The Employee Owners of LeFiell design and manufacture precision metallic tubular parts and assemblies for the commercial aircraft, aerospace, defense, and industrial markets.
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LeFiell Manufacturing Company was founded near modern downtown Los Angeles in 1930 by Cecil (Gus) and Sidney LeFiell who had recently moved from Canada to begin a small tool and die shop. Established in 1930 by C.K. LeFiell, LeFiell Manufacturing Company began by producing tools, dies, and designing equipment for a variety of manufacturers. In the early years, the primary market was the meat-packing industry. As with many companies, LeFiell was deeply changed by World War II. In 1939 LeFiell was awarded its first aviation contract to produce bomb racks. During the war years, LeFiell began providing swaged tubes and rods for the rapidly expanding aircraft industry utilizing manufacturing processes begun in those early years and expanding by further developing metal forming processes of forging, flattening, machining, roto-drawing, and Roll-flo® (flo-forming) mostly tubular shapes.
In 1958 LeFiell pioneered and developed tapered thin-wall stainless steel venturi tubing for Rocketdyne F-1 and J-2 rocket engines. During the early years of the space age, NASA engineers and its subcontractors such as Rocketdyne, Rockwell International, and Boeing discovered the benefits of LeFiell’s innovative metalworking processes and incorporated them into the first manned spaceflights of Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo spacecraft, Space Shuttle. Now LeFiell engine nozzle coolant tubes remain critical components on the ULA Atlas and Delta rockets, and the Japanese H2 and H3 rockets. Going forward into the future LeFiell tubes will power the Space Launch Systems (SLS) launches which will be our nation’s pathway to crewed deep space flight.
During the dawn of the jet-age LeFiell became a key supplier to most major commercial aircraft produced in the United States and is now a solutions provider of precision tubular parts and assemblies on most commercial aircraft platforms since the 1950s; beginning with the 707 and continuing to supply both Boeing and more recently Airbus on most of their aircraft platforms.
LeFiell has been a major partner to our nation’s military vertical lift capability since the inception of the helicopter industry. We supplied all the Chinook Helicopter rotor blades through the 1980s and have continued our long-standing industrial partnership with Boeing Philadelphia with long-term contracts manufacturing a series of flight-critical control link assemblies for its vertical lift aircraft.
In recent decades LeFiell has expanded its role in the aircraft propulsion industry by manufacturing rotating engine shafts and components for many of the most important aircraft to our nation’s defense: KC-135, C-17, KC-46, F-15, and F-16. Now LeFiell is a proud industrial partner to Pratt & Whitney-Raytheon for the advanced and highly successful Geared Turbofan Engine (GTF) leading the propulsion industry in jet engine turbine operational efficiency for the most modern commercial aircraft.
LeFiell was located at its present site along Interstate 5 in Santa Fe Springs, California in the 1950s. It expanded to almost 10 acres. In 1974 LeFiell took a pioneering step in reorganizing into one of the nation’s first “Employee Stock Ownership” or ESOP companies. LeFiell retains its Employee Ownership structure to this day as an “S” corporation providing a financial stake for all employees and retirees of LeFiell. Through its over 90 years of doing business, LeFiell has remained a small business and presently employs about 120 Employee-Owners.
In recent years it sold some of its property to make way for an Interstate 5 freeway expansion and was able to use the funds to complete a major renovation of its industrial site. LeFiell has completed an extensive modernization effort and created a contemporary, eco-friendly, and environmentally compliant state-of-the-art industrial enterprise for the Los Angeles region well suited to continue serving the global aerospace industry well through the 21st century.