Mid-Continent Instruments’ OEM Commitments Mean Site Expansion

mid-continent groundbreaking

Leaders from Mid-Continent Instruments and the City of Wichita, along with the company president’s grandson, turn the first shovel of ground on the company’s expansion in northeast Wichita. 

Credit: Molly McMillin

WICHITA-Mid-Continent Instruments and Avionics is expanding by nearly 50% to support growth in manufacturing, research and development, engineering and in-house testing as business grows.

“It’s to accommodate production and people,” Todd Winter, president of the nearly 60-year-old business, said before a ground-breaking ceremony at the site. “Engineering is a very big part of it. It’s an enabler. We have some very demanding customers in aviation and transportation and their expectations are very high. They like what we’re doing. They like what we have. They want to be absolutely sure that we have the capacity and the bandwidth going forward. And this is a reflection of that commitment. 

The 28,000 ft.² expansion is expected to be completed in spring of 2025. The company employs 188 at its Wichita headquarters and 24 in California. Mid-Continent, along with its True Blue Power division formed in 2010, provides instruments and avionics, electrical power systems and lithium-ion batteries. 

The company’s largest customer segment is business aviation, although its commercial aviation and military business are growing quickly. “[That is] because we have engaged in the newer technologies for the more electric aircraft .... That is the power equipment, inverters, converters, more electric and the lithium-ion batteries,” Winter says.

The expansion will support customers such as Textron Aviation, Gulfstream, Piper Aircraft, Bell, Leonardo, Tecnam and others, he says.

The focus is on future development, including “aircraft that no one even knows about yet that we want to be integrated in,” Winter says.

It also supplies the AAM market. 

However, “there are so many aircraft that are becoming more electric, mostly to reduce weight but also to increase reliability and safety,” he says. “That groundswell of the more electric aircraft is much broader than the vertical lift segment the newer segment, which is really just beginning. There’s not a lot of production there. It’s very exciting, and we are involved.”

Molly McMillin

Molly McMillin, a 25-year aviation journalist, is managing editor of business aviation for the Aviation Week Network and editor-in-chief of The Weekly of Business Aviation, an Aviation Week market intelligence report.