New Ownership At Lancair

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Lancair International, of Redmond, Ore., on Tuesday announced new ownership, new leadership, and an infusion of new operating capital for the company. Gene Wolstenholme is now majority owner and chairman, and his son Robert Wolstenholme, who built and flies his own Lancair IVP, was named president and CEO. The company now will focus on the owner-built Evolution turboprop, which Gene Wolstenholme described as "a world-class product." With five of the airplanes flying and 24 orders in hand, "we're off to a great start, and we are going to focus on pushing through this down economy and getting our incredible airplane to market," he said. Joe Bartels, CEO of the company since 2003, resigned his position last month but will remain a minority percentage owner. "Joe did a great job overseeing development of the Evolution aircraft," said Bob Wolstenholme, "and we now need to move ahead and expand the manufacturing infrastructure and training programs to support the Evolution product line."

Bob Wolstenholme brings an extensive background in manufacturing from several Wolstenholme Group businesses based in Colmar, Penn., that build precision parts for the medical, aerospace, and telecommunication industries, as well as mine detectors and robots for bomb disposal. "Flying is, and has always been my passion," he said, "and this new partnership is a chance to bring our proven management skills together with Lancair's high-performance products with a focus on customer satisfaction." Tom Bowen will continue to head company operations management. AVweb's Paul Bertorelli recently took a look at the Evolution and its Lycoming IE2 electronic powerplant at Sun 'n Fun; click here for the video.