First, a little history

The Taylorcraft Auster was a British military liaison and observation aircraft produced by the Taylorcraft Aeroplanes (England) Limited company during the Second World War.

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First, a little history

Unread post by CFLEEPIO » Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:04 pm

(copied from Wikipedia)

The designer, Clarence Gilbert Taylor, a self-taught aeronautical engineer from Nottingham, England[1], can be called the father of private aviation in America, as he designed the original Taylor Cub in 1931. Taylor, along with his brother Gordon, formed Taylor Brothers Aircraft Corporation - slogan; "Buy Your Airplane Taylor Made" - in Rochester, New York in 1926, offering a two-seat high-winged monoplane called the "Chummy", priced at $4,000.
Brizee_NY_20s_late_TaylorChummy.jpg
Taylor Chummy, Brizee, New York late 1920s

The Chummy failed to sell however and after Gordon was killed flying another Taylor design in 1928, Clarence moved to Bradford, Pennsylvania, where the townsfolk had offered him a new factory at the local airfield plus $50,000 to invest in the company. One of the investors was William Thomas Piper, who had made his money from oil wells.[1] Taylor shared with Piper a dream of making airplanes as common as cars for Americans. After continuing with the Chummy for a while Taylor abandoned the design and began work on a new inexpensive and easy-to-build aircraft to compete with the heavier craft which were common at the time.
Bradford_PA_30s_Cub.jpg
Taylor J2 Cub, Bradford, PA, 1930s

The classic battle between engineer and businessman quickly caused a rift between the two. Piper took advantage of Taylor's absence during an illness, and instructed Taylor's junior engineer Walter Jamouneau to modify the Cub to be more attractive and marketable. Taylor returned from his illness and raised the roof in anger[citation needed] and left the company.

Taylor vowed to build a new personal aircraft superior to the Cub. Taylor formed his own company in 1935 as Taylor Aircraft Company, renamed Taylorcraft Aviation Corporation in 1939. Meanwhile, a disastrous factory fire brought production of the Cub J-2 to a halt,[2] and Piper bought the company out. It was placed back in production as the Piper J-3 Cub,[3] becoming the iconic aircraft of general aviation in the 1930s and 1940s.

During World War II, light aircraft were used for training, liaison, and observation purposes. Taylorcraft's DCO-65 model was called the L-2 by the United States Army Air Forces and served alongside the military version of the Piper Cub in WW2. Taylorcraft Aeroplanes Ltd., a subsidiary based in Thurmaston, Leicestershire, England, developed the Taylorcraft Model 'D' and the Auster Mk. I through Mk. V, which became the backbone aircraft of the British AOP (Air Observation Post) and the three Canadian AOP squadrons, No. 664 Squadron RCAF, No. 665 Squadron RCAF, and No. 666 Squadron RCAF.
Taylorcraft L2.jpg
Taylorcraft L2

After the war, production boomed until the company reorganized in 1946. It produced few aircraft during the 1950s.
ZS-BLD 20080705 FASK.jpg
Taylorcraft BC-12D

Taylorcraft Inc

In the mid-1940s production was halted following a major fire in the Taylorcraft factory at Alliance and the company went into bankruptcy. [4] In 1949 C.G. Taylor bought the assets from the former company and started a new company Taylorcraft, Inc. at Conway, Pennsylvania.[4] The company re-started production of the BC-12D Traveller and the BC-12-85D Sportsman.[4] The company produced few aircraft and the type certificates were sold to Univair and production was halted.[4]

Taylorcraft Aviation Corporation

In 1971 the Taylorcraft Aviation Corporation, owned by Charles Feris put the Model 19 back into production as the F-19.[4] Feris died in 1976 and the production continued at a low rate until 1985.[4] Charles Ruckle bought the company in 1985 and he moved the operation to Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, the company only managed to produce 16 aircraft before it went bankrupt in 1986 and the company was offered for sale.[4]

Polychron & O'Rielly ownership

John Polychron, former CEO of Del Monte Foods purchased Taylorcraft and operated it for approximately one year until he sold it to Philadelphia Attorney Phillip O'Rielly. O'Rielly never reopened and the company became deeply in debt resulting in a Sheriff's sale in 1996.

Booth ownership

Taylorcraft was saved from extinction by Lee Booth, a former Marine and an engineer from Seaford Delaware. Booth renamed the Company Booth-Taylorcraft Aerospace, Inc. Booth-Taylorcraft Aerospace paid all creditors in full and relocated the entire company in 88 53 ft long truck trailers to Greensboro, North Carolina.

Booth, as Chairman and President, directed the Corporation through an extensive recertification of all type certificates, engineering, FAA audits up to the Aircraft Certification Office level, production procedures, complete re-tooling and certification of tooling and work processes. Booth enlisted the assistance of Dayrl Romick, former Chief Engineer of Taylorcraft Airplane Company and BF Goodrich. Romick was a close associate of Werner von Braun.

Booth-Taylorcraft Aerospace, Inc became a contractor to numerous governments for military aircraft, weapons systems and firearms. Booth was the first Taylorcraft owner in the company's history to keep the company debt free the entire time he operated it. In March 2000, Booth formed a strategic partnership by selling half of the Civil Aircraft Division to Harvey Patrick of Pats, Inc. Booth retained all military items, UAVs, several type certificates, designs and patents. The Small Aircraft Division was moved to Georgetown, Delaware at the Sussex County Airport. Booth and Patrick then formed Taylorcraft 2000, LLC and served as Co-chairmen. Booth eventually sold his half to Harvey Patrick and Taylorcraft 2000, LLC was owned by the Harvey and Vera Patrick Foundation. In 2003 The Harvey and Vera Patrick Foundation sold the company to Harry Ingram, with 100% financing.

The current owner, Harry Ingram, moved the plant to La Grange, Texas in 2003 and on April 25, 2005 it was announced that the factory was moving again to Brownsville, Texas and outsourcing the labor.

2008 Repossession

On February 21, 2008 the company was repossessed by its former owner, Taylorcraft 2000 LLC. The previous owners had taken orders for new struts for existing aircraft to alleviate a repetitive inspection Airworthiness Directive and is delivering struts to customers. The design's type certificates, drawings, jigs, templates and parts have been put up for sale.[5]

References

1. ^ a b Aeroplane Monthly - April 1987 issue - For Business And Pleasure article, P. 188
2. ^ Donald, David, ed. Encyclopedia of World Aircraft (Etobicoke, Ontario: Prospero Books, 1997), p.874, "Taylor Chummy and Cub".
3. ^ Donald, p.874.
4. ^ a b c d e f g Simpson 1991, pp. 323-325
5. ^ Niles, Russ (March 2008). "Taylorcraft Repossessed: Strut Customers Contacted". http://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/news/Ta ... 331-1.html. Retrieved 2008-03-10.
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Theuns v V
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Re: First, a little history

Unread post by Theuns v V » Sat Dec 19, 2009 2:16 pm

Nice to see BLD again......allmost bought her a long time ago :cry:

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Re: First, a little history

Unread post by Ewald » Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:21 pm

Anybody know what happened to Taylorcraft ZS-APO. I'm now an Old timer and qualified for PPL on this Taylor in 1964? How does one put an image in this post?
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Re: First, a little history

Unread post by Ray W » Mon Mar 22, 2010 8:08 pm

Ewald wrote:Anybody know what happened to Taylorcraft ZS-APO. I'm now an Old timer and qualified for PPL on this Taylor in 1964? How does one put an image in this post?
According to my notes she became ZS-VPC and was written off 23/12/1989 but I don't know where unfortunately. I'd love to see a photo of APO.

To put an image on your post just click on "Upload Attachment", find the picture off your computer, and hit the submit button. Just make sure the picture is of sixe 800 x 600 or smaller.
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Re: First, a little history

Unread post by noelotten » Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:58 pm

Thanks for the history lesson!

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Re: First, a little history

Unread post by davebutler » Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:53 am

Correct ZS-APO did become ZS-VPC. I first met APO when she was owned by Harry Czernetski at FAVP in 1984. He later registered it in the LS1 cat and it became ZS-VPC. I then became a partner in the aircraft. Unfortunately the partnership did not last long as Harry was unfortunately killed in VPC in a landing accident at FAVP. I am not sure of the dates but it was in the late '80's. As per Harry's wishes VPC was given to the EAA and was picked up by Mike Spence. I last saw the wreck in Mike's hangar at Krugersdorp in the early to mid '90's.
I only have 1 photo of VPC before the accident, will look it up and post.
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Re: First, a little history

Unread post by davebutler » Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:45 am

My only photo of ZS-VPC. The young lad was the son of a family friend of Harry's
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Re: First, a little history

Unread post by 2000andmore » Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:05 pm

Hi Guys,

ZS-BLX is still alive and well, and lives at Panorama airfield. Powered by a Continental 85 HP engine, she flies like a dream.

Cheers,

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Re: First, a little history

Unread post by Zak » Fri Jul 15, 2011 8:51 am

Are BLD & BLX the only flying Taylorcrafts in SA?

I bought ZS-VHL a while ago and are busy with the resurrection/restoration. It last flew in 1984 whereafter it was stripped and changed owners several times.

It started its life as ZS-CCW. Does anyone possibly have a picture of this plane in its former glory :?: I would love to see what it looked like.

As part of the rebuild, I'm upgrading the BC-12D to the equivalent of the much later Taylorcraft F19. This involves upgrading the engine from the A65 to an O-200. Gross weight increase from 1200 to 1500. Bigger baggage compartment, electrical system, two wing tanks etc.
Last edited by Zak on Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First, a little history

Unread post by 2000andmore » Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:40 pm

Good! Nice to see another Taylorcraft being put together. Where are you doing this? I would like to come and see. I do believe that only BLD and BLX still fly in SA

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Re: First, a little history

Unread post by fredfarm » Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:46 am

I remember BLD and BLX well from the late 60's at FAGC when I used to operate the Tower there on weekends,
They were affectionally known as "Bloody" and "Blixem".
If I remember correctly they were bright "cub' yellow in those days.

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Re: First, a little history

Unread post by Dave Holmes » Wed Jul 29, 2015 1:49 pm

My First flight ever was as a 10-year old or so in about 1952, from Port Elizabeth in an "Auster" owned by Walter (Wally) Monson. I'd love to know if anyone knows what happened to that aircraft.
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Re: First, a little history

Unread post by Theuns v V » Sun Aug 02, 2015 4:19 pm

BLD all completed, ATF granted :)
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Re: First, a little history

Unread post by Zak » Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:57 am

=D> =D> =D>
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Re: First, a little history

Unread post by Theuns v V » Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:41 am

Test flown yesterday, I believe it went well, no tweaking to the rigging needed....unheard of!! :lol:

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