Lancair Keeping Cool And Growing Fast

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For those pilots who dread hot sweaty summer cockpits, Lancair is promising no more discomfort and no more fiddling around with heat and A/C controls. Soon a "set-and-forget" climate-control system will be available factory-installed on the Columbia 350 and 400 aircraft. Set and forget means you can select 72 degrees on the ground in California on a hot day and the cabin stays at 72 as you climb on up to chilly air at FL250. The system is "designed in," Lancair VP Tom Bowen said, for maximum effectiveness and minimum intrusion. "You've got [this system] in your Audi, BMW, Lexus or Mercedes-Benz," according to Lancair, "so why not your airplane?" Lancair execs also announced that they are adding 100 positions at their Bend, Ore., factory. Veterans returning from Iraq will be given preference and will be trained to build airplanes. They're also adding another 41,000 square feet of hangars and manufacturing space. "Orders for our Columbia 350 and 400 are very strong," said CEO Bing Lantis. "We're increasing our production rate as quickly as possible.... We're very pleased to be in a position to give back to the men and women who volunteered to serve our country."