Think about your last 11 hours. What did you do? Now imagine spending 11 hours on a hang glider. Wills Wing, manufacturers of world-class hang gliders, did just that over a 475-mile flight while setting the world hang glider distance record. Really makes you think about how to spend a half-day.
Since its founding in 1973, Wills Wing has focused on leveraging design and manufacturing technologies to create the best hang gliders in the world. Maintaining high levels of quality, safety, and performance have always been paramount objectives. The desire to find the best tools for the job led Wills Wing to be an early SOLIDWORKS adopter back in 1996.
Steven Pearson, President, Managing Partner, and Lead Designer at Wills Wing, explains how the company has evolved. “In 1977, there were 10 hang glider manufacturers that were larger than us just in the United States. Now, we are the largest manufacturer worldwide, despite the fact that we continue to design products on a single workstation.
This workstation, powered by SOLIDWORKS and AMD FirePro solutions, has accelerated development and improved design accuracy. This combination enabled Wills Wing to become the top manufacturer of hang gliders in the world, expanding its product line to five model families and 15 different glider configurations today.
“Our success as a company is all about making the most of critical resources by embracing advanced technology solutions like those provided by SOLIDWORKS and AMD FirePro,” Pearson continues. “It gives us an advantage over competitors because we can do things faster and more cost-effectively.”
Wills Wing is able to develop technically sophisticated products with limited resources because of the design visualization capabilities provided by SOLIDWORKS software and AMD FirePro professional graphics. For example, Pearson takes advantage of order-independent transparency to obtain pixel-accurate representations of a model and surrounding geometry, and AMD Eyefinity® technology to view models across multiple displays, improvingdesign visualization.
By implementing these solutions, Pearson is able to view models with a high degree of accuracy and realism, which gives his small team the tools to execute big projects. “The combination of SOLIDWORKS design, AMD FirePro graphics, and CNC machining solutions allows us to do more with less, which has contributed to our success.”
To learn more about Wills Wing, click here to read the full case study.