From being recognized as a preferred supplier to making history, at Starwin Industries we are honored to have been involved with so many exciting projects over our 50+ years as an engineering and manufacturing company. While the selection of featured projects below is only a snapshot of our historically eclectic portfolio, the projects showcased here demonstrate the virtually limitless possibilities we offer to our partners. We invite you to explore our past accomplishments, and look forward to inspiring future collaboration.
Lunar Lander Scale Models
In 1969, Starwin built three custom one-third scale models of the Lunar Lander and Command Module that carried Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong to the moon. This composite project was highly classified by NASA as production took place amidst the Space Race, and thus press leaks would have been incredibly detrimental. One model is currently on display at the Glenn Research facility near Cleveland, Ohio and another is at the Museum Victoria in Australia.
First Composite Tennis Rackets
In 1974, Starwin proved an innovative force to be reckoned with when we developed and patented a process to manufacture hollow composite tennis rackets – which were lighter, stronger and more responsive than anything else on the market at the time. We ultimately produced 20,000 fiberglass rackets that were sold in high end pro-shops, and even gained the endorsement of tennis world champion, Bobby Riggs.
AMES Research Center Wind Tunnel Vanes
In 1980, Starwin was awarded a historic contract by NASA to manufacture 109 vanes for the world’s largest wind tunnel at the AMES Research Center. The custom vanes were comprised of rock maple as the core material machined to the airfoil shape and overlaid with fiberglass – measuring at 12 ft. in length with a 4 ft. chord and 40° twist angle.
Kenner Toys Prototypes
Starwin enjoyed a long partnership with Kenner Toys, producing advertising models for popular franchises including Star Wars and Strawberry Shortcake utilizing our composite manufacturing capabilities. In addition to manufacturing test market samples of the Strawberry Shortcake “Easy Bake Oven” and “Horse and Buggy”, in 1983 we manufactured the Jabba the Hutt action figure used to promote Star Wars Return of the Jedi.
Bell Aerospace "Flying Fire Truck"
In 1986, Starwin collaborated with Bell Aerospace to design and build an operational Air Cushion Crash Rescue Vehicle, which was used to test the possibility of a rescue vehicle that could operate in swampy areas inaccessible by conventional means. Featured in an edition of Aerospace Weekly, the complex “Flying Fire Truck” was 8 ft. long built to one-fifth scale, and could hover across a swimming pool, crawl across a 35-foot diameter mud-hole with its tank treads, and drive across flatland at 15 miles per hour.
Copper End WAlls
Working with Belcan Engineering, Starwin took on a historic project in 1995, designing and machining copper test rig components for the world’s biggest gas turbine produced by General Electric. The individual components were made from four 850-pound blocks of a custom, 1% chrome-copper alloy. With extremely limited resources, no mistakes could be tolerated. Further, Starwin redesigned the welded seal joints and developed proprietary welding processes to minimize the stresses of the extreme conditions present in the application. Starwin’s “whatever it takes” attitude was vital in the successful completion of this project, allowing GE’s engineers to improve Power Plant operating efficiencies by 1%, which is significant considering the costs are $60,000 an hour.
IGV Leading Edge Repair
General Electric, Aircraft Engine Division (GEAE) enlisted Starwin to develop a process to repair leading edge erosion of titanium Inlet Guide Vanes (IGVs) on their turbine engines, allowing them to be placed back into flight ready status. Starwin engineered the process to bond a thin layer of titanium to the leading edge of the IGV and then validated the process by building prototype tooling and applying the titanium layer to a small sample of fifty vanes. The vanes then underwent testing and qualified for use.
Lockheed Joint Strike Fighter
In 1998, Boeing and Lockheed Martin were contracted to develop a cross-functional aircraft for the US military. In developing the Joint Strike Fighter, Lockheed approached NASA to identify partners who could manufacture quality prototype components on an incredibly accelerated schedule. Starwin took the job. We machined 33 prototype aluminum and titanium components used on the Lockheed Joint Strike Fighter including longerons, bulkheads, a tail hook locking arm, lift door locks, and a titanium bow to support the canopy. Our efforts earned us preferred supplier status on the project.
Since 2007, Starwin has manufactured four Turbulence Control Structure (TCS) domes for GE Aviation located at the Peebles Test Facility in Ohio. Spanning 32 ft. in diameter and weighing 30,000 pounds each, the domes are comprised of 421 flat panels made from perforated stainless-steel bonded to aluminum honeycomb. These complex assemblies are used to test some of the world’s most powerful jet engines against extreme stresses that exceed anything they are likely to encounter in service. The TCS domes serve the purpose of smoothing airflow to jet engines during these tests, making the test site more efficient by allowing GE to manage changes in airflow caused by weather.
NASA Prototype Rocket Nozzles
In 2007, Starwin partnered with NASA yet again to machine regeneratively cooled convergent/divergent rocket nozzles made of a new proprietary copper alloy: GRCop-84. Based on NASA’s white paper titled Fabrication of GRCop-84 Rocket Thrust Chambers, we developed the fabrication process and machined the prototype rocket nozzles to extremely tight tolerances. This technology was developed for the main engines of the Space Shuttle, with hot fire testing taking place at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
C919 Show Model
Staring at the Paris Airshow of 2011 and having been displayed in Canada and China since, Starwin partnered with Nexcelle/Safran to design and build a custom one-half scale composite show model of the C919 turbine engine to be used as a sales tool. Four feet in diameter, eight feet long, and mounted to a seven-foot-tall steel stand, the model highlighted the company’s innovative Integrated Propulsion Unit (IPU). It featured a set of opening interior/exterior doors that showed maintenance accessibility, and an electric motor driven outer nacelle to demonstrate thrust reverser deployment.
Military Aircraft Prototype Augmenter
In 2012, Starwin developed a prototype augmenter for a classified military aircraft engine, machined and fabricated using high temperature nickel and cobalt super alloys, as well as metal components that were created using the additive manufacturing process, Direct Metal Laser Sintering (3D printing), which was a brand-new process at the time. In addition to providing pressure and thermal instrumentation to monitor test performance initially, after being used for testing, Starwin rebuilt the prototype augmentor in 2017. It was disassembled, refurbished, and reassembled, including manufacturing several redesigned components and new instrumentation.
Starwin Industries is a multifaceted industrial engineering and manufacturing company. Through our rich history of creative innovation backed by cutting-edge technology, we pride ourselves on an extensive list of proven capabilities that have earned us the uncompromising trust of the aerospace, defense, and energy industries. We’ve brought particularly interesting visions to life – Discover what Starwin can do for you, and let’s create something amazing.