MitchellWing News

Ownership Change

MitchellWing A-10 and T-10 aircraft have come back in a really big way. That's right - MitchellWing is back. On April 15, Larry Smith, President of AmeriPlanes, Inc. of Winterset, Iowa took possession of the world record holding MitchellWing Aircraft Company. This is not to be confused with Richard Avalon's Mitchell Wing Company, producers of the B-10 and U-2 Aircraft. While these aircraft are very similar in outward appearance and owe their very existence to Don Mitchell, they are two separate companies. Either company will be glad to serve you. However, the company in Winterset builds the metal airplanes and it seems that a lot of people feel very comfortable with metal.

From Kansas to Iowa

The move was not an easy one. Ed Peden, former owner of the company helped to plan the move. Training the AmeriPlane staff in the art of building these fine airplanes was pre-eminent in the minds of all involved. After each jig, mold or form was no longer needed in building the first aircraft it was moved to Iowa. Much time was consumed in answering questions and personally demonstrating skills in building these airplanes. The AmeriPlanes Staff actually did the work under the watchful eye of the former owner of the company. Today that same staff is confidently building another A-10 and assembling the inventory for a T-10. But much more is happening at the Winterset factory. People from all over America are calling requesting replacement parts while others are contemplating ordering their new MitchellWings next Spring. This could cause problems. The factory is begging those desiring their new aircraft in the Spring to take early delivery and make your orders now. While it is true that the people in Winterset are building a lot of replacement parts right now, they need to be building some of those airplanes right now, too. It won't take long to finish the two they are currently building.

AmeriPlanes Will Move

The move from the temporary facilities in the City of Winterset out to the new manufacturing plant at the Winterset airport has again been put on hold - it could occur soon, it may never occur. It had originally been expected that this move would have taken place in Early October. Because of many glitches, talks between the city, airport authority and the people at AmeriPlanes, bids were to have been opened around the first of November. That would have set everything seriously behind. But now, the airport authority is demanding that we build a very expensive building, pay for it, then give it to them. This is not going to happen. Being at the airport was great, but it is not essential. We already rent hangar space there.

Orders and Deliveries

One of the reasons AmeriPlanes had been refusing to accept orders in late August and all through September was because of the expected move. We did not want disruption of our schedules. It is now realized that we cannot wait longer to build airplanes and here we are in a traditionally low sales time of year. So, the two new airplanes being started have not been sold but buyers are actively being sought and being offered generous discounts if they order now. But even then, AmeriPlanes is determined to govern their growth in order that we be able to adequately train the new employees and be right on target with delivery or pickup dates for completed aircraft. It is thought that those who order now will not mind a week or two delay in getting their aircraft because of any move to new facilities, wherever that may be. This will not be the case with those who order in mid-Winter for early Spring pick-up or delivery. They will want timely completion of their aircraft and AmeriPlanes is determined to provide that. But, AmeriPlanes may not be able to deliver your aircraft until mid-Summer if you wait to order and then be put in line to receive your aircraft according to scheduling. Remember, others are waiting until they feel the breath of Spring, and that will be too late to get a Spring delivery.

Some of those desiring MitchellWing News

will have moved and their copy will return to us unopened. Others on the mailing list will have passed away and others may have lost their interest in flying (we know they could never lose their interest in these fabulous aircraft if they still retain their interest in flying). Will you help us? If you no longer wish to receive this paper will you call us, write us, Email us or somehow let us know that fact? Or, if you know someone else who would like to receive MitchellWing News will you let them or us know so we can be sure they are on the mailing list at no charge? Please help us update our files. Our address and additional information is found in this newsletter. Our new Website is completed!!! - www.ameriplane&com If you wish to visit our website please type it in and let us know what you think. It is not complete but it is nearly there. Your input will be appreciated. Also, anyone can Email Larry Smith at Oh, I want to personally apologize for my photo. It has been so long since I have had a picture taken (least two years) that the only one available was the one with the Gospel Quartet I sing with. The Webmaster cut it out and pasted it way too often on the website. He thought it would help you all know who you were talking to. Well, it's not going to help much. When that picture was taken I was wearing a hair piece which I no longer wear (I don't want it flying back into the prop) and I now wear a mustache with my beard (so people will not notice that I am bald).

Featured Aircraft

How would you like to have your airplane featured on our Website? We make no promises, but if you will send us pictures of your airplane(s) it is possible yours will show up permanently or temporarily on this best method of sharing with the public. Our site manager tells us it would be best if the airplane be featured - not the pilot. Sorry! If it's a great photo we might just sneak it past him anyway, but no promises. We also show a few pictures of an airplane under construction. Actually, it may be a couple of different aircraft, but at least it show the major steps in building one of these fine airplanes. But your photos can be added at any time. Do keep in mind that once they are sent to us they do become our property. I'm sorry, that's just the way it is. We can't promise to return them so don't send a "one only" copy of a picture that's really precious to you.

We Need Testimonials

One gentleman that talked with the president of our company (Larry Smith) told him of an instance where his MitchellWing had saved his life. Unfortunately, that was during the time of the move of the company from Kansas to Iowa and so the fellow's name and the details were misplaced. But from memory it seems that this gentleman had just taken off from his local airfield when the engine quit. He was not very high but below him were trees, rocks, boulder, ditches, etc. He felt that to do down in that mess would be certain death. Then he remembered he was flying a MitchellWing. These things have a true 16:1 glide ratio So, he slowly turned back to the airport and landed. He said that he actually had altitude to spare. If it is recalled correctly, his quote was, "If I had been in any other airplane I am familiar with I would be dead right now." Do you have a testimonial that you would like to share? We would prefer it if you would write it down so we don't misquote you. Would the gentleman who gave us this one please contact us? We'd like to know who you are.

About Our Kits -

We read in a recent edition of Ultralight Magazine a horror story about a gentleman who ordered a kit from one of our competitors. The poor guy didn't get much of what he had thought he was getting, got a lot of what he didn't want, and paid a pretty hefty price for all the mistakes. You know, that could be the story of just about any manufacturer at one time or another. But we at AmeriPlanes are determined to be careful that there not be any horror stories associated with us. We know we will not always be perfect but we're sure going to try. If we promise you something and you don't get it, please let us know immediately. I guess that was the most surprising thing about the situation I referred to above. Apparently, he gave the company ample opportunity to fix the problems that they just laughed at him or made light of his situation. If he reported the story correctly it was no laughing matter. Oh God, please keep us from carelessness or arrogance. May we always treat each customer just like we would like to be treated.

Speaking of Treatment

We really feel like we have already shortchanged or ignored some of you. Just what we said we hoped we would never do. During those many months of moving, those of you who contacted MitchellWing called the Dover facility. You will have been informed of the change in ownership and probably that we were in the process of moving the company. But in the move we think we may have lost some files or lost some names and phone numbers and we have no idea how many of you may be waiting for our returned phone call. The desks at the new temporary headquarters in Winterset are still piled high and time is being sought to examine and file every piece of paper. But we consider it most important to get your airplanes and parts out to you. If you have tried to contact us, and something has happened that we did not get back to you, please call again - it was not deliberate. But it is probable we have lost your correspondence. Please call again.

Have You Seen Our Ads?

Several people have said they have seen so many of our ads in the last two months that they thought we were blitzing the media. Not so - it's just that a MitchellWing stands out so much that you just can't help but see one, whether it be in an ad or on the airfield. They are so unique, so beautiful, that people just naturally gravitate toward them. We have not been to any of the major air events as yet. In fact, we don't plan to until Spring. As we have said before, we want to make a big splash but we don't want to promise too many airplanes in too short of time. Our word means too much to us to do that to you. If you have any suggestions about our advertising please give us a call. After all, those of you who have been flying A-1 O's and T-10's for years can probably think up a lot more clever things dm we can. But we're pretty proud of what we have put out so far. Especially the one that ends, "Any Questions?" Please, give us some input.

New Engine/Old Engine

With the discontinuance of the Rotax 277 we have gone back to the ever reliable Zenoah G25B as our stock engine for the A-10. The T-10 will feature the stock Zenoah G50D. It was easy to make the decision to go back to the Zenoah because of its many years of faithfulness in our aircraft. In fact, many of the Zenoah engines put out in the very first MitchellWing airplanes are still flying regularly. Yes, we are still looking at other engines and are always willing to install whatever you want on your airplane or provide the engine mounts so you can install them. We are currently mounting a 30 hsp. Hirth on an aircraft that is rated for a 22 hsp engine. That should be interesting. Feel free to call us in a few weeks to see how that turned out.

We Have Used Aircraft for Sale!!!

At this moment we have three used A-10's. By the time you get one of them they will be completely gone through - a very thorough checkup and anything at all questionable will be replace or repaired. Normally their price will be based on outward appearance, since inwardly they will all be in fine condition. We do have one aircraft that is about four years old, that flew only about three hours, all during the factory testing process back in 1994. It was one of the finest airplanes ever to come out of the factory. There was an accident when the new owner was pulling it back to his home and there was damage to several areas of the airplane. Finally, with his health deteriorating he called us to see if we would take it off his hands. We did, and it will soon look like a new airplane as well as be a new airplane. We're going to want plenty for that aircraft but you will still save about a fourth of the cost of a new one. The first person who puts down a 25% deposit on that airplane will get it. The remainder will be due when it is ready to take back to your home. The other two aircraft are older but there are many, many hours of happy and safe flight left on both of them. They will, of course, cost less.

Regarding Dealerships

We have already been besieged by those desiring to become MitchellWing dealers. Please, please, please - realize that all of you cannot be dealers. We are not going to set up many dealers. We are going to set up a few good dealers. And, if they don't prove out, we will provide better dealers to replace them. At this time we are very seriously considering one dealer application in the State of Florida. If that company becomes our dealer, they will be our SE U.S. dealer. They can sell anywhere in the world, but we will not set up any other dealers in that area unless they prove that they are not effective dealers. We think that is the only fair way to do it. We may set up dealers in SCentral, SW, NW, NCentral and NE U.S. But in all cases, they will be able to sell anywhere in the world Their location is only to help our dealers better support their customers in their particular parts of the country. Every dealer will increase the amount of aircraft we need to build and could potentially cause us to not be timely in getting out the aircraft in the time they are expected. If you know a quality dealer that might work well with MitchellWing aircraft, please mention them to us. But PLEASE DON'T INFER THAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR DEALERS. We want them to look for us and appreciate what we do here. To us - quantity is not important. Quality aircraft in a timely manner IS important.

No airplane in the world will give you the flying satisfaction of a MitchellWing. Why settle for less? 

Please address all correspondence to:

Larry D. Smith, President

AmeriPlanes, Inc.

P.O. Box 150

Winterset, Iowa 50273

Phone & Fax 515-462-9032

email -

website -

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