Newington airplane parts maker looks to Asia market

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NEWINGTON — David Lancaster likes to describe his LanAir Inc. as “the generic drug company of the airline industry.”

If you are an airline company and you need a part, LanAir is your option. It’s Federal Aviation Administration approved, less expensive than the part from the original manufacturer and it’s probably better made.

At a glance

LanAir Inc.

Founder and president: David Lancaster

Address: 521 Shattuck Way, Newington

Phone: 433-6134



Lancaster is founder and president of LanAir and its sister company, Atco, located on Shattuck Way. LanAir is an engineering and design company for non-flight critical parts for airplanes. Atco is the distribution arm of the company.

LanAir was part of a contingent of six New Hampshire aerospace/defense companies that visited Singapore and its biannual air show the week of Feb. 10.

“The state has the largest representation of any state in the country,” Richard Longley, LanAir’s new business development manager, said in a Skype interview from the Southeast Asian country.

It’s LanAir’s first visit to the Singapore Airshow in an effort to reach out to a new market in Asia.

“We’re trying to promote new alliances with new customers and like-minded companies,” Longley said.

According to the N.H. Division of Resources and Economic Development, Singapore is New Hampshire’s 15th largest trading partner.

DRED said with its range of aerospace design and manufacturing services, Singapore is also is a leading hub for the aerospace industry in Asia.

Joining LanAir in Singapore were AQYR Technologies of Nashua, which designs and manufactures highly portable, simple to operate, satellite communication terminals for military and governments worldwide; Corfin Industries of Salem, which provides component preparation services and is the exclusive provider of the Robotic Hot Solder Dip; New England Wire Technologies of Lisbon, which designs and manufactures Litz, braids, cables and strands, ultra-flexible single, multiconductor and coaxial cables; RdF Corp. of Hudson, which designs, develops and manufactures surface, insertion and immersion temperature and heat flux sensors; and Transupport of Merrimack, a stocking supplier for gas turbine engines.

The companies are members of the New Hampshire Aerospace and Defense Export Consortium, which marks its first anniversary in March and is one of the only export consortia in the nation.

“We’re the only company within the New Hampshire alliance that serves the airline industry,” Longley said.

Lancaster started the business in 1996 in his home and was in various office locations in the Seacoast before leasing space on Shattuck Way about a year ago. The space is airy and inviting, model aircrafts of all types lining the stairwell entrance.

“I love aviation,” he said. “That’s why I do it.”

An airline company will come to him with the need for a part that might be too expensive to replace or that might not be all that well made by the original manufacturer, according to Lancaster.

His people will reverse engineer the part. It is then manufactured by a third party. Lancaster likes to use manufacturers within 50 miles of his office. “We try to give the work to people like us, privately owned,” he said.

The part is then taken with documentation to the FAA regional office in Burlington, Mass., for approval, a process — called parts manufacturing approval, or PMA, that can take from three months to a year and which, said Lancaster, “includes a lot of give and take.”

And these are not one-off parts that are made just once. These are parts that an airline or airlines will need in quantity. “We go for the parts that have a certain amount of usage,” he said.

As examples, he showed a hardened plastic part for a plane door and a metal cover for a landing gear sensor.

As with LanAir, the Asia market is important for the alliance of Granite State aerospace and military companies.

“The aerospace and defense industries are a fast-growing sector for us,” said Tina Kasim, program manager for the New Hampshire International Trade Resource Center. “The companies attending represent our diversity and innovation and they are eager for the possibilities the Singapore and Asian markets will provide them.”

Kasim represented the state at the U.S. Embassy’s Aerospace Executive Service at the Singapore Airshow, along with Justin Oslowski, director of the U.S. Department of Commerce/U.S. Commercial Service in Durham.


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