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Aircraft Interior Products showing new carpet line in Las Vegas

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, at 7:11 p.m.
  • Updated Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, at 2:38 p.m.

— Aircraft Interior Products in Wichita is showcasing a new line of aircraft carpet at the National Business Aviation Association’s annual convention at the Las Vegas Convention Center this week.

“We’re really excited,” said Kathy Pett, director of development at the company. “We’ve had a lot of foot traffic” at the show.

The company has had a good year.

“We’re definitely getting more and more demand,” Pett said at the company’s exhibit.

Aircraft Interior Products supplies carpet, leathers and other products for new aircraft and for those refurbishing their planes.

The company offers custom and in-stock carpet.

Carpet is the number one item that customers replace when refurbishing their aircraft, she said.

Aircraft Interior Products was among the dozens of Kansas businesses represented at the NBAA air show, where they hoped to strengthen ties to current customers and hook up with new ones.

Tim Bonnell Sr. and his group at the Professional Insurance Management saw a number of clients and potential clients at their exhibit so far at this week’s show, which runs through Thursday.

“We had some new opportunities come to us,” Bonnell said at his booth in one of the massive halls at the show. “There’s always a host of new prospects.”

This is the biggest show for business aviation, he said.

“It’s a must,” Bonnell said.

Professional Insurance’s niche is aviation.

Premiums are half the cost of what they were a few years ago. That’s because the number of insurance companies has about doubled.

Winglet Technology unveiled a new product at the National Business Aviation Association’s show this week – a winglet for Cessna Aircraft’s Citation Sovereign.

The company did the design and analysis and Wichita’s Triumph Aerospace Co. built the prototype.

Winglet Technology has been working on the program for nine months, said Bob Kiser, the company’s president and CEO, at his exhibit at the show Wednesday at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The first flight of Citation Sovereign with the elliptical winglets made its first flight on Saturday.

“It was very good,” Kiser said. “It was uneventful, which is what you want for a first flight. ... Everything felt so good, and it went so well.”

The company announced its first customer for the new product. Anderson Air of Vancouver, B.C., an executive charter and management company, placed an order for three to upgrade their fleet of Sovereigns.

It took only four months for the project to move from the final design of the aerodynamic shape to parts production, Kiser said.

“What we accomplished in the last four months is pretty special,” he said.

The company expects certification by the end of 2014 with first deliveries in early 2015.

The winglets are designed to improve the jet’s performance.

Sherwin Williams Aerospace booth also was seeing strong traffic, said Julie Voisin, product manager.

“We had a super busy day yesterday (Tuesday),” Voisin said Wednesday morning. “The show floor was busy and buzzing.’

This year, the company scaled down its exhibit and added a luncheon for customers, which was attended by about 100 people.

Business has been growing, Voisin said.

And it’s expanding business with Hawker Beechcraft Services. Sites in Wichita, Indianapolis and Monterrey, Mexico are now distribution sites for the company’s products, Voisin said.

Reach Molly McMillin at 316-269-6708 or mmcmillin@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @mmcmillin.

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