WICHITA, Kan. — Fourteen years after selling the business to Triumph Group, Jim Lee, founder and president of Lee Aerospace, bought the company back.
That was in 2014.
“He thought there was so much more he could be doing,” said Joe Scheer, Lee Aerospace vice president of operations. “He felt like we weren’t moving fast enough.”
Today, the aircraft window, sheet metal and composite structure operation has been growing and offering new products.
About 65% of its business is from the business aircraft and general aviation industry. About 30% is for the commercial aerospace industry and 5% defense.
The company’s niche is its aircraft windows. Lee Aerospace builds windows for Cirrus, Cessna, Beechcraft and other aircraft, such as Virgin Atlantic’s space plane. It also builds windows for boats.
The independent company ships an average of 300 windows a week for multiple programs, both for new aircraft and as replacement windows.
“It’s all about tooling,” Scheer said. “Every one has a different shape and a different contour.”
The company recently introduced the CoolView series of window replacements for business aviation, a metallic-infused window inspired by NASA. The window blocks up to 62% of the Infrared Ray or heat coming through for cooler cabin temperatures.
“It’s an exciting product for the industry,” said Malissa Nesmith, vice president of marketing.
Besides windows, Lee Aerospace builds the fuselage for the Viking Twin Otter. The company builds the air stairs and door of the HondaJet, the floor for the forward section of the 787, aft cabin and tail of the Citation CJ4, and composite and metal sections for a variety of other programs. Textron Aviation, Cirrus and Honda Aircraft are its largest customers. Customers also include Bombardier Aerospace, Gulfstream, Spirit AeroSystems and others.
Read the full story originally written by Molly McMillin at The Weekly of Business Aviation