Tue, Jul 24, 2012
XP Engine For The Experimental Market Staring To Move Again
By Tom Woodward
Superior Air Parts, in business since 1967, held a news conference at AirVenture Monday to say they are back in business. Since 2010 when they became a subsidiary of the now-Chinese owned portion of the company called Superior Aviation, with a factory now based in Beijing, China, they are slowly recapturing their US market. CEO Tim Archer understands that Superior Air Parts is not the same company it once was but emphasizes that they hold the same values and attitudes.
After losing a good portion of their skilled workforce to attrition, lack of work and movement to other jobs, Superior says they have now recovered and have increased their payroll over 85%. Their parts inventory has seen an 87% increase since the dark days of bankruptcy. They are again starting to move their XP series of engines (pictured), and for the experimental market and they are selling well, though CEO Tim Archer would not comment on the number sold. CEO Archer has stated that they have sent over 30 XP engines to China for training purposes. Even though Superior's Vantage engine will be certified in both China and the US it will be built in the Beijing plant and no engines will be shipped to the US. XP and Vantage engines delivered in the US market will be built by US subcontractors and assembled at the Superior Parts factory in Coppell, TX.
A popular program once offered was the ability to go to the Texas factory and assist in assembling your XP engine. Superior President Kent Abercrombie said he would like to reinstate this program in the next year and said it was extremely popular with everyone from rusty A&P's to husbands and wives attending.
There is guarded optimism that there will be anywhere from 1000 to 10,000 airplanes built per year in China. Of course the roadblock is middle level government officials who have to get on board and promote General Aviation just as the higher levels of government currently does. If that occurs, officials and industry observers say the possibilities are unlimited.
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