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When Daryian Rhysing was an aircraft mechanic for the U.S. Army, he developed carpal tunnel syndrome from manually putting together thousands of tiny clamps that keep wiring in place in Black Hawks and other helicopters.
Years later, during an Inventor’s Studio class at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rhysing thought of a better, new technology for aircraft wiring systems. The technology would replace outdated clamps with a non-metal material that clicks together without the use of tools.
That’s how the U.S. Army veteran with more than 10 years of experience in aviation maintenance got the idea for United Aircraft Technologies Inc.
The clamps Rhysing has developed are made of a much lighter material than the current models, and could save helicopters and airplane manufacturers millions of dollars in fuel and workers comp claims.
Rhysing started the business with his now wife, Evaguel, a few years ago. He developed the business plan while getting his bachelor’s degree at Rensselaer, studying on the GI Bill.
Rhysing was born in Venezuela and grew up in Long Island. He enrolled in the military after high school. Evaguel Rhysing grew up in Puerto Rico and moved to Utica when she was 20 with $60 in her pocket to learn English. She studied at Fulton Montgomery Community College and SUNY Oswego.
They met while working at Genius Plaza, an education tech company that has since moved to Miami.
The Rhysings brought on Donald DeVito, a veteran and president and chief operating officer of Kirsh Helmets, as an advisor.
United Aircraft Technologies gained momentum when it won a business plan competition with Sikorsky, an aircraft manufacturer based in Stratford, Connecticut. It was was one of the first companies to manufacture helicopters for civilian and military use.
Rhysing said the product is in the prototype stage, and they recently raised some money through the National Science Foundation. Once the prototype is complete, Rhysing said he plans to test it with Sikorsky as they work toward commercializing the product.
The biggest challenge, he said, is raising money to make the prototype. Banks and investors want to see a product developed before lending money.
Business competitions help. Last month, United Aircraft Technologies won a competition for veteran-owned businesses hosted by Tully Rinckey as part of the law firm’s Veterans in Economic Transition Conference. The prize included cash and services provided by Tully Rinckey PLLC and other partners.
Rhysing envisions the company having a manufacturing facility in Watervliet or Troy. He wants the clamps to continue to evolve, adding sensors and artificial intelligence technology as the product becomes more sophisticated.