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Recently, Rotorcraft Pro had the oppor- tunity to visit Southeast Aerospace (SEA) in Melbourne, Florida. During our time with company Vice President Joe Brad- dock and the SEA employees, one could not help but notice the overwhelming presence of the values and traditions this great country was founded on: integrity, ingenuity, hard work and craftsmanship. When asked about their business phi-

losophy, Joe was eager to share they are there for their customers whether the job is big or small. He related it to baseball, “We don’t mind hitting lots of singles along with an occasional home run.” Now, let’s round the bases for the rest of the story………


The Braddock family founded southeast Aerospace in 1993, with John Braddock III (the family patriarch) serving as com- pany president until his recent retirement earlier this summer. Senior Braddock pro- vided the expertise to launch the fledgling startup, as he is an Air Force veteran and aviation professional. The company orig- inally started in South Florida, but the market was oversaturated for the up-and- coming avionics parts sales company. Southeast Aerospace made the bold move to head a few hours north to the inviting location of Melbourne International Air- port.

nentially ever since.

They started at humble beginnings and grew organically in a relatively short amount of time. Throughout their history they have continuously reinvested in their company. Their present facilities measure approximately 50,000 feet and they em- ploy 130 full-time employees.


The company started in avionics parts sales and quickly expanded into bench work. In 1995 they introduced pre-owned parts to the aviation market, similar to the “pre-owned” luxury automobile model. Back then this was a totally new concept for the helicopter industry. They launched a new SEA website that provided full specs on each part. They used technology 39

to bring innovation to the helicopter parts market, which had never been seen before by that market. Southeast Aerospace also made signif- icant investments in other areas to afford them the ability to offer a variety of unique solutions for their customers. For example, they invested in an environmen- tal chamber to test parts at altitude and un- der extreme conditions. They are one of a select few MROs in the country that pos- sess this technology. SEA routinely utilizes the environmen- tal chamber to detect failures that only oc- cur at altitude or at specific temperature ranges. For example, with weather radars the chamber allows them to calibrate the receiver for the five temperature zones that improve radar performance in detecting storm levels. Most traditional shops do not have the ability to perform such test- ing. This provides a higher level of con- fidence, quality, and reliability for their customers.

The company has also introduced an- other state of the art technology with the recent purchase of a five-axis waterjet cut-

ting center. The center can cut virtually any type of material up to 8” titanium. This allows SEA to purchase material in bulk, eliminating delays from suppliers and ensuring traceability. Many of the programs SEA supports involve domestic and international government customers. These customers require larger volume so- lutions, without compromising the quality and integrity of an airframe or system. The above are solid examples of how

SEA has set itself apart from competitors. When trying to define the company as a whole, Southeast Aerospace offers a full range of aircraft support including parts sales, MRO, engineering, systems design, and custom integration solutions. The company maintains an extensive inventory of new and refurbished avionics and in- struments. SEA offers comprehensive re- pair and overhaul services through its large avionics bench shops and instrument overhaul facilities. The company special- izes in customization and full integration services. SEA has FAA designated engi- neering representatives (DER) on-staff as well as parts manufacturer approval

They have been expanding expo-

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