Success Stories

Lightning Aerospace, LLC Expands

April 7, 2017 11:58:01am

Located in Wichita, Kansas, Lightning Aerospace, LLC, was founded in 2007 by Craig H. Bakel and his wife Connie. The company manufactures small to medium sized parts for the aircraft industry. Craig has over 30 years’ experience working in the aircraft manufacturing industry. With experience in all facets of the business, Craig made the decision in 2007 to form his own company. He borrowed money to purchase two Vertical CNC milling machines using his own personal assets for collateral. These machines were used for machining metal and aluminum components for aircraft.

From a modest beginning offering limited manufacturing capabilities, Lightning Aerospace, has grown to offer complex precision 5 axis machining, lathe turning with live milling, formed sheet metal details, and parts assembly. The company holds the AS9100/ISO 9001 Quality Management System Certification, a certification to establish, develop and maintain aerospace industry quality requirements to improve product and process integrity.

Presently, the company leases a 9700 sq. ft. facility in South Wichita. The leased space is split into two unconnected areas, with limited parking and no room for future growth. Craig made the decision to purchase a new facility in Park City to relocate the business which will minimize the company’s current limitations. With the help of SCKEDD and Rose Hill Bank, Lightning Aerospace secured a SBA 504 Loan through SCKEDD, to purchase and renovate an existing building and add additional square footage to expand its manufacturing capabilities.