Lancair Kits Changes Hands

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There's a lot less "Lance" in Lancair's kit division. Founder Lance Niebauer has sold the kit maker to a New Orleans attorney for an undisclosed amount. Niebauer said in a statement that the new company owner, Joseph C. Bartels, has promised to carry on business as usual. Niebauer said the sale keeps his dream alive while allowing him to focus on the reorganization of the Lancair Company, which produces the certified Columbia 300. Since starting the certified aircraft business, Niebauer said he has not given the kit side the attention it deserves. Bartels bought a Lancair IV-P in 1992 and later formed Aero Cool LLC, which makes air conditioners for Lancair IVs. Niebauer said he believes the sale is in the best interests of the company and staff but he won't be far away if he's needed for design and consulting work. "I have no shortage of ideas for the kit company and its future product line ...," he said. The certified company recently received a $55 million capital infusion, allowing it to resume production and fill orders for 173 Columbia 300s.