THE SMITHS – THREE GENERATIONS
Albert Russell formed a small machine shop in a garage in Rockville Centre, Long Island, New York and called it Aircraft Specialties. It began by producing small machine parts for the fledging airplane industry. Tom Smith Sr. who had started working for the company during this decade.
The company out grew the space in the garage and moved to a shop located in Hicksville, N.Y
During World War II production expanded by primarily supplying Grumman Aircraft and Republic Aviation with parts for their wartime planes like the Republic’s P-47 and Grumman’s Wild Cat, Hell Cat and the Avenger.
Toward the end of the war, plastic composite materials such as Phenolic and Fiberglass began to be used in aircraft part design. Aircraft Specialties viewed this as an opportunity to create its own niche in the aircraft industry by specializing in making cable clamps and fairleads out of the new plastic material.
Aircraft Specialties started doing business with Sikorsky; producing parts for the S-55, S-61, S-64 and CH-58 and primarily making parts out of Phenolic material.
Tom Smith Sr. was able to assume an ownership share from Albert Russell and moved the company to Farmingdale, N.Y. During this period the company continued to produce parts for the three major aerospace contractors in the New York area which remained Grumman, Republic and Sikorsky.
Tom Smith Sr. suddenly passed away and his son Thomas “Tom” P. Smith assumed ownership of the company.
For financial reasons Aircraft Specialties was dissolved and Aero Specialties was formed and moved to West Babylon N.Y.
Aero Specialties built and moved into a 16,000 sq. ft. facility in Deer Park N.Y., which was a major expansion to manufacturing capabilities including; sheet metal fabrication, vacuum forming, foam molding of blade details and engine plug fabrication.
Due to the demise of the aerospace industry on Long Island, Aero Specialties started looking for commercial opportunities in the plastic display field with its vacuum forming and acrylic fabrication capabilities. During this time Aero Specialties also ramped up additional work with Sikorsky on the new Blackhawk and S-76 helicopters.
Michelle E. Smith, Tom’s daughter, started working for the company as a bookkeeper.
Aero Specialties Corp. split its fabrication business into a new corporation called Aero Specialties Mfg. Don Carter, employed since 1976 became a partner in Aero Specialties Manufacturing serving as it’s new president with Tom Smith serving as CEO and Michelle Smith as Controller. Tom formed Aero Specialties Material Corp., a separate entity selling aerospace grade raw material.
Formalization and improvement to our Quality Management System lead to our ISO 9001:2000 certification.
Continuous improvement initiatives lead to our successful AS9100 certification.
Thomas “Tommy” W. Smith, Tom’s son, joined the company in production engineering bringing additional expertise to the company. Clay Plitt, Tom’s son-in-law, joined the team with his diverse talents as Facilities Manager. Clay Plitt also manages Aero Specialties’ new Water Jet operations.
Don Carter retired and Tom Smith Sr. became 100% owner once again. Michelle Smith assumed role of President with new positions for Tommy Smith serving as Vice President of Sales and Engineering and Clay Plitt as Vice President of Facility and Production. The family’s and employees’ devotion and drive to the continued success of Aero Specialties ensures a bright and promising future.