Allen Aircraft Products, Inc.
PO Box 1211
Ravenna, Ohio 44266

Aircraft Division
(330) 296-9621 Phone
(330) 296-5532 Fax

Metal Finishing
(330) 296-1531 Phone
(330) 296-7138 Fax
About

History
     
The year 2007 marks the 60th year in existence for Allen Aircraft. In 1947, Allen Aircraft was a vision in the eye of Neil Mann. While working at Wright Airfield in Dayton after World War ll, Neil had the idea for a more efficient drop-tank valve to be used on the government's long range military aircraft.

Returning to his hometown of Ravenna, he set up shop in the corner office of a friend, George Walter. With the aid of another friend, Hugh Riddle, Neil was able to design and manufacture his valve. To raise capital for future ventures and ideas, Neil and Hugh organized Allen Aircraft Products, Inc. (named in memory of Douglas Allen Mann) and sold 80 shares of stock to investors in the Ravenna community.

Our first order was from Boeing for a drop tank disconnect valve for use on the B-50 Bomber which was an upgrade of the B-29. Over the years our #1 customer has continued to be Boeing with parts on all Boeing Commercial Aircraft since the 707, as well as on all military aircraft including the B-52.

In 1949, the development and manufacture of a new line of valves and the addition of a patented solid film lubricant, which was the beginning of our Metal Finishing Division, caused Allen to move into a 1,200 square foot facility at Cotton Corners, a building that was formerly the Vicker Trailer Agency on the comer of Woodbine Avenue and Newton Falls Road. In 1952, Allen doubled its size by the construction of an office addition. By this time, the company had developed more than 50 different products for the aircraft industry. In addition to the drop tank valve, the line had grown to pressure relief valves for hydraulic systems, drain valves for fuel tanks, oxygen couplers for unpressurized cabins, landing gear, and other hydraulic actuators.

By 1962, Allen Aircraft expanded its operations for the fifth time at this location by constructing a new 6,000 square foot building, onto the existing one at Newton Falls Road. Along with this expansion. Allen's ranks had grown to 60 employees. Also at this time. Allen had become the world's only manufacturer of the automatic fuel transfer jet pump. During the war, pilots had to manually throw a switch in the cockpit to activate an electric motor driven pump to transfer fuel from one tank to another. With the development of this new pump, aircraft could become lighter, more reliable and less expensive.

In 1968, 1970, 1974, 1975, and again in 1976, Allen Aircraft was nominated for the "Small Business Subcontractor of the Year" award, which was presented by the U.S. Government's Small Business Administration. Of the 12,000 capable small business subcontractors in the Mid-Atlantic Region, Allen was one of only 20 to receive this consideration.

In 1978, Allen Aircraft again felt the need for growth and promptly fulfilled this need by purchasing the former Ravenna Porcelain Company building on East Lake Street. The 13,000 square foot plant and its seven acre site was acquired from the A.C. Williams Company to house Allen's manufacturing facilities. The expansion resulted in approximately eight more jobs with the company and increased the total employment to more that 80 positions.

As time continued, so did the demand of the aircraft industry. In 1985, Allen Aircraft paved the way for yet another expansion by the purchase and rehabilitation of the building at 6168 Woodbine Avenue. Several divisions of the company were relocated to this facility to enable a centralization of the company. Among the departments now operating there are: Engineering, Sales, Accounting, Purchasing, Personnel, Data Processing; also, Aircraft Assembly, Shipping, Labs, and Quality Control.

In 1987, Allen Aircraft continued it's role as a successful supplier of aircraft components by being awarded a contract for the B1 bomber. Allen received a two million dollar contract to manufacture more than 20 different components for the aircraft.

In 1988, Allen Aircraft was presented with the McDonnell Aircraft Company's "Preferred Supplier Quality Team Award" This prestigious award signified that Allen Aircraft continued to maintain an excellent quality system and superior quality products in the eyes of the industry.

In 1990, Allen Aircraft became a key supplier in the very secretive and much talked about B-2 advanced technical "Stealth" bomber. All in all. Allen's check valves, jet pumps, ball selector valves, and float valves represent a significant portion of the B-2 fuel delivery system.

By 1994, Boeing was developing the 777 which was the first aircraft designed solely with the use of computers. Allen was a big part of this development with a number of new products in the fuel and water systems on board the aircraft.

In 1997,Allen purchased a product line of chip detectors, oil level indicators, and sight gauges from Lisle Corporation of Clarinda, Iowa. These products will add 25% sales growth to our aircraft products business and represent new market penetration with aircraft engine manufacturers and major aircraft subsystem suppliers.

Chip detector assembly was located in our building at 6145 Woodbine Avenue which was formerly a storage facility for our Metal Finishing business. September 19, 1997 marked the first shipment of chip detectors from Allen.

Throughout the 1990's Allen's most significant expansion has come in the way of equipment and utilization of that equipment. The combination of some of the latest technology in CNC machines along with quick change tooling and cellular techniques have made our machine shop one of the most capable in the area.

The 1990's have also been a time of strategic alliances with major customers. Today, Allen enjoys long term relationships with companies such as Boeing, Douglas, Lockheed, Raytheon (Beech), Bombardier, Israel Aircraft, as well as with other original aircraft manufacturers and all airlines world wide. These relationships secure our long term interests in the aircraft community and forms the basis of our commitment for continuous improvement in all the things we do.

In 2007 Allen completed a 25,000 square foot plant expansion at it's 6168 Woodbine Avenue facility. Nine production cells of three workers each along with new assembly and testing equipment encompass this facility. The expansion resulted in 20 production jobs with the company and increased the total employment to 160 positions.

The ground work of Metal Finishing started in 1949. Certain components required the need for dry film lubricant, which was being performed by Electrofilm Corporation, located in California. Allen was required to send their parts all the way to California for this operation. This was not only expensive but consumed enormous amounts of time just in shipping. The idea was set into motion to get the approval for Allen to perform this operation in house and eliminate this time factor. A person was hired and sent to California to learn how this process was performed and Allen received the license to perform dry film by Electrofilm. Since parts had to be pretreated before this application could be applied, small phosphate tanks were installed in a small area in the southwest comer of the existing building on Newton Falls road.

Next came anodizing. Since most of the valve components were made of aluminum they needed to be anodized to protect the base material from corrosion. There was a lack of a good Anodizers that could provide the quality of service that Allen required; therefore, small anodizing tanks were installed in the same area as the phosphate tanks and in-house processing began.

Allen had to be approved by all Aircraft Manufacturers to do Anodizing and Phosphating. Once approved, this became a major attraction for other companies in the Akron Cleveland Area. In response to this expanded customer list an addition was  constructed in 1960 that provided increased processing capabilities to other companies. Larger tanks were installed to do Hard Anodizing, Sulfuric Anodizing, Chromic Anodizing, Manganese and Zinc Phosphate. Chemfilm and Cadplating were added to the process list.

The Metal Finishing Department has processed a wide variety of items over the many years it has been in existence. There were military components such as track adjusters, periscopes, and wheels for tanks. In addition, landing gear, body structure parts, door skins, pumps, and other components served both Military and Commercial Aircraft. Allen also provides coating for the Space Shuttle program as well as other programs for NASA. The Mark 46,48, and 50 Torpedoes for the Navy were among the largest programs in which Allen Metal Finishing was involved. Also, the Mark 30 unmanned submarine was anodized by Allen. In the commercial field, items such as warmer plates for coffee makers, machining vises, bus shelter structure parts, hot melt glue components, pneumatic valves, food processing equipment, and fuel transferring components for ships are just a partial list of items that have been processed by the Metal Finishing Division.

In 1974, another addition was added to expand the Anodizing capabilities and today Metal Finishing consumes the entire Newton Falls road facility. Allen Aircraft Metal Finishing is known as one of the best processing houses in the United States. It has achieved this goal by everyone's total commitment to quality, service, and continuous improvement.

 

 

 


Allen Aircraft Products, Inc.  ●  PO Box 1211  ●  6168 Woodbine Avenue, Ravenna, Ohio 44266  ●  (330) 296-9621  ●  Fax (330) 296-5532