was founded in 2002 when Aircraft designer Troy Woodland left his position at Flying K Enterprises, manufacturer of the Sky Raider kit. Troy wanted to design a plane of his own. He met Gary Schmitt at an air show and with Gary's backing they teamed up and began collaborating on designs.

Today, the company has launched three designs including the Escapade, the Highlander and in 2013 launched the SuperSTOL. Click here for a Kit Planes article on the SuperSTOL.
Over 500 kits have been shipped worldwide: including Australia, England, France, Spain, New Zealand, Canada and Ecuador. In addition to selling kits Just Aircraft offers customers a build assist program where they can construct their own plane in the factory, or they can buy one of our Just Aircraft completed aircraft. 
In addition to selling kits Just Aircraft offers customers a factory build program where they can construct their own plane in the factory, or the Company will build 100% of the plane in accordance to the customer’s specifications.

Visit the company’s web site for more information (

GE Orders Two Honda Jets For Supply Chain Flights
General Electric is set to become the first announced customer for the Honda Aircraft HondaJet, which it jointly powers with the HF120 turbofan, co-developed with Honda.

However, the distinctive new light jets will not be joining GE’s corporate fleet to ferry executives. Instead, the first pair of a possibly larger fleet of “several” planned HondaJets will be used to transport engine parts around GE’s extensive U.S. manufacturing network. The aircraft will play a key role in the GE’s production ramp-up, which, including its share of CFM56 and the new Leap engine, will grow by roughly 4% per year, from about 3,000 in 2015 to some 3,300 engines per year by 2020.  Read the full article here.



This month we are spotlighting Robert ("Will") Mitchell, a mechanical engineering student at USC who is actively engaged in the aerospace cluster here in SC.  He works at the McNAIR Center, volunteered at Aerospace Industry Day and attended the Celebrate Freedom SOAR Summer Camp.

Read More Here >>

Follow SC’s Aerospace Cluster using #scaerospace
South Carolina Aerospace is a partnership between the SC Council on Competitiveness and the SC Department of Commerce to develop the aerospace industry cluster in the state.  The aerospace cluster is a high-impact, high growth cluster with an annual impact of $17 billion to South Carolina’s economy and average total employee compensation of $71,000.  By strengthening and expanding the cluster, the partnership’s work creates high-wage jobs and grows South Carolina’s economy. For more information, visit  
Copyright © 2014 SC Council on Competitiveness, All rights reserved.

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