At 2 metres tall, Dick Sybrandy began a search for a helicopter that met his requirements some 5 years ago. What he discovered was a gap for a new best of breed, 2 seat, turbine powered craft. Recognising the need for exceptional skills with bringing the helicopter fully 'to life' first in a 3D CAD form, AXIA was one of design firms interviewed for the project. "AXIA's comprehension of what we're wanting to achieve, their capabilities and just as importantly their enthusiasm for the project have meant that what started as a opportunity to help us develop the new body, quickly extended to working with us on all aspects of the craft." Dick Sybrandy, owner of Auroa Helicopters

As well as aerodynamic and strength requirements, one of the main objectives for the body was a cockpit that would comfortably seat two adults, provide maximum visibility and ensure ease of operation in every aspect from the controls to the door latches. Working collaboratively (and often side by side either in the helicopter workshop or AXIA's design studio), what was in the client's mind and drawings came to life in CAD, able to be tested and refined 'on screen'. "AXIA's skills with the software are incredible to watch, but it's their ability to see what Dick sees and help him to bring it to life with every aspect fully considered and refined that has been key. This craft's design is already achieving significant acclaim." Jacqui Jones, consultant to Auroa Helicopters (BiG Projects)

Every new aspect or detail of this craft's design impacts an associated component. The freedom to test "what if" in CAD has been essential to developing this complex and yet highly streamlined craft. "Being able to fully explore any change implications before committing to manufacturing has enabled us to make some significant breakthroughs in terms of design and performance, without the time and financial hits of 'real world' prototyping." Dick Sybrandy, owner of Auroa Helicopters

Every component in the helicopter has been examined and re-examined, making sure each fits and works optimally. "All the control systems and drive systems components, the swash plate and gearboxes - this is a major piece of engineering and the refinement process has given us confidence that we've achieved best of the best solutions." Dick Sybrandy, owner of Auroa Helicopters

500 components are required for each craft. Main body components are carbon fibre, the windscreen and doors are acrylic, other components are cast and CNC machined from aluminium, plastic and high tensile steels. From the CAD modelling files AXIA has produced production files for the various engineering and manufacturing companies involved in this craft's production and is also putting together an assembly package for the entire craft.

The design input by AXIA has enabled Auroa helicopters to advance commercialisation of the craft. Rendered images of the craft's exterior, interior and systems have enabled investors, purchasers, and the collaborative team to see and experience the craft well before manufacture. "AXIA is a highly valued part of the Auroa story. They were on the stand with us as we previewed key aspects of the Auroa to the world at Air Venture Osh Kosh 2012, the world's largest air show. That level of commitment from our wider team makes us very strong as a small Kiwi company heading toward full commercialisation." Dick Sybrandy, owner of Auroa Helicopters