Taylorcraft History

The origin of the current Taylorcraft goes back to the year 1935 when the design genius, C.G. Taylor, was forced to start his own business after a split-up with William Piper. A new model was built, tested, and approved the following year, the Taylorcraft Model A, complete with a then state-of-the-art Continental Engine producing 40 horsepower. By the end of 1937 the factory, located in Alliance, Ohio, had over 200 employees and was turning out better than 15 aircraft each week.

By mid 1938, after some 600 Model A Taylorcrafts had been built and sold, it was replaced by the new Model B with much needed more powerful 50 horsepower engines. Available engines being the limiting performance factor at that time, Taylorcraft quickly added 65 horsepower versions when they were certified. By 1940 Taylorcraft had become the second largest producer of light aircraft in the country producing new models for both domestic use and for shipment to many foreign countries.

Prior to December 7th of 1941Taylorcraft was having a record year. As soon as the United States entered into the war though, the side by side B Model line stopped and the tandem version DCO-65 was put into production as the L2 Liason Aircraft for the military. Almost 2000 L2's of various models were built over the next three years. Several other military contracts were carried out by the factory as well during the war years.

With pent up demand for civilian trainers and pleasure aircraft the great boom of 1945-46 brought with it record production levels throughout the industry. At the factory's peak in mid 1946, over 30 new aircraft were rolling off the assembly line each day. Even today, almost 70 years later, the majority of Taylorcrafts flying are from 1946.

Unfortunately, the boom came rapidly to a halt towards the end of 1946 and the company went into reorganization. It was reconstituted again several times over the next few years producing limited quantities of a few new models into the late 50's, including two four-place aircraft.

1965 saw the beginning of a new era of Taylorcraft history. Having bought the type certificate from Univair Corporation, Charlie Feris and his wife Dorothy opened their new factory in Alliance to begin production of the F19 Sportsman, by then updated to a 100 hp. Continental engine. After 5 long years dealing with the FAA to get authorization to build the plane, the first new Taylorcrafts came off the line. Sadly, Charlie passed away three years later, but Dorothy continued and went on to produce nearly 200 planes through 1985 when she retired from the business.

The factory emerged again in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania then producing the F22 model. While there, many changes were introduced, including the tricycle F22A and the 180 hp. F22B and F22C. The last Taylorcrafts came off the line when the factory was forced to close in 1992 as the light aircraft industry became bogged down in product liability issues.

Since that time, the assets, jigs, tooling, and new old stock parts from Taylorcraft have gone through several owners, each well intentioned, but none able to produce new aircraft. In 2003 Harry Ingram purchased the assets and rights of the company from Taylorcraft 2000 and set up facilities in La Grange, TX as Taylorcraft Aviation, LLC. By the EAA Airventure 2004 Convention, he was able to display a nearly completed new F22. A factory move to Brownsville, TX in 2004 slowed things down, however, and with the move, the factory's emphasis was shifted to the production of a light sport model. It was basically a 1320 pound gross weight F19 model called the Taylor Sport. The first Taylor Sport was certified in November 2005 and shown at the Sebring, FL Light Sport Expo in January 2006.

Extended delays and production problems at the Brownsville, TX factory as well as further financial problems led Taylorcraft Aviation LLC to move to another facility in Brownsville. By 2007, the factory had regrouped with a focus on making parts to support the current Taylorcraft fleet. As of this writing, there still has been only one aircraft produced and certified by the new factory.

In March of 2008, Taylorcraft 2000 reposessed all of their assets back from Harry Ingram and started looking for a new buyer of the company. In 2010 a new buyer was found and since that time, there has been virtually no word from the new owners. As of October 2011, rumor has it that the assets may again be for sale.
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