1996 The Beginning
Metal Innovations was founded by Kim and Craig Wilmes on January 24th, 1996. The start-up funds for the new venture were comprised of the proceeds from the sale of their pick-up truck and an $8000 inheritance left to Kim by her grandmother "Nana". After Kim wrote MII's FAA Repair Station Manual and attained approval for their 145 repair station located in their garage, Craig and Kim were off to the races. MII begin operations by acquiring its first major contract from Horizon Airlines, modifying 80 over-wing emergency exit doors for the Fokker F-28 fleet.
1998 New Facility
In 1998 Metal Innovations outgrew its facility located at the Wilmes' personal residence and relocated to a 10000 sq. ft. warehouse facility in Canby, Oregon. At the time, the business was primarily focused on off-wing air carrier sheet metal component repair and new manufacturing of OEM parts and non-critical items such as logbook holders.
2001 A Test in Fortitude
The majority of Metal Innovations' work was based in the air carrier market when the tragedy of 911 occurred. This was a major turning point for the company due to the immediate cancellation of contracts by every carrier and the holding out of payment for services rendered for as much as a year. Craig and Kim knew that they could not rely strictly on one market and knew that they had to diversify to avoid any such pitfall in the future. They immediately got to work adding services such as composites, welding, and owning repair and maintenance.
2003 Aurora Airport
Metal Innovations began repair and maintenance in 2002, operating between their location in Canby and working out of a small space at the Aurora State Airport as needed to accommodate on-wing projects. Juggling work between facilities became cumbersome and inefficient, leading them to a complete relocation to KUAO in 2003. The move opened new opportunities such as major repair and overhaul of complete aircraft, a contract with Fedex on their Caravan fleet, and manufacturing over 200 part numbers for Erickson Aircranes Skycrane fleet. It also allowed MII to gain approvals from the FAA to greatly increase its list of approved capabilities.
2023 and Beyond
Since Metal Innovations' humble beginnings in 1996, it has grown to be an industry leader in providing maintenance, repair, overhaul, and manufacturing service to both domestic and international customers in the air carrier, air cargo, government, and corporate markets. In addition, it has developed and owns numerous STCs, and PMAs, and is a Daher, Cessna/Beechcraft service center.