History

1946

  • Founded as Air Accessories, Inc., to buy and sell surplus war aircraft supplies.

1950s

  • Began manufacturing transparencies for boat windshields.

1960s

  • Purchased by Texstar Corporation (1960) and began producing helicopter windshields for U.S. Army/R&D.
  • Neil Armstrong walked on the moon wearing a Texstar-manufactured helmet and visor in 1969, after the company worked with GE and NASA to develop the systems for Gemini and Apollo astronauts. The helmet was made from a new impact resistant material known as polycarbonate.

1970s

  • Earned F-16 canopy qualification.

1980s

  • Developed and supplied the “flash panel” for the B-2 Stealth Bomber, a photo-sensitive membrane within a laminated glass panel, which provides eye protection for the pilot and crew, in the unfortunate event of a nuclear detonation. A nuclear flash would trigger the windshield to instantly turn opaque, before blinding, white-hot, potentially harmful light rays entered the B-2 cockpit.
  • Original supplier of transparent armor, the laminated ballistic windshields and side windows, for the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), commonly known as the Humvee military ground vehicle.

1990s

  • Designed and built a complex acrylic stretching machine to stretch heated cast billets by pulling the edges multi-axially, which increases impact- and chemical-resistance. TEX-STRETCH is still in operation and fully compliant to MIL-PRF-25690.
  • Developed the capability to deposit thin-film metallic coatings onto aircraft transparencies using robot-equipped vacuum chambers, contributing to low-observable stealth and laser-absorption properties.
  • Injection molded components with 30% carbon-filled Ultem thermoplastic resin for:
    • the first all-composite warhead, the MK-125 Standard Missile for ATK and the Naval Surface Warfare Center
    • numerous parts for “an extraordinary new technology” now known as night vision goggles
    • Developed and qualified the first 4lb-bird-strike-capable 550-Knot F-16 transparency

2000s

  • Full production of passenger railcar interior panels for Bombardier using light RTM, a manufacturing method Texstars pioneered and tailored for the mass-transit industry, that chemically cross-links on a molecular level the decorative skin to a composite substrate. Our next-generation railcar interiors panels are still in service today, are structurally sound, meet all FST (fire/smoke/toxicity) requirements and are cosmetically pristine.
  • Partnered with BAE Systems to supply transparent armor for their Transparent Armor Gun Shields (TAGS) program. We’ve supplied over 80,000 windows that have been responsible for saving the lives of many of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The TAGS concept has been such as success, it is now standard in the manufacturing of most all military armored vehicles used today.

Present

  • Purchased by private equity firm American Industrial Partners.
  • Made advances in coatings technologies, such as conductive coating composite commercial aircraft Highly-Resistive Unions (HRUs) to safeguard against lightning strike hazards.
  • Developing a new material and associated process to replace traditional cabin window material. This development could significantly decrease the cost, decrease the weight and provide longer life cycle than currently used stretched acrylic.