AirFlow Truck Company was founded in 1983 by Bob Sliwa.
As a child, Bob had a very inquisitive mind, and was very interested in science and physics. He would love to take apart, and then successfully put back together, all of his mechanical toys to see how they worked.
Later as a teenager, he transferred those mechanical aptitude skills into his first career and became an automobile mechanic part-time after attending daily high school classes. Also during this period, he discovered his love for anything automotive and became an amateur drag racer. He raced his cars during sanctioned events at drag strips throughout the northeast. This period was instrumental in his life as he learned many lessons from racing that would be very useful later in life.
Circa 1970. 1968 Chevelle SS. L88 - 427 cubic inch Big Block Chevrolet engine. Second-Design Open-Chamber Aluminum Heads. 600 horsepower. 12.5:1 Compression Ratio. Holley Dominator 1250 CFM carburetor. Edelbrock high-rise intake manifold. Hooker Headers with 2.25" primary tubes, 10.5" M&H RaceMaster Slicks. 4-speed Muncie M22 Rock Crusher Transmission, GM 12 Bolt differential with 4:11 gear ratio. 1/4 mile times of 11.4 @ 122 mph. Drove it to high school during the week and raced it at Dragstrips in the Northeast on Sundays.
Another shot of the SS power-shifting the L88 into second gear @ 6000 rpm.
He enjoyed driving so much, he figured a 13 speed truck transmission would be more fun than 4 speed automotive one. So in his early twenties, Bob obtained his Class 1 license (predecessor of the CDL license) and began driving tractor trailers throughout the northeast for local regional carriers.
Fu-Manchu trucking thru the spring snow. I-80 in Pennsylvania in a Ryder rig.
After six years of regional trucking, Bob knew that he was ready to open his own over-the-road trucking company and become an owner-operator. He bought a cabover tractor and leased it to a carrier in Denver Colorado. But he soon realized how inefficient long haul trucks were, as he could only average 4.4 mpg.
Co-Pilots Zephyr and her son Bismarck at Long Beach, CA. Getting 4.4 mpg with a square truck. Circa 1980.
He then decided to use the lessons of his prior racing days to make his fledgling business more profitable.
But this time, instead of a goal of going the quickest possible from point "A" to point "B", his new goal was to be the most efficient from "A" to "B". Starting from the 4.4 mpg baseline, he changed only one item at a time, and documented the effects. Through hard work and constant experimentation during "real world" freight runs, he would soon average close to 10 mpg.
The first AirFlow truck prototype - 1980 to 1985
Circa 1983. The same tractor as in the pic above, now modified into the first prototype AirFlow Truck. Fully aerodynamic cab, tractor skirts, full trailer skirts, wide base tires and an APU. Shown here parked in front of the Goodyear Tire Company Technical Center, Akron, Ohio. Best run: 10.54 average MPG. Again, in 1983.
2009 to 2012 - The 2nd. generation prototype, the BulletTruck
We began work on our second super-aerodynamic and hyper fuel-efficient Class 8 rig, the BulletTruck, in 2009. We introduced it to the public and began weekly "real-world" freight hauling runs with it in 2012. We hauled freight all around the country with it on revenue runs to prove it was a real freight-hauling rig, and not just a show truck or another concept vehicle.
2015 to Present - The 3rd. generation prototype, the StarShip
Thegoal is to now build complete tractor trailer integrated systems, utilizing innovative aerodynamic designs and materials, and to produce the most fuel efficient class 8 vehicles anywhere. To that end, we have designed and have begun fabrication of our next-generation super-aerodynamic and hyper fuel-efficient Class 8 rig, The 2017 AirFlow StarShip. The StarShip will make its debut to the public in the third quarter of 2016.
Bob resides in central Connecticut with his German shepherd dog, Kayla. In his free time he enjoys hiking with Kayla, Home Theater, and utilizing his private pilot's license.