Jerry Siebenmark THE WICHITA EAGLE
Houston Firm Looks to Establish Business with Wichita Aircraft Suppliers
March 30, 2015
  • Share
  • A Houston-based firm that provides engineering services to aircraft manufacturers and suppliers is looking to expand its business to Wichita.

    Tucana Engineering has hired Nicky Smith, a 34-year industry veteran who worked at Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems, to develop new business for the company in the Air Capital.

    Smith, who retired from Spirit last year as a design assurance coordinator, said he’s focusing on larger suppliers for the company’s business here.

    “The focus is on tier one and tier two (aircraft manufacturing) support organizations,” he said.

    Tucana — which also operates a large engineering office in Airbus’ hometown of Toulouse, France, and smaller offices in the Ukraine and Russia — provides engineering services on both long and short-term projects involving design of fuselages, wings, pylons and aircraft systems. It also has experience and capabilities working with advanced materials such as composites.

    It has done work on airplane programs for Airbus, Boeing and Gulfstream and is working on new aircraft programs such as Bombardier’s CSeries airliner and the Mistubishi Regional Jet.

    Smith said that in Wichita, he is focusing on offering computer numerical control, or CNC, machining programming and tooling design for suppliers.

    He said Tucana saw the opportunity to pursue work in Wichita after Spirit sold its 50 percent interest in an engineering services joint venture with Progresstech of Moscow, Russia, in late 2013.

    Tucana was founded in 2007 and is led by CEO Mitch Dubner, a former Continental Airlines executive.