2020 - A Big Year
2020 is quickly turning into a very memorable year at Vickers Aircraft for numerous reasons.
Along with much of the world, New Zealand is feeling the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic with a state of emergency declared. With this four week lockdown all non-essential companies are required to close or work from home
This will also be the year we fly our much-anticipated WAVE.
Design and its accompanying release documents and part traceability often takes longer than the production of aircraft components and assemblies. While our technicians and workshop staff are safe at home with their families, our designers are using this time and working from their homes to finalise the remaining aspects of the design, prepare work and plan the actions required once we are able to get all staff safely back to work. On a positive note, the Rotax 915is arrived onsite shortly before the lockdown was announced and the Vickers team were hard at work configuring it for installation in the aircraft.
The New Zealand Government has been very proactive in the global fight against Covid-19. By shutting borders and keeping everyone in their homes, New Zealand will not only be free from this virus in a matter of weeks, but the economy will see a much less damaging impact due to a short period of lockdown. In addition, wide-ranging business support has also been rolled out, softening the impact of the lockdown and allowing New Zealand to move forward with minimal long-term disruption.
Having worked very hard to maintain a sustainable company during normal market conditions, this stability will help Vickers through this period. Keeping expenditure low, not expanding too soon or incurring any unnecessary cost, will now prove vital as we move into a global economic reset and position Vickers to be ready with aircraft deliveries as the world recovers.
Not currently being reliant on sales and having investors with long term vision makes Vickers a stable and strong company in this environment.
This is our 11th year working on the WAVE. I am often asked why is it taking so long? The answer, you don’t want an aircraft to be rushed. It has to be right first time, no shortcuts, no compromises and always safety first. Not once have I compromised on any of Vickers' core values, nor will I. The WAVE will be ready soon, but not before it is. It has taken the time that has been necessary to design and produce a truly incredible aircraft.
Fantastic teams, like the one at Vickers, don’t happen overnight and don’t grow on trees. This has also taken many years of development and training. Vickers is looking to expand our team in the near future as we begin to scale for our next phase.
To all our family, friends and followers around the world – stay safe in these difficult and unprecedented times. We are all in this together and look forward to coming out the other side ready to bring some positive news to the world in the form of a flying WAVE.
Paul Vickers - CEO.