Australia’s largest independent aerospace composite business, Quickstep, is flying into Wichita, Kansas as the chosen location of its first US-based engineering and manufacturing facility.

After an eight-month due diligence process growth-focused Quickstep (ASX:QHL) has chosen what’s known as the ‘air capital of the world’, Wichita, as the location for its phased US ‘go-to-market’ strategy.

Phase one is focused on securing a facility, equipment fit-out, and creation of a baseline engineering, manufacturing and business support team for the expansion of QHL’s patented QureTM technology which is used extensively in the company’s drone manufacturing contracts.

QHL will combine QureTM with other automated composite fabrication and assembly process investments to rapidly establish itself as a supplier of choice for the defence and commercial drone markets in the US.

“A US presence will enable Quickstep to progressively leverage the wide range of emerging opportunities under the AUKUS defence and technology alliance,” the company said.

“We will be working closely with the Greater Wichita Partnership to agree detailed terms, investment timing and facility development over the next three months.

“The intent, subject to the successful outcome of these discussions and overall investment criteria being met, is to have an initial operational capability during CY24.”

An aviation hub

On choosing the location, QHL said Wichita has a strong aviation heritage and is home to some of the world’s greatest aviation brands including Textron Aviation – the manufacturer of Beechcraft and Cessna aircraft, Airbus, Bombardier and Spirit AeroSystems.

“The state government offered a compelling investment case to choose Kansas as a competitive, high-quality location for aerospace business operations with a depth of technical capability, potential partners and market opportunities,” QHL said.

QHL VP Steve Osborne added that as Wichita is a globally recognised centre of excellence for aerospace technology, the location itself will offer significant business expansion opportunities.

“Our existing presence in the US is already presenting greater certainty over new business opportunities and opening many more potential customer and contract relationships,” Osborne said.

“This is an exciting time for Quickstep and growth in the US will become a defining feature of overall future growth across the group.”

The aeronaut has been focusing on growth both in Australia and abroad,  signing an MOU earlier this week to provide composite parts to Alliance Aviation’s (ASX:AQZ) growing fleet of Embraer E190 aircraft.

The multi-year contract will increase QHL’s exposure into the aftermarket aviation components business sector.

The MOU with AQZ followed a recent detailed and comprehensive strategic review process of QHL’s aftermarket business which aims to capitalise on growth of the domestic and regional aviation market.


This article was developed in collaboration with Quickstep Holdings, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.