Carter Aviation Technologies, An Aerospace Research & Development Company


About Carter Aviation Technologies and its subsidiary, Carter Aerospace Development


Carter Aviation Technologies, LLC and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Carter Aerospace Development, LLC, are comprised of first rate managers, advisors, and employees. These companies seek out and accept only the best and believe a select team of motivated, high-value individuals will, in every instance, prove more productive than any number of individuals who give less than their all and are otherwise unwilling to give that second, third, or fourth effort where needed. This belief, and our adherence to it, is a key to our ongoing success.


Carter Aviation Technologies, LLC (Carter) is a research and development firm dedicated to the creation of practical, advanced technology innovations in hybrid aircraft and rotorcraft. These innovations will span all aspects of design, including, but not limited to, rotors, landing gear, control systems, and pressurization systems. Our products, consisting of intellectual property, shall be protected by whatever means are most appropriate for a given design innovation, whether it be patent, trade secret, contract, or a combination of the above.

As an R&D firm, Carter does not intend to become a manufacturer. We will license our intellectual property to existing aerospace firms and derive revenues from licensing fees and royalties.

In terms of labor force, Carter does not intend to become a large firm. We envision a core group of up to ten very gifted, creative design engineers, supported by a staff of engineers, draftsmen and office support personnel numbering an additional thirty to forty people. This shall comprise our core product development group.

To develop and prove our concepts, Carter will constantly build and test new prototypes. The team of machinists, composite specialists, and all other members of the prototyping team shall be chosen with equal care, and work very closely with the design group to insure that the designs are practical, reliable, and efficient. Experience has taught us that the people closest to the machines, i.e. the people building the prototypes, often have a superb feeling for what works and what doesn't. It is critical to include the prototypers in the overall design process.

In sum, our most valuable assets are our people. We are dedicated to the concept that a small team of very creative, gifted, and motivated people working together in a cooperative, synergistic atmosphere can outperform legions of average workers.


In 1994, Jay Carter, Jr. started on the design of what he anticipated would be a 5-place personal aircraft for his wife, 3 kids and himself. He planned to build a hybrid autogyro, knowing that the rotor would provide VTOL capabilities, while the wings would improve efficiency over conventional gryos. Intuitively Jay knew that if the rotor was unloaded and slowed, it could improve the efficiency. What he did not initially realize was how dramatic this improvement could be. Once Jay began the initial performance calculations, he saw that as the wing started picking up the lift, the rotor would automatically slow down as the pilot pushed the stick forward to keep from climbing, tilting the rotor forward and reducing the amount of air flowing through the rotor and hence the driving force to rotate the rotor.


Once Jay calculated just how low the drag would be for a slowed rotor, he knew he was onto something (more info). In those days before the Internet and Google, Jay was unaware of any previous work that had been done on slowed rotors, and so approached the problem from a blank slate. He initially identified 4 stability issues that had to be resolved (more info)


Once Jay had figured out a way to solve those issues, he had to prove out the analysis through actual testing. He fabricated a 6 ft diameter rotor with variable delta three that could be set between 0° and 45°. He mounted it on an 8 ft boom in front of a pickup truck, and then drove the whole setup down the highway at up to 80 mph. With this scaled rotor, Jay demonstrated an advance ratio of 8 (truck traveling 8 times faster than the tip speed of the rotor). The rotor was so stable that when semi-trucks passed on the opposite side of the road, it did not cause the flapping to exceed the flapping limits of 15°.

As a result of his analysis and these test results, Ken Wernicke, the PM of all Bell’s tilt rotor programs (including the V-22) who retired from Bell in 1992 came on board as the first investor in Carter Aviation Technologies, LLC, followed by his Chief of rotor dynamics, then the Chief flight director, and then the Chief test pilot.

It took several more years of testing and refinement, but Jay’s first prototype, the CarterCopter Technology Demonstrator, became the first aircraft to reach mu-1 on June 17th, 2005. A few years later, the company’s second prototype, the Personal Air Vehicle or PAV, routinely exceeded mu-1 during testing, achieving L/D cruise efficiencies 3 times better than today’s best helicopters.


Jay Carter, Jr., President & Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Carter founded Carter Aviation and is the Principal Design Engineer. He is a proven and experienced engineer, manager, and entrepreneur who has been involved in the aviation industry and a private pilot since 1967, with over five decades of experience in mechanical design. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Texas Tech University, with graduate work in Aeronautical Engineering.

Mr. Carter has a family history of technical innovation. The Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC recognized Jay’s grandfather as one of the 25 most influential oil pioneers in the early 1900s. As a result, Jay’s father had unique opportunities to explore his passion for mechanics from a young age. With access to a fully equipped machine shop, he built gasoline powered model aircraft, his own boat, and several working steam engines. During WW II, Jay’s father was selected as one of 500 soldiers to receive special training in engineering, but through political shortsightedness, the program was cancelled, and Jay’s father was one of only 27 members of that elite group to survive.

When Jay’s father was about 35 he was hired by an oil field company to develop a method to manufacture fiberglass oil storage tanks. He developed an extremely innovative automatic filament winding process which led to producing solid rocket motor cases for the fledgling U.S. space industry. The first US satellite put into orbit used the final stage rocket case that was built by Jay’s father, and the company went on to build all the final stage cases for the Minuteman and Polaris missiles. The Air and Space Smithsonian Institute recognized Jay Sr. as “The Father of the Filament winding industry” for his contribution to the U.S. missile and space program.

Early Autogyro

With such a distinguished family history, mechanical design was in Jay Carter Jr’s blood. He also grew up with access to a machine shop, building model airplanes, go carts, and a boat that he used to learn how to water ski. During his summer breaks from college, he designed and built two autogyros with guidance from his father. The second of those is featured to the right, and had a composite fuselage, composite rotor blades with a twistable spar for collective, and a filament wound structure for both the prop shroud and landing gear. Jay’s father was also a pilot and taught Jay how to fly as they flew all over the US attending gyro and fixed wing fly-ins where they spent time evaluating other people’s aircraft designs.

Mr. Carter’s first job out of college in 1968 was to work for Bell helicopters in the R&D department on their second tiltrotor aircraft, the XV-15. He was selected for the project partly for his grades in engineering, but mostly because of his experience designing and building those two autogyros. In addition to the XV-15, Jay worked as a designer on Bell's Model 300 proprotor blade and on the D 212 thin tip extended chord blade. He was the principal designer of the D 270 proprotor blade and folding mechanism. He was also the design engineer on the D 272 folding proprotor blade.

Steam Powered Automobile

In 1970, Mr. Carter founded Jay Carter Enterprises with his father and developed a steam powered automobile which was the first car in the world to meet the original 1976 EPA emission level standards. (Video shown to the left.) The car could make a cold start in 30 seconds, travel at more than 80 mph, and was featured on the front cover of several magazines, including Popular Science, and in newspapers across the nation, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Dallas Morning News. Even more impressive, as a result of his accomplishment, Mr. Carter (at the age of 29) was called to testify before the U.S. Senate, Committee on Commerce, and the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Science and Astronautics (Subcommittee on Space Science and Applications). Jay and his father went on to build a steam powered vehicle for the Dept of Transportation to be used as a para-transit taxi for New York City, but for logistical reasons never saw taxi service.


2-bladed Carter Wind Turbines at San Gorgonio
Pass Wind Farm, CA

In 1976, Mr. Carter founded Carter Wind Systems and spent the next seventeen years as President and Principal Designer. By 1983, the company had grown to over $7 million in sales with more than 100 employees. The company installed wind turbines throughout the United States, and from Great Britain to Hawaii to 300 miles north of the Arctic Circle. His ability to develop and market a very lightweight and cost effective wind turbine enabled the company to survive the industry decline in the mid-1980s and to emerge as one of the only two U.S. wind turbine manufacturers still in existence by 1988.

In 1982, 10% of the company was sold to Hamilton Standard, a division of United Technologies. In 1992, 50% of the company was sold to private investors. Mr. Carter negotiated all licensing agreements and the sale of the company. (Renewed interest in sustainable energy has prompted the creation of a new wind turbine company, Carter Wind Energy.)

In 1994, Jay returned to his first passion which was aviation, and formed Carter Aviation Technologies, LLC, beginning the formal development of an innovative fourth generation rotorcraft that combines the best characteristics of helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.

Matt Carter, Vice President & Special Advisor to the Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Carter is a Vice President and is Special Advisor to Carter Aviation’s CEO. He is a private pilot and third generation Texas Tech University engineer, holding a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. In addition to his engineering experience, he has 18 years of business experience in the wind energy and aerospace industry.

Paul Redding, Vice President

Mr. Redding is a Vice President of Carter Aviation and has the primary responsibility of overseeing fabrication of all metal parts for prototype aircraft incorporating Carter Aviation’s SR/C™ Technology. He majored in business administration at the University of Denver and has been a single-engine fixed-wing and helicopter pilot since 1958.

Lanny Defoor, Crew Chief & Director of Maintenance

Mr. Defoor is a key part of the Carter Flight Test Team. Mr. Defoor not only ensures the aircraft is always in top mechanical condition, he supervises the ground crew and closely monitors all ground support activities. Mr. Defoor is a former Navy P3 airframe mechanic and has 42 years of experience as an FAA certified Airframe & Powerplant mechanic. Mr. Defoor's 25 years of Inspection Authorization experience keep the Personal Air Vehicle in top mechanical condition. Mr. Defoor is a factory trained technician on Piper, Cessna and Mooney aircraft as well as a Pratt & Whitney PT6 technician.

Jeffrey R. Lewis, Engineering Manager

Mr. Lewis is the Engineering Manager at Carter Aerospace Development, LLC, a subsidiary of Carter Aviation. He joined CarterCopters, LLC (now, Carter Aviation Technologies, LLC) in 2001, and, among other things, co-invented (together with Mr. Jay Carter, Jr.) a number of patented technologies critical to the success of SR/C™ Technology.

Mr. Lewis graduated from the University of Maryland with B.S. in Aerospace Engineering. He has well over a decade of experience in the aerospace industry, to include experience in the areas of rotor design, prop design, composites, performance analysis and simulation, and CFD.


John Coffin

Mr. Coffin has worked with Thermo Fisher Scientific for more than thirty (30) years as senior IR systems engineer designing new products for the analytical chemical market, infrared optics and data acquisition systems for infrared spectra photometers and hyperspectral microscope imaging systems. His patented ideas have resulted in several enhanced product lines that have allowed analytical chemists to perform their jobs more easily and at lower cost.

Mr. Coffin obtained both his BS business administration and electrical engineering degrees from Michigan Technological University, Houghton Michigan. He obtained his pilot’s license while at Michigan Tech and has been interested in safe short takeoff and landing (STOL) flight since then. His interest in STOL aircraft that are at the same time fuel efficient attracted him to Carter Aviation’s SR/CTM Technology.

Robert Heineman, AIA

Robert Heineman has been involved in the planning of The Woodlands from its inception, with The Woodlands Development Company, founded by visionary George P. Mitchell. He served as Vice President of Planning for more than twenty-two (22) years. Mr. Heineman received Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Architecture degrees, magna cum laude, from Rice University in 1969 and a Master’s of Architecture degree in Urban Design from Harvard University in 1972. He is a registered Professional Architect, Texas, and a member of the American Institute of Architects.

Claudius Klimt, M.D.

Dr. Klimt’s devoted his professional career to pioneering, and excellence in, the field of emergency medicine. His interest in flying and medicine combined in his service in the Maryland Air National Guard, where he served as clinic commander and flight surgeon of the 135th TAC Clinic. He retired after twenty-two (22) years with the rank of Colonel. His fascination with Carter Aviation’s SR/CTM Technology led to extensive volunteer contributions to help bring the concept to production.

Jim Roberts, DC Representative

Our Washington Representative, Jim Roberts, assists Carter with its business pursuits by promoting SR/C technology both to prospective users, primarily to Federal government entities, important non-government organizations active in developing countries, major aerospace firms and to friendly foreign governments that have a presence in Washington, DC. He brings 40 years of experience to the team. His career started as a pilot in the Air Force, then continued in Government service as a member of the state department, followed by 10 yrs with Lockheed’s corporate office in Washington DC. He later served as the deputy assistant secretary for aerospace under the Bush administration after which he became a consultant providing business development and government relations services to aerospace, defense and technology firms.

Dr. Daniel P. Schrage

Dr. Schrage is a Professor in the School of Aerospace Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He also directs Georgia Tech’s Center of Excellence in Rotorcraft Technology (CERT) and Center for Aerospace Systems Engineering (CASE). His initiation of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Program has led to Georgia Tech being a recognized leader in this area. While being a professor at Georgia Tech for more than twenty-two (22) years, Dr. Schrage has also been involved in a number of high level government and industry activities aimed at advancing the state-of-art of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft.

Prior to joining Georgia Tech, Dr. Schrage was an engineer, manager, and senior executive with the U.S. Army Aviation Systems Command from 1974-1984. Dr. Schrage also served for 11 years as an Army Aviator and commander with combat experience in Southeast Asia. Dr. Schrage holds a B.S. in General Engineering from USMA, West Point; a M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech; a M.A. in Business Administration from Webster University; and a D.Sc in Mechanical Engineering from Washington U. (St. Louis, MO). Dr. Schrage is a Fellow of both the AHS and AIAA.

Ken Wernicke

Mr. Wernicke began working for Bell Helicopter Company in 1955, and continued working with them as they became Bell Aerosystems Company and then Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. He served as a Project Aerodynamicist, Technical Assistant to the Project Engineer, Project Engineer, before becoming Chief Project Engineer for Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. In 1984, he became Director of V-22 Engineering and directed the design of the Bell portion of the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft. Later, as Director of V-22 Developmental Engineering, Mr. Wernicke was responsible for problem resolution and weight and cost reduction for the production V-22. In 1988, he was assigned as Consulting Engineer to provide guidance and assistance in design and problem solving and to provide technical guidance and recommendations to management in the selection and planning of future helicopter and tiltrotor aircraft programs. In 1990, Wernicke formed his own company, Sky Technology Vehicle Design & Development Co.

Mr. Wernicke received both a B.S. and M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Kansas in 1954 and 1955, respectively.