They're among the most recognizable victims of storms and other natural disasters. Airplanes are fodder for bad weather and damage can range from total loss to a dent or two in a wing. Whatever the scars they can all be made whole again in a 21st Century aviation facility on the edge of a soybean field in 21 Country.
“We're dealing on a worldwide stage selling parts all over the world,” says Airframe Components owner Roy Williams. “For what we do this is a perfect setting for us.”
Airframe Components sits along an obscure Noble County road, a hi-tech workshop that puts damaged flying machines back into the air. Airframe builds and repairs damaged wings, tails and other flying surfaces for all kinds of airplanes all over the world. There are customers in every corner of the globe.
“Learned to fly when I was in high school,” says Roy. “I wasn't given a car in high school I was given a wrecked airplane and I rebuilt that airplane.”
Roy and Shelly Williams own the place, just added another fifty-thousand feet to their facility to handle growing demand for repair work and a huge inventory of used wings, fuselages and sundry airplane parts. So many parts they're stacked inside and out. Airframe is certified by the FAA and EASA, its European equivalent. The standards are very high for work done here.
“Once those wheels leave the ground there's no stopping and getting out and checking under the hood.,” says Williams. “You have to make sure that everything is working correctly from that first flight.”
Rebuilding an airplane wing requires removing any damaged parts and replacing them with new all of which Airframe keeps on hand. The company has jobs lined up six months in advance. The work is meticulous, precise and requires a perfectionist to oversee it all. And even a perfectionist would have trouble finding anything here that needs to change.
“This is the culmination of continuous years of just coming to work everyday putting forth your best effort,” Williams says. 'So you are where you want to be?' we ask. “Right now, yea. That could change tomorrow,” says Williams.
Eric Olson reporting out in 21 Country.