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World's Lightest, Rigid, Folding Frame Wheelchair now in Production

VALLEY CENTER, Kan., April 7, 2008 /PRNewswire/ -- With the final stages of the production process complete, the groundbreaking Flight Ultralight Wheelchair is now available for purchase. Designed, developed and manufactured by Aero Innovative Research, Inc. (AIR, Inc.) of Valley Center, Kansas, the Flight Ultralight features lightweight aerospace components, and is the world's lightest, fully-adjustable, rigid, folding frame wheelchair. The wheelchair weighs just 18 pounds with wheels, and can be folded to a width of 9 1/2 inches, hand rim to hand rim.


"This has been a long and challenging journey," said Keith Entz, president of AIR, Inc. "Due to our aerospace-based construction techniques and the precise tolerances required, our production capability has been under constant refinement. We're delighted to finally be able to produce and sell a better wheelchair."

In May 2006, AIR, Inc. received FDA approval (510K) for the manufacture of its chair. In December 2007, the Flight wheelchair received code approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for inclusion in the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS), used by health insurance programs in the processing of reimbursement claims.

Other technical improvements of the Flight Ultralight Wheelchair:

Caster Bearings: Features a combination roller/needle bearing rated for 6,000 pounds axial (up and down) load and 2,000 radial (front to back and side to side load). Most other wheelchairs currently use a single ball bearing race rated at 350 pounds radially, and not designed for axial loading.

Rigid Frame: The rigid frame structure eliminates the weaknesses inherent in weld-based construction. It is Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machined and constructed using built-in solid aluminum through bushings and threaded inserts, high tensile strength American-made aerospace fasteners and an extruded aluminum hinge. All aluminum parts are made from non-weldable hard-alloys such as 7075-T6, which is 84% stronger than the 6061-T6 alloy tubing used in most welded aluminum frame wheelchairs.

A complete description of the chair's unique attributes and ordering instructions can be found on the company's Web site:

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