|Company Slogan||Simple systems for a complex galaxy|
|Headquarters||Delta Pavonis, Hawkinsworld, Tucker station|
|Ships built||AC33 Dropstar, Deneb, Venturestar|
Albr Engineering was founded in 3097 when Joseph Allen, Bradley Leon, Kirk Bedwell and Scott Riley left university and bought Tucker Station, a small run down starport and shipyard on Hawkinsworld in the Delta Pavonis system, from a retiring Stephen Tucker on the condition that they retained the name of the station.
The early years were spent serviceing and repairing atmospheric craft and small starships that visited the port, but later moved on to installing aftermarket enhancements and tuning engines.
Within 2 years, Tucker Station was known throughout the system as the place to go if you wanted any sort of engine mod or custom work done to your craft. Small numbers of customers even traveled from outside the system, their reputation was so good.
By 3122 Albr Engineering had expanded to near saturation of the market in the nearby systems, so ideas were sought throughout the company on ways to expand.
At the end of 3122 the engineers had drawn up designs for an innovative re-usable drop sled that could be jettisoned from an orbiting station / ship filled with goods and it would drop unpowered through the atmosphere to pre-determined co-ordinates delivering goods quickly, safely and importantly, closer to the planned destinations than if they were carried by a transport.
The innovative part was that the sleds could then be collapsed quickly and stacked so they took up 1/4 of the room for transport back to the orbiting station / ship.
In the beginning of 3123 an automated manufacturing plant close to Tucker Station was purchased and set about making the sleds. Orders came in quickly from the two orbiting stations and many other stations soon placed orders.
It is roumoured that in 3125 while the executive board were out having a few drinks, someone joked "I wonder if you could drop a human in one of our sleds?" This got the engineers wondering about using their unique folding design and adopting it for an emergency escape pod.
Surprise funding came from the Federation Navy who had somehow got wind of the planned developmens, and were interested in seeing if they could free up more room in their large carriers by making the escape pods smaller. Enough money was secured to do the initial designs and produce 2 prototypes.
The first prototype made its first test drop (containing a test dummy loaded with sensors) infront of a panel of Navy officials in early 3107. At an altitude of just over 10000m, one of the stabilizing fins broke and sent the sled into an un-recoverable spin. The sled was ripped appart and largely vapourised in mid air.
A few changes were made to the second sled and the team were so sure of their design that Kirk Bedwell himself volunteered to be the test "pilot" for the second drop, six months later, as a show of confidence to the Navy.
The drop was a complete success. The Navy put in a request for 10000 units on the spot.
In 3132 Albr Engineering changed its name to Albr Corp and floated shares on the stock markets
As orders increased exponentially from both the Federation Navy and independant private starliners, more and more manufactureing plants were purchased to keep up with demand.
Several other Factions Navies also expressed an interest in the drop sled and escape capsule, but the Federation stepped in and blocked all proposed trade between Albr Corp and other factions.
After a short but heated court case in 3134 the Federation agreed that Albr Corp could supply sleds and escape capsules to other factions on the condition that they had top priority when ordering.
It is hard to get exact figures but it is believed that Albr Corp now has a, glaxy wide, 46% market share in drop sleds and a 73% market share in emergency escape pods.
In 3144, as Joseph Allen (the last of the original founders) retired, the board of directors decided that it was time to diversify and expand the company.
Using their drop sled and aerodynamic design experience, a small freighter was designed that could leave an orbiting station and glide to the surface of a planet using mostly aero breaking and land at a surface port using virtually no fuel.
The Deneb was put into production but sales, while steady, were not nearly as good as expected. It was noted that the most common aftermarket modification was to add crew cabins and a hyperdrive so the designs were changed to include these as standard on every new Deneb.
Sales quickly picked up and the Deneb became a popular ship among small courier companies and for very wealthy privateers.
In 3152 Albr Corp was one of the companies approached by the Federation navy to produce designs for a military "drop ship" for transporting troops / supplies / armoured vehicles from orbiting battle cruisers to the front line battle field and vice versa.
After a long demanding tendering period, Albr Corp won the contract and the first AC33 (nicknamed Dropstar) rolled off the producion line in 3163
By 3179 production demands for the AC33 had tailed off and a civilian version was designed with crew cabins, hyperdrive and all the usual interior fittings a private purchaser would expect. This was named the Venturestar.
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