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Airstream Debuts AIR Lab

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Airstream recently launched AIR (Airstream Innovation and Research) Lab, a 22,000-square-foot, expanded R&D center at its manufacturing plant in Jackson Center, Ohio.

“Airstream has been committed to being on the cutting edge since Wally (Byam) realized that the curves, aluminum and rivets used in making the sleekest aircraft were the answer to building an aerodynamic, durable travel trailer,” said Bob Wheeler, Airstream’s president and CEO. “We are humble stewards of that tradition.”

AIR Lab doubles the previous space used for testing and development, and includes numerous work bays. The R&D staff has also grown to triple its previous level. That team includes engineers, designers and former production workers.

“We think of talking to our customers as a vital part of the R&D process,” said Wheeler.

“Everyone is encouraged to contribute ideas,” said McKay Featherstone, VP of product development and engineering. “We have a lot of passionate people here. Folks who work the [production] line will say, ‘Hey, give us a new concept for window closeout. It’s got to be beautiful, lightweight, and functional.’ But those people are also going to play around and come up with something on their own. They innovate.”

 

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