Canadian Aerospace Firm Nearshores Its Supply Chain to Wichita
After conducting a global search, a Canadian first-tier OEM has decided to source its products from a Wichita, Kansas, supplier that is expanding in order to increase production.
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Triumph Aerospace Systems - Wichita, a subsidiary of Triumph Group Inc., which currently employs nearly 180 workers, announced in late July that it plans to expand in Wichita, creating 100 new jobs and investing more than $2 million in new machining and facilities renovation during the next five years.
The company recently won a new client — Viking Air Limited, a Canadian first tier aerospace original equipment manufacturer — prompting the expansion move. Viking searched worldwide for a suitable supplier of the fuselage assembly section of the Twin Otter Series 400, a small aircraft designed for search and rescue, border patrol, special missions, and regional commuter transport. Locations explored included Eastern Europe, Taiwan, China, and India. However, Triumph Aerospace Systems – Wichita won the contract due to the company’s ability to ramp up production quickly and supplement Viking’s Canadian manufacturing capacity.
Since there is not a U.S. aircraft that competes in the same category as the Twin Otter Series 400, the partnership provides a North American product to supply the rapidly expanding global demand. The Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft is the bestselling 19-passenger twin-engine turbo-prop aircraft available on the market today. It is designed for regional commuter transport and critical infrastructure support, and is highly sought after from customers operating in challenging environments around the globe. With increased international demand, Viking has had to increase production, requiring a key supplier for the aircraft assembly program.
Partnering with Triumph Aerospace Systems – Wichita also increases the ratio of U.S. content in the airframe. Viking believes this will help further future bids on U.S. government contracts such as the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team, who took delivery of their third Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft this past summer.