It is increasingly hard to find true American Manufactured products. So many companies today have a nice American facade, but with products that are imported and re-branded.
American Rotary started in a back bedroom and garage in Illinois, and was born out of the need for a better way to convert single phase power to three phase power. We needed a phase converter to run a Bridgeport milling machine and a lathe in order to make a large CNC router that could make molds for an airplane we were designing.
Ever since I was a kid, I followed the creations of Burt Rutan (Long-EZ, Spaceship One, Voyager etc.) Burt not only had a gift for solving flight related problems, but he was also a very passionate opponent of the way the world stifles the creativity and progress of those who wish to challenge it.
In addition to creating an American Made product that brings real value to our customers, there are two driving principles that I attribute largely to Burt Rutan that apply not only to research, but to creating a lasting quality product.
1. Research should be defined as: “doing something where half of the people say it’s impossible.”, Burt Rutan. This is a great benchmark for creating an outstanding product that performs significantly better than the competition. Something that re-branded, copies cannot do.
2. Never Defend! It is not an engineer’s job to defend what they have done. The performance of the product wins every time. I can’t tell you how many times we have made a change to something because one customer had a suggestion. You can’t do that when you copy what someone else has done and don’t understand the whole system, and you can’t do that when it is made in a factory half way around the world.
Burt Rutan is now retired and is building another innovative aircraft, the way he started, in his garage. A film company called Antennae films is documenting his latest creation and is funding the film primarily from donations. This is a rare chance to see behind the scene of one of the our countries greatest visionaries.
Burt Rutan has been an inspiration for true innovation to what we do, and though it is our hope to inspire the same in others, it is only because of those that have come before us.