Dillsburg Aero Works Product Lines for Sale
Aircraft tubing magnate retiring after 65 years in business
June 9, 2011 —Charlie Vogelsong is getting out of the aircraft tubing business, but it won’t be easy. The World War II B-17 pilot started selling aircraft bolts, hardware, and eventually 4130 steel tubing after the war to support his fellow pilots who still wanted to fly for fun. Some 65 years later Vogelsong has built Dillsburg Aeroplane Works near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, into a multi-million-dollar business that is the leading supplier of certified aircraft grade tubing, as well as a leading worldwide supplier of metal materials to Indy Car and NASCAR.
The 93-year-old aircraft parts entrepreneur said his wife has been asking him to retire for about five years, but it will take a couple of years to sell off the business since it’s too big for one person or entity to purchase as a whole.
“It’s a very large business,” Vogelsong said. “To start with, I’m no longer stocking certain lines of product. Anyone interested in taking a complete line (of product), I’ll quote it and give them a special discount.” Once the line is sold, Vogelsong is directing his former customers to the new owner.
In WWII Vogelsong was Base Sergeant Major for the 493rd Bomb Group of the 8th Air Force. His success in managing logistics at the base for 180 missions earned him a trip home in the spring of 1945 and then to the Midwest to set up a B-29 bomb group to serve in the Pacific Theater.
After the war Charlie and his pilot friends were still interested in flying, which motivated him to enter the aircraft parts business, first with basic hardware and then onto aircraft tubing. Some years later Vogelsong was recognized for his own homebuilding prowess when his Stits Flutterbug won first prize among 87 homebuilts at the largest East Coast fly-in at Caldwell Wright field (KCDW) in New Jersey.
In addition to providing aircraft grade tubing, Dillsburg supplies all of Indy Car and NASCAR worldwide.