By Mary Grady, Contributing editor
|Brian Morgan||Mark O'Halloran|
Apparently undaunted by the current state of the aviation industry (see today's GAMA story), a pair of entrepreneurs is preparing to build a 600,000-square-foot facility at the Sheboygan County (Wisc.) Airport where they will develop and manufacture a new vertical-takeoff-and-landing jet design. County leaders said the company has potential for "tremendous economic development and job growth," according to the Sheboygan Press, and the state is providing an economic incentive package worth nearly $30 million. The project will also include offices and other facilities at the airport, and could create up to 2,000 jobs, according to the Press. We couldn't reach the company co-founders, Mark O'Halloran and Brian Morgan, by our deadline, but in a talk at Lakeshore Technical College in January, Morgan said he has been working on the jet design for 20 years.
"Now it's time to make that dream come true," he said. "Our aircraft combines jet-speed forward flight with the ability to land in a parking lot." O'Halloran added: "It will give business travelers the freedom to take off and land anywhere, as well as the speed and reach of a jet. In many applications it could replace the helicopter. ... We believe this could be what is called a 'disruptive technology,' a technology that could completely alter the aviation industry and change the playing field forever." According to a post at Brian Morgan's LinkedIn profile, "Flight testing is expected in 2013, FAA certification in 2016, and aircraft deliveries in 2017." The Sheboygan Press celebrated the deal in a recent editorial. The editorial said the company obtained a patent on the jet design four years ago, and added: "While a patent is not a golden ticket or a guarantee, a patent coupled with a business plan and the proper financing is a good recipe for success."