AAR Composites has leased 90,000 square feet and equipment at a former military base near Sacramento, Calif., to expand manufacturing of polymer-matrix-composite aircraft parts and structures.
The Clearwater, Fla.-based firm plans to have the facility open by June with staffing expected to increase to 260 from 40 employees over the next five years, said Bill Cole, AAR Composites general manager. Production will continue in the 66,000-square-foot Clearwater facility.
The AAR project targets the growing market for composite aircraft components and will occupy space the U.S. Air Force formerly used for repair work.
AAR uses resin transfer molding, vacuum-assisted RTM, compression molding and other processes, and plans in Sacramento to add a five-axis machining center, a water jet cutter and paint booths. The site currently has four autoclaves, four curing ovens, 17,000 square feet of clean rooms and ultrasound inspection capability.
The 3,000-acre McClellan Air Force Base was closed in 2001 as part of a Department of Defense-led effort to consolidate military operations.
With 27 years of experience, AAR Composites designs, tests and manufactures primary and secondary composite structures for use in military, commercial and business aircraft.
Parent company AAR Corp., based in Wood Dale, Ill., employs more than 5,000 and had sales of $1.06 billion for the fiscal year ended May 31.
AAR Composites is part of the firm's structures and systems segment.