February 2009 Issue

First Word: 02/09

The effective demise of Superior Air Parts in early January will fundamentally shift the market for engine parts that overhaul shops depend on for their survival. I say "effective" demise because Superior still exists as a company, albeit an insolvent one without much to sell. When Lycoming came along and bought all of Superiorís assets, the crown jewels were the PMAs and STCs used to manufacture Lycoming and Continental replacement parts. Those mere slips of paper represent years of investment and without them, Superior doesnít have much left. Lycoming wonít say what its plans are until the sale is approved, but itís hard to imagine theyíll license Superior to make parts. At press time, Superior told us it would continue its XP engine program and may resume its experimental builder program, but how many buyers will have confidence in Superiorís future?

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