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Autodesk Announces Columbia Aircraft as Inventor of the Month for March 2006
 Engineering Awards Program Honors Manufacturer of World's Fastest Certified
                           Piston-Powered Aircraft

SAN RAFAEL, Calif., March 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Autodesk, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADSK) today announced that Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation, the maker of the world's fastest certified piston-powered aircraft, was named Autodesk's Inventor of the Month for March 2006. The program recognizes the most innovative design and engineering advancements made by the extensive community of customers using Autodesk Inventor software, the world's best-selling 3D mechanical design software and best choice for AutoCAD software users.

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Based in Bend, Oregon, the Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation is wholly focused on building a line of personal aircraft that redefine aircraft performance and pilot expectations. Columbia places a premium on engineering and design to produce the best looking and best performing general aviation aircraft in the world. The company's flagship product, the Columbia 400, holds the title of World's Fastest Certified, Piston-Powered Aircraft. No other single or twin engine, fixed or retractable gear aircraft can match the performance.

Working with Autodesk partner IMAGINiT Technologies, a leading provider of CAD/CAM/CAE solutions to the manufacturing industry, Columbia has used Autodesk Inventor software across many areas in the company's design processes. "We take Autodesk Inventor to the limits, and it continues to deliver," said Kurt Nichols, Engineering Manager at Columbia Aircraft, and part of the team responsible for developing the company's award winning planes. "The depth of detail captured in the 3D models makes it much easier for us to reduce design cycles while raising quality. That helps us deliver on the types of aviation technology innovations that our customer base has come to expect from us -- whether it's a new type of fuselage bonding fixture or improved nose landing gear."

Additionally, Autodesk Inventor's 3D models help ensure that Columbia's aircraft meet the highest possible safety standards. Columbia is able to test out its designs under real-world conditions by exporting Autodesk Inventor models to a finite element analysis program, and based on the results can make adjustments to the model as needed -- all before an actual physical prototype is built. It's no wonder that Columbia aircraft are the only modern aircraft on the market that meet the strict Utility Category certification -- the highest non-aerobatic FAA certification level.

"Columbia Aircraft demonstrates how the manufacturing industry has embraced Autodesk Inventor as a way to streamline the design process while improving the end product," said Robert "Buzz" Kross, vice president of Autodesk Manufacturing Solutions Division. "We are pleased to name them as our March Inventor of the Month."

To view a Columbia model designed using Autodesk Inventor software, visit:

Each month, Autodesk selects an Inventor of the Month from the more than 500,000 worldwide Autodesk Inventor customers. Winners are chosen for engineering excellence and groundbreaking innovation that changes the way we live, work, or play. For more information on the Autodesk Inventor of the Month program, contact us at

About Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation

Columbia Aircraft manufactures a variety of all-composite aircraft including the world's fastest certified piston aircraft -- the Columbia 400. The Columbia 350, 350i, 350SL and 350SLX are normally aspirated, four-place aircraft with a cruise speed of 191 knots. The Columbia 400, 400i, 400SL and 400SLX are intercooled, twin-turbocharged, four-place aircraft certified to FL250 with a cruise speed of 235 knots. In addition to providing legendary performance, both models are renowned for their high level of standard equipment, quality and safety features, including dual electrical systems, dual wing spars and Utility Category certification. For more information, visit:

About Autodesk

Autodesk, Inc. is wholly focused on ensuring that great ideas are turned into reality. With seven million users, Autodesk is the world's leading software and services company for the building, manufacturing, infrastructure, digital media and wireless data services fields. Autodesk's solutions help customers create, manage and share their data and digital assets more effectively. As a result, customers turn ideas into competitive advantage by becoming more productive, streamlining project efficiency and maximizing profits.

Founded in 1982, Autodesk is headquartered in San Rafael, California. For additional information about Autodesk, please visit

NOTE: Autodesk, AutoCAD and Autodesk Inventor are registered trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders.

Contact: Jeannie Hornung, 415-318-4119


SOURCE Autodesk, Inc.
Jeannie Hornung,
for Autodesk, Inc.
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