As WarbirdsNews readers will have gathered from numerous articles we have published this past year, AirCorps Aviation in Bemidji, Minnesota has fast established an enviable reputation as a one-stop- shop for world-class vintage aircraft restoration services. Building off their down-to-the-last-rivet warbird restoration facility, they also offer specialized Warbird Maintenance, and have added AirCorps Library as an incredible, affordable resource for original manufacturing drawings and manuals. Then there are their Reverse Engineering capabilities, not to mention AirCorps Art which can replicate virtually any artwork needed to recreate specialized placards, decals and designs to bring that extra authenticity to a warbird restoration. Now AirCorps Aviation has joined forces with the legacy aircraft service provider M-14P Inc. in an exclusive agreement to produce high quality replacement parts for aircraft powered by the famous Vedeneyev M14P 9-cylinder radial engine, such as many types built by the Yakovlev and Sukhoi design bureaus, and of course the PZL Wilga, Nanchang CJ-6 and a variety of homebuilt aircraft. M-14P, Inc. is headquartered in Kingman, Arizona and its team has been dedicated to servicing customers in the Yak, Wilga, CJ-6 and homebuilt market since 1992.
As their recent press release proclaims… By incorporating AirCorps Aviation’s experience and fabrication capabilities, M-14P, Inc. will soon begin providing brand new replacement components for now-obsolete parts in the above mentioned aircraft types at a level of quality that customers demand, but which had previously been too difficult to remanufacture economically. In October 2015, S.C. Aerostar – the manufacturer of the Yak 52, -52W and-52TW ceased production of the aircraft as well as airframe replacement parts. M-14P, Inc. is now stepping in to provide this lost OEM support, while remaining dedicated and passionate about keeping the Eastern Bloc fleet flying. After connecting with AirCorps Aviation, M-14P, Inc. owner Jill Gernetzke said, “I see a great potential for us to work together and become the aftermarket supplier for Yak and M-14P parts.”
While AirCorps Aviation has a specialization in formed sheet metal components, the first parts produced for M-14P, Inc., include CNC-machined landing gear actuator pistons and seal rings. These items have already passed inspection and are available for purchase. Several additional parts have been identified and are moving through the reverse engineering process. M-14P, Inc. thankfully had the foresight to maintain a selection of original, new old stock parts in their inventory, waiting for the day when it would be practical to replicate them consistently at high quality and in a cost-effective manner. As two companies that are well-versed in supporting the vintage aircraft industry, this union between AirCorps Aviation and M-14P Inc. seems like a natural fit, and should help keep these legacy Eastern Bloc aircraft flying for decades to come.