2015 Wrap

2015 has been very rewarding at Carbonix. We’ve grown considerably and added full-process in-house capacity to ensure the highest levels of quality.

Some exciting projects are in the pipeline for 2016. As well as continuing to manage growth, our commitment is to deliver on our promises. We aim to remain true to our founding principles: Creating value for our customers, making beautiful things that satisfy a demand and bring joy through elegant design and exquisite detailing. It is great to have an amazing team with a wide range of complementary experiences. We have the skills, the attitude, and the energy to excel.

A heartfelt thank you to all who helped, supported, and followed us in 2015. Enjoy the holidays, and recharge for a great 2016!

The images below show some highlights from the year…

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Cometa UAV: After deliveries to D3 Applied Technologies in Spain, Carbonix marketed a civilian variant of the airframe in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere.

In the image above, Cometa is displayed at the HQ of QBE Insurance, on the occasion of an event by UAS International. Carbonix worked with UASI, and is actively engaged in the development of standards for UAV airframe and systems quality assurance, construction, and operations. Standards to ensure safe and reliable performance. We also presented at the SGS symposium on safe integration of unmanned craft into civil airspace.

Below are some images of Cometa by high-profile photographer Easton Chang.

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Following are a couple of images showing components and tooling. Moulds are carbon or metal, CNC machined.

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As well as a VTOL version of the existing model, in 2016 we will develop an all-new design that combines VTOL with the extraordinary endurance of an all-composite fixed-wing airframe. We are in advanced discussions with a very well-established partner to supply complete systems for specific mission profiles, in addition to our current offering of bare airframes and custom design and development.

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Carbonix is also working on streamlined, monocoque composite rotary wing airframes.

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Below you will see some samples of CNC milled parts and tools. We can design and make machined components in plastics, titanium, steel, aluminium, and bronze. From one-offs to production runs in the hundreds of units.

The first two pics show foil and rudder housing and adjustment parts for our Paradox A Class catamaran.

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The next images show Moth fittings designed and manufactured for SailingBits.

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Fairleads for Carbonix Moth mast cant control plate design, created for Scott Babbage.

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Precision Finn sail halyard lock components for NB SailSports.

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Rigging adjustment spanners for AllMarine.

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Trampoline lashing points for existing beach cats. Aluminium buttons with titanium fasteners.

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Assorted fairleads/friction blocks and metal tooling for RC yacht components.

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In 2015 Carbonix finalised our composites facility on Cockatoo Island. It is absolutely vital to have a properly set up controlled environment to make sure we can mitigate the risk of environmental errors, and track our processes internally. It is impossible to guarantee that there will never be problems with any product. The nature of advanced composites is afterall complex, and most parts we make incorporate innovative and unique features that by definition have to be proven. However controlling the process means we can trace any issues, know the extent of any failure risk, and take steps accordingly. Always putting the customer first.

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In October we had a formal opening event with friends, partners, customers, and VIP guests. The day was awesome, and highlighted by the Prime Minister who recognised the innovative spirit of Carbonix. Video here.

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Carbonix welcomed a number of new team members ‘on the shop floor’, and on the business and marketing side. Skilled contributions in all areas of the business mean a better experience for our customers.

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Carbonix continues to innovate through dedicated R&D. In 2015 we renewed our collaboration with UNSW, in both aerospace and marine projects. 2016 will see an extension of this collaboration. It is fantastic to offer the next generation of budding engineers and designers the chance to learn through solving real-world problems in a commercial setting.

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Sales of our hydrofoils have been very strong, with a considerable waiting list building up in the second half of 2015. Thanks to the hard work of our fabrication team, waiting time now is down to four weeks.

Demand for unrestricted hydrofoils to retrofit to existing A Class catamarans prompted us to explore solutions that prioritised ease of use and stability. We worked on making foiling easier and performance more accessible.

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In 2015 Carbonix led a stand for consistency in the A Class rules. We raised certain issues with the Australian Association as to the most appropriate mechanism for ascertaining the wishes of the membership.

It is a fact of life that vested interests sometimes oppose disruptive innovation. Particularly when it empowers people to access domains previously reserved for an elite. In this case it seems making foiling performance accessible to sailors with average skill levels may not please those who have invested in more difficult solutions. As a policy we will continue declining to give free product in exchange for support, letting our solutions stand on merit instead.

Carbonix remains committed to working collaboratively with regulators and to building levels of trust and cooperation, however where considered necessary, Carbonix will actively challenge a decision which it considers is open to question.

Carbonix remains the leading innovator in the field. We decided to stay out of the politics. Instead we pushed on with development to offer the premium foiling A Class catamaran on the market.

We decided to offer the boat with both ‘insert from below’ L foils (currently accepted for Class racing in North America and unofficially in other jurisdictions), and ‘insert from above’ C or Z foils to comply unequivocally where the rule has yet to open up. Our unique hull and deck bearing system allows rapid swapping of foils ‘on the beach’ with only an Allen key.

The new Paradox has been enthusiastically received. We will be busy building customer boats in 2016. Deliveries are already slated for Switzerland, the UK, the USA, and Australia. Some customers have ordered the boat with an additional set of ‘inserted from above’ foils, but all have opted for L/V foils as part of the package.

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Previous versions of Paradox introduced features that have since been widely copied and adopted: As well as polyhedral foils, L rudders, and dagger style rudder cassettes, general trends in platform geometry. For example, placing the beams further forward is now the norm.

Version 3 incorporates more game-changing solutions, designed from the outset for foiling performance. In particular a completely novel steering system, one-handed foil operation, and low-freeboard, high-lift aero-optimised hulls.

Our offering is about more than just performance: Beautiful detailing, great execution, and personalised support set Carbonix apart and appeal to those who value the aesthetic as well as the practical.

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Following is a selection of pics from an assortment of projects ranging from a Moth bowsprit (moulded in one piece), to a kitefoil, an upcoming kayak, new stay anchor points retrofitted to a 14′ skiff, and a foiling kit for an F16 cat…

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Radio Controlled yachts were a first love, and remain part of our product range. The new Katana Marblehead has had to take a back seat to other projects, but is now nearing production readiness. Here are some images of the second prototype shell. Construction is now all-prepreg, joined with an internal bladder.

Our experience with RC yachts has been uniquely relevant to UAV development: RC yachts must excel at low Reynolds numbers, must have some degree of inherent stability, and are built to very fine tolerances with small-scale detailing.

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Signing off for 2015…

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