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Ducommun Incorporated’s Lightning Diversion Systems (LDS) Brand Signs Exclusive Licensing Agreement with Wichita State University

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Agreement allows LDS to further develop and commercialize advanced lightning protection technology to offer wind turbine operators and OEMs better, more cost-effective protection against lightning strikes

SANTA ANA, Calif., March 03, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ducommun Incorporated (DCO) today announced that its Lightning Diversion Systems (LDS) brand, a global leader in the design and manufacture of segmented lightning diverter strips and protection devices for aerospace and defense markets, has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Wichita State University (WSU) for advanced lightning strike protection technology to be used on wind turbines.

Ducommun officials said LDS will further develop and commercialize the technology, originally developed at WSU’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR), and offer it to targeted wind turbine original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and operators in the U.S. and select international markets who want more robust, cost-efficient lightning strike protection.

“I am very pleased to announce the exclusive agreement between Lightning Diversion Systems and Wichita State University to license and further develop this advanced lightning protection technology for a segment of the wind turbine market,” said Stephen G. Oswald, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Ducommun Incorporated. “It offers us an opportunity to partner with a highly respected university and research institute on the latest technologies and advancements, while applying our existing expertise in lightning protection capabilities and solutions for aerospace and defense to support this targeted use in the wind energy sector.”

“At Wichita State University, we are focused on launching convergence sciences, and this partnership is a great demonstration of that,” said Jay Golden, president of Wichita State University. “The type of technology we’re developing with NIAR and Lightning Diversion Systems shows WSU’s dedication to leverage our expertise and research strengths to diversify the economy.”

Dave Wilmot, vice president and general manager of the Engineered Products Group for Ducommun Incorporated, said LDS currently supports approximately 3,000 wind turbine blades worldwide with its segmented diverter strips, which has provided direct insight on the unmet need for more robust protection.

“There are currently more than 341,000 wind turbines operating worldwide, with more than 56,000 of those based in North America. All of them are susceptible to lightning strikes, which can cause significant and costly damage to wind turbine components such as blades, controls and electrical systems,” Wilmot said. “While wind turbine blades have existing lightning protection systems, these systems are unable to effectively transfer lightning current to the ground. By partnering with Wichita State University on this innovative technology, our goal is to develop advanced protection for wind turbines, which means they stay in the field longer, they stay on the turbines longer, and there is less material going into landfills or recycling.”

About Ducommun Incorporated
Ducommun Incorporated delivers value-added, innovative manufacturing solutions to customers in the aerospace, defense and industrial markets. Founded in 1849, the company specializes in two core areas –Electronic Systems and Structural Systems – to produce complex products and components for commercial aircraft platforms, mission-critical military and space programs, and sophisticated industrial applications. In 2017, Ducommun Incorporated acquired Lightning Diversion Systems (LDS), a global leader in the design, development and production of segmented lightning diverter strips, devices and products for the military, aerospace and wind energy sectors. For more information, visit Ducommun.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release includes "forward looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including relating to the brands, facilities and programs discussed above. We generally use the words “believe,” “estimate,” “continue,” “goal,” “can,” “may,” and similar expressions in this press release to identify forward-looking statements. These statements are based on assumptions currently believed to be valid, but they involve risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward looking statements. Important uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ from those expressed in the forward looking statements are identified in our reports filed with the SEC, including our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, and our Current Reports on Form 8-K. The forward looking statements included in this press release are made only as of the date of this press release, and Ducommun does not undertake any obligation to (and expressly disclaims any such obligation to) update the forward looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

Media: Rose Rogers, Ducommun Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer, 657.335.3665
Investors: Chris Witty, Darrow Associates, 646.438.9385, cwitty@darrowir.com