Since 2012 Sikorsky Innovations has been on a quest to find start-ups, small business and industry partners to help solve the toughest challenges when it comes to emerging technologies.
Through the Entrepreneurial Challenge, 16 companies from around the world have had the opportunity to work directly with Sikorsky to further their ideas. In 2015, Response Technologies was selected as an honorable mention for the 6th annual competition.
Now, Response Technologies is working with one of Sikorsky’s leading research and development programs: Aircraft & Aircrew Protection (A&AP).
Response Technologies, LLC was founded in 2015 by David Pettey and Ed Bard. They applied to the Entrepreneurial Challenge later that same year through the additive manufacturing focus area. Response’s vision was to combine their proprietary additive manufacturing process with advanced performance materials to eliminate layer overlap and put reinforcement only where needed on the fuel cells. This combination increases functionality while approaching theoretical minimum weight all while meeting current specifications. “Sikorsky’s technical and commercial support was essential to securing our Phase II Small Business Innovation Research Contract with the Defense Logistics Agency,” said Ed Bard, President, Response Technologies, “This has allowed us to fast track towards qualification and ultimate source approval.”
Sikorsky is working A&AP in collaboration with the Army’s Aviation Development Directorate to develop and demonstrate an integrated suite of total survivability solutions targeted towards Future Vertical Lift aircraft. Technologies will be matured in the A&AP theme areas of integrated armor, intelligent fuel management, signature reduction, intelligent structural systems, full-spectrum crashworthiness, and platform situational awareness. Under the A&AP Intelligent Fuel Management task, Sikorsky and Response will mature a seamless lightweight fuel cell design through ballistic, crash and vibratory testing. Response’s novel additive approach to fuel cell manufacturing has the potential to reduce the cell weight by 20%. The unique methods that Response are leveraging to approach this problem quickly caught Sikorsky’s attention during the Entrepreneurial Challenge. Response plans on delivering fuel cells for A&AP testing by Sikorsky in 2019.