What started forty years ago in a caravan has become one of the world’s biggest avionics businesses
In the early seventies founder of Scandinavian Avionics, Hardy Truelsen, was looking for a job outside the air force in which he served as electrical engineer. He was brought in by a local aviation service company, which mainly did mechanical repairs on business jets. Electronics were slowly entering the planes though and the company hired Truelsen to establish an avionics department: - And so I did and with a bit more success than the parent company that went bankrupt a few years later. Eight colleges and I was without a job and I decided to put it all on the line, borrowed whatever money I could get and established Scandinavian Avionics, Hardy Truelsen, Head of SA Group says.
A growing market
The nine people were off to a humble start were the only physical presence of Scandinavian Avionics was a leased pavilion and a caravan operated to do on-location service for the costumers. Two more followed rapidly and only two years later the young enterprise moved to its present location. Today almost 40 years later the Billund Airport based company is the work place of 150 people around the world and is one of the biggest independent avionics companies outside the USA. Through the years the avionics market has changed, Hardy Truelsen explains: - The costumers back in the seventies were typically operating smaller airplanes because the big national carriers did all the avionics themselves. Many of them still do but through the years we have seen an expanding market for medium sized airlines with e.g. 737’s or 320’s and the entire helicopter avionics business has also developed not the least in the North Sea with the massive oil industry.
Alongside this development military costumers has been an increasing activity and is today an important part of Scandinavian Avionics. In 1990 Hardy Truelsen decided that the company should enter the defense market and with a good reason:
- We realized that the armed forces continuously left over more avionics work to private enterprises and wanted a share of that emerging market!
Scandinavian Avionics opened its first international division in Oslo, Norway in 1980. Since then many other international divisions have followed all markets selected by the same pattern:
- When Scandinavian Avionics open an international operation it is based on specific needs and wishes from costumers, e.g. an airline expanding on a new market. We usually team up with a local partner and all our divisions around the world are working from the exact same Quality Assurance and Partnership agreements, Hardy Truelsen stresses.
The next generation is ready
When the founder and Head of SA Group looks ahead, he eyes a fast growing market with enormous potential:
- The drones are coming, no doubt about that. We are watching that market very closely and are involved in a number of projects. Scandinavian Avionics is prepared to what we expect will be a huge business as the drones get bigger, more advanced and hence need to comply to the same rules and regulations as manned aircrafts. One thing that won’t change is the ownership: - This company will continue to develop as a family business, my son and daughter are a part of it and they are prepared to take over the day I leave for the final time, Hardy Truelsen underlines.
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