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Thu, Feb 10, 2005

Utilicraft To Metalcraft: Go Ahead

Construction To Begin On Fuselage Sub-Assembly

Utilicraft Aerospace Industries says it's given Metalcraft Technologies, Inc. (MTI) the "go ahead" to start construction of the initial sub-assembly center-fuselage-section of the prototype FF-1080-300 aircraft, as per the terms of the Manufacturing Agreement executed between the companies late last year.

After several months of extensive meetings between engineers and executives representing both companies, MTI and Utilicraft reached a decision this week to go forward with "cutting metal" on the first pieces of the constant section (main cargo bay) of the fuselage.

Chuck Taylor, Vice President of MTI stated, "We are very pleased to be part of the Utilicraft program, and are excited about commencing construction of the FF-1080-300 prototype aircraft. MTI has been working with John Dupont and his management team on the program since 1998. We are very impressed with their professionalism regarding the design and development of the aircraft, as well as the on-going development of their company in today's aerospace and financial markets."

When completed, the center fuselage section will accommodate up to ten LD-3 containers or seven of the larger "A" series containers with as much as 10 tons of revenue pounds on board -- on the production versions of the aircraft.

Details of the progress of the on-going construction of the center fuselage assembly will be the topic of a series of on-going joint-releases by Utilicraft and MTI that will track the schedule and milestones of the prototype aircraft -- leading to first flight.

Under the terms of the contract entered into last year by the companies, MTI will provide the following for the initial FF-1080 prototype, first article test aircraft, and up to 528 production aircraft:

Manufacture of all of the details for the forward, center, and aft fuselage and empennage assemblies.

Design and manufacture of all required assembly jigs and fixtures.

Assembly of the forward and aft sections of the fuselage (including horizontal and vertical stabilizers) at their facility in Cedar City, Utah.

Technical assistance and supervision for the assembly of the center fuselage by Utilicraft.

Technical assistance and supervision for the mating of the forward, center, and aft fuselage, and empennage assemblies at the Utilicraft final assembly facility, planned to be located at the Double Eagle II Airport, in Albuquerque, NM.

FMI: www.utilicraft.com

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