RCBI awards Carbon Fiber $10,000 to develop aircraft


The Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) has awarded Carbon Fiber Composites, an Ona-based aviation manufacturer, $10,000 to develop a new aircraft concept for the general aviation market.

RCBI’s Early Stage Funding assistance is designed to enhance business development and innovation among West Virginia companies. Carbon Fiber Composites is the first general aviation company in the state to receive this award.

Since 2003, Carbon Fiber has been producing composite airframe parts and fabricating and manufacturing aerospace components in West Virginia for customers nationwide.

“With this award, RCBI will be providing not only technical and engineering assistance for the design process, but also manufacturing assistance through our facilities in Huntington and Charleston,” said Jim Smith, director of RCBIAero. “We are going to assist the manufacturer with airflow studies, computer-aided design and fabrication assistance. Our goal is to help Carbon Fiber Composites take its aircraft concept from design to testing for production as quickly and safely as possible.”

Funding for similar general aviation projects is available through RCBI’s Appalachian Hatchery, part of POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization), a multi-agency initiative that delivers federal resources to help communities affected by job losses in coal mining and related industries. Funding is provided by the Appalachian Regional Commission, U.S. Economic Development Administration and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

Aerospace technical services and training are provided by RCBIAero, RCBI’s proof of concept and training center, which is an EDA-funded Regional Innovation Strategies initiative.

For more information about grant opportunities or other support from RCBIAero, contact Jim Smith at jsmith@rcbi.org or 304.781.1668.