Innovations in Aviation Ada Companies Accomplish What Major Manufacturers Don't

Article excerpt

ADA -- An object about half the size of a man's little finger has put General Aviation Modifications of Ada on the world's aviation charts.

A new type of fuel injector nozzle, called a GAMIjector, coupled with a highly sophisticated computerized data acquisition system, is revving up general aviation because it helps improve engine life and lowers fuel consumption.

Co-owner and Ada attorney George Braly and his partner, Timothy C. Roehl, also have purchased Turbo 2000, a Pagosa Spring, Colo., company that manufactures modifications to turn normally aspirated engines into turbocharged engines. They renamed it Tornado Alley Turbo and moved it to Ada. General Aviation Modifications and Tornado Alley Turbo will operate independently at Ada Municipal Airport, with sales and administrative offices, manufacturing plants, research and development facilities and warehouses in two buildings covering 18,000 square feet. Together the firms have 17 employees, with plans to add about 15 more within a few months. Roehl will be president of both companies. He and Braly are the sole shareholders in both. Revenue and sales figures were not released, but Roehl noted there are more than 4,000 sets of the GAMIjectors in service. The retail price ranges from $700 to $1,000 per set, depending upon the number of cylinders an engine has. The pair are developing two other products expected to receive a supplemental type certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration. One of these is a back-up alternator, expected to be certificated within four months, and the other is a baffle system designed to improve engine air cooling, expected to be certificated within six months. The baffle cooling system is designed for specific applications of the Continental engine, while the GAMIjectors are designed for several lines of both Continental and Lycoming engines. Several other projects are under research, but there's no schedule for when they will receive certification, Roehl said. This is a far cry from how the company started. Back in 1993, shortly after Braly bought his V-tail Bonanza, he began working on ways to improve its airborne stability. But being an engineer with a curious mind, the research soon veered off into a different direction -- the GAMIjector nozzle. "When he began thinking about structural modifications on the Bonanza, we got together and formed this company to develop it," Roehl said. "We still have the original fuselage in the jigs we built, waiting for us to start up on it again. We may do that, but these other products are taking front seat for now." When the company started, it had three employees and occupied 3,200 square feet of space in one building. Now, they are hoping that the success of the GAMIjectors will help fuel even further success with the turbo modification company. While the fuel injectors may be sold by mail and installed fairly quickly, turning a normally aspirated engine into one with a turbocharger requires a lot of work at the factory. In fact, it's a labor-intensive job that takes about a week to complete, even though many of the parts are made in advance. …