Although Startup Air is a blog that focuses primarily on the world of startup airlines, I wanted to take the time to do a feature here on a "small" Kansas aviation parts company with a global reach named Dodson International, which operates with a very entrepreneurial spirit.
Last Friday, Dodson International's web designer and social media guru, Donielle invited myself and four other AvGeeks (@flyingwithfish, @user47, @trvlinsalesgal, @brianmcspadden) out to tour their facilities in Rantoul, Kansas.
Photo of all the #avgeeks! Credit goes to Flying With Fish
This magnificent place had almost everything you could think of, ranging from 5 million different aircraft parts, to helicopters, commercial aircraft, and crop dusters! The commercial aircraft were what caused the most excitement among the avgeeks. They had a Delta Embraer 170 that overran in CLE a few years back, a DC-8 that lost directional control at MCI, American Airlines 727s, and a few Turbo DC-3s, one of which will be put on the top of The Roasterie's building in downtown Kansas City.
If it weren't for Dodson International, or @trvlinsalesgal telling me about this tweetup my AvGeek soul would be less nourished right now! I'd like to give them a huge thank you, and suggest that you follow Dodson on twitter at @dodsoninternational for cool AvGeek pieces of goodness!
Below I have some photos/tidbits of info related to the photos to share part of the experience with you guys!
Started the day off meeting with the other AvGeeks at MCI
After a 90 minute drive with a playlist filled with airplane themed songs (albiet, some of them a stretch! ;) made by @trvlinsalesgal we made it to Dodson International!
I've heard of sky lights before, but these covers on the office lights were a nice touch!
The tour started out with this aircraft that just arrived!
We then made it through the hangers/warehouses, where this Challenger was being taken apart
Dodson has a few warehouses filled with almost any airplane part you can think of!
Including airplane engines! (they even had old DL 727 engines!)
We had fun playing with this old US Airways first class seat with a Verizon air phone on it! (Photo credit to @trvlinsalesgal, knowledge of it being a US Airways seat goes to @flyingwithfish)
We then moved on to one of my favorite parts of the tour, the aircraft scrapyard!
A Delta Connection/ Shuttle America jet that overran the runway in CLE a few years ago
2 AA 727s. You can tell they tried to cover over the AA name, but the paint faded away!
Looking in one of the AA 727s. I'm kind of jealous, because the cabin condition is nicer than my last flight with them! (just kidding!)
A former Easter DC-8, that was converted to a cargo jet and overran the runway at MCI in the 90s.
There was the front/back half of this MD-82 there. I couldn't find a reg on it. Anyone who can comment below on any info about it gets 100 avgeek respect points in my book! (if those are meaningful or worth anything to you, is your call!)
All I can say is ouch!
I saw these plant containers/ hot tubs painted in DL Ron Allen colors! ;)
Me standing on a wing. Nothing unusual!
We then drove to Dodson Aviation out in Ottawa Kansas, and saw a bunch of DC-3s, including this one which will be put on the top of the Roasterie's building in downtown KC.
Me pretending to drive a tug, with a Turbo DC-3 in the background.