Once upon a time
Once upon a time, a family from Washington State took their son to Oklahoma for his first year of college. As always, Paul, the father, wanted to visit all the airports.
While talking to a fellow pilot he was once again introduced to a fine old lovable plane called the “Tomahawk.” He heard of her needs and seeming lack of support. She was a proud-looking plane and seemed to say to Paul, “You’ve come to save me!” Well, that was the start of our love story with the Tomahawk.
The business started with one thing in mind: “Let’s keep her flying, no matter what it takes!” Paul was filled with ideas and sought the advice of those who loved the plane. He talked to Tomahawk owners, and to the grandson of W.T. Piper, who helped design and flight test the Tomahawk. This was a real highlight. He also had the great fortune to talk to one of the original test pilots. Paul had so many ideas he could hardly wait to get started.
The nose gear shimmy was a big problem for many owners, so that was his first concern. He was able to re-design the Nose Gear Scissor Link Assembly and solve the shimmy problem. Over 130 of these are now in use throughout the world.
The most dreaded problem for Tomahawk owners, especially flight schools, was the wing’s 11,000-hour fatigue life limit. FAA recommendation was to remove the wing from service- a very costly solution. Paul began thinking about ways to strengthen the wing and extend its life.
He started work by building a Static Test Fixture for testing the wing. After one year, we had our test wing mounted and the fun began. Let us say that it didn’t happen overnight, but we are happy to report that our first FAA/PMA-approved Tomahawk Wing Life Extension Kit was delivered to a customer on Thursday, November 14, 2002, just one month and four days after receiving the STC.
Our dreams for the Tomahawk
We have so many. One by one they will show up on this web site. Someday our Big Dream will no longer be a dream. In the meantime, know this:
“We love our Tomahawk and we know you love yours flying.”
This winter Sterling Aviation Technologies will go live on the web with our first world-wide Tomahawk Club, to be christened friendsofthetomahawk.org. We’ve met and worked with so many wonderful people throughout the world that we thought we’d bring everyone together. We’ll be sure to keep you updated about the launch. In the meantime, all owners for whom we have current N numbers or registration marks will be receiving our first newsletter in the mail. Watch for it!
Let’s all work together as a Tomahawk family to GIVE HER THE RESPECT SHE DESERVES!