Research and engineering contracts propel Mojave firm's growth
Mojave, CA – August 23, 2007 – Like the rocket-powered aircraft it builds, XCOR Aerospace's business has taken off, earning it a spot on the prestigious Inc. 500 list of fastest growing private companies.
Each year, Inc. Magazine ranks the 500 fastest growing companies in America based on the percentage increase of revenue over a three-year period. It announced on August 23 that XCOR Aerospace, of Mojave, California, made the list. The small, privately-held California C-Corporation was ranked No. 446 overall with 646 percent three-year revenue growth from 2003 through 2006.
XCOR's journey from a start-up in 1999 to the Inc. 500 was not easy. Aerospace veterans Jeff Greason, Dan DeLong, Aleta Jackson, and Doug Jones formed XCOR, where they built and tested their first rocket engines on a tiny budget. The breakthrough came when the team decided to modify a pusher-propeller-powered Long EZ airplane and replace its conventional piston engine with XCOR-designed and built rocket engines. This demonstrated XCOR's re-usable and re-startable rocket motors on actual flying hardware. The rocket plane not only proved the reliability of XCOR's technology, it generated publicity and helped raise the firm's profile in the aerospace industry. This attracted serious investors, including Esther Dyson and the investment group, Boston Harbor Angels.
The higher profile and proven technology helped XCOR compete for and win a series of contracts with NASA and the Department of Defense. These contracts include building and testing a methane engine for NASA, and designing a suborbital space plane for the Air Force.
"These contracts have added to our bottom line, which is great, but that is not the whole story," said Greason, now President of XCOR. "We competed for contracts that help us develop and improve various types of technology we need to achieve our main objective. That goal is to build rocket powered vehicles that can carry people and payloads into space. That's where the real money is." XCOR is currently working on a craft designed to carry people and payloads into suborbital space, but its longer term goal is to build a craft that can place them into orbit.
"The men and women of XCOR Aerospace are proud that their efforts have earned the company a spot on the prestigious Inc. 500 list," Greason said. "It shows we are moving in the direction we have been aiming for all along—up."
XCOR Aerospace is a California corporation located in Mojave, California. The company is in the business of developing and producing safe, reliable and reusable rocket engines, rocket propulsion systems, and rocket powered vehicles.