Clocking In Podcast

Voices of NC Manufacturing, your host Phil Mintz, Director of the North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NCMEP). We will be interviewing some of the manufacturers who have made North Carolina manufacturing the powerhouse it is today.


VX Aerospace

Production Team

Talent/Host: Phil Mintz
Executive Producer: Teresa Bradford
Producer: Shelby Kimes
Sound/Audio Engineer and Editor: Mike Reep
Graphic Designer: Casey Hembrick

E-06: Taking Aerospace Manufacturing to New Heights

VX Aerospace: Robert Skillen

Founded by an ex-Navy pilot, VX Aerospace strives to be more than an aerospace manufacturer

Dynamic composites are extremely useful in the advancement of the aerospace industry. The use of composites can reduce the weight of aerospace vehicles up to 20 to 50%. They have a high thermal stability and are resistant to fatigue and corrosion. With the ever growing demand within the industry for something state-of-the-art, it is vital that aerospace manufacturers be both adaptable and innovative.

VX Aerospace is a dynamic, advanced composites design and manufacturing company located in Morganton, North Carolina. Their facility sits in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountain range, an hour’s drive east of Asheville, North Carolina. But VX Aerospace is more than its name would suggest. The organization is beginning to branch out into ATV manufacturing.

I sat down and talked with Robert Skillen, founder and chief engineer of VX Aerospace. He founded the company in 2007, following his stint in the Navy as an F-14 aviation pilot. Robert obtained an aerospace engineering degree while attending the prestigious U.S. Naval Academy.

In this episode of Clocking In, we discuss Robert’s background and role within the organization, the philosophy he uses with training the company’s workforce and whether pilots may become obsolete in the future and more.



Phil Mintz

Phil Mintz is the executive director of NC State Industry Expansion Solutions (IES) and director of the North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NCMEP). At NCMEP, Phil drives outreach to NC manufacturers, builds relationships with federal and state leaders and coordinates efforts to drive profitable manufacturing growth in the state. He also leads the broader IES extension operations outreach unit of regional managers, technical specialists and business development leaders providing business engagement, assessment and improvement tools. This includes statewide peer networks, ISO 9000 quality management systems, Six Sigma, Lean manufacturing, environmental services, and health and safety solutions.

Robert Skillen

Robert Skillen is the founder and chief engineer of VX Aerospace. Robert has a degree in aerospace engineering which he obtained from the U.S. Naval Academy. Robert spent his time in the Navy as an F-14 aviator. He has more than 25 years of manufacturing experience which includes work in both Navy depot operations and on the MIL-Handbook-5 and NAS standards committees.