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Icarus Aero Inc. chose its name from the Greek mythology character who flew too close to the sun, causing his wings of wax and feathers to melt and his subsequent fall into the sea. The name serves as a constant reminder of the ultimate responsibilities aviation engineers hold in the industry every day to develop safe, reliable products.
As an aviation engineering firm, Icarus specializes in designing, manufacturing, testing, and certifying quality parts for helicopters and airplanes as a full turnkey service.
Customers are often military, law enforcement, commercial, and medevac. They typically come to the firm with a challenge — everything from the need for a specialized iPad holder to a means of ensuring a crew door cannot be unintentionally opened in flight to special mission intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) kits and full cargo conversions.
Icarus’ team of engineers work with its customers to create a design that meets both form and function, manufacture the solution, and take the product through the complete process for full regulatory certification with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, Transport Canada, and/or the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, as required.
Demand is strong for specialized parts and repairs, opening an exciting new chapter for Icarus. Based at the Muskoka Airport in Gravenhurst, Ontario, Icarus is in the process of considerably expanding its facilities to better support its customers. Its hangar and shop will expand from 3,000 to 8,000 square feet (914 to 2,438 square meters) while its office space will increase from 2,000 to 7,000 sq. ft. (610 to 2,134 sq. m). This expansion is allowing Icarus to bring all its services under one roof, practically doubling its staff.
“It has always been difficult to get manufacturing done in aviation because it requires a certified shop for aviation,” said Ryan Hader, president of Icarus. “The industry lacks an abundant number of manufacturing ability to meet the demands of the aviation industry, and even fewer that can accommodate the cost or the scheduling requirements. By bringing all manufacturing in-house, we now maintain full control over quality, scheduling, and cost for us and for our customers.”
While the new buildings will be complete by 2024, Icarus has already brought the most critical work in-house — CNC manufacturing. With two three-axis and two four-axis machines, as well as a CNC router, the company has been able to reduce turn times for customers to a few days, down from weeks when the company relied on outside shop support.
As an approved manufacturing organization (AMO) and design approval organization (DAO), Icarus can design, manufacture, and certify a range of parts and systems, including structures, mechanical, composites, electrical/avionics, flammability, and cabin safety. The Icarus team also specializes in offering integrated kit supply for both off-the-shelf or customized solutions to meet specific client requirements.