“There is no way I could ever guess that they would need rolled angle rings!” I recently exclaimed to my ring production manager.
I had just finished taking a plant tour of a new customer who never in a million years would I think to include in making a sales call on or even marketing to. You just don’t target a company who takes apart and refits privately owned fighter jets as a potential customer for angle rings.
Early last year we received an order for some leg-in aluminum angle rings. The company was located near an airport and I figured that there was some HVAC work being done for their physical plant. Small order. One time shot. We see a lot of those in our line of work. Not worth a follow up. At least until I see another order. Then another. Ok, time to check this out.
A knock on their door, an introduction to the buyer and an hour later I am walking out with the same little kid “wow, that was so neat” look on my face much like I had years ago when I left the theater after watching Top Gun for the first time.
My plant tour guide told me he has been re-building these jets for 30 years. He takes them apart and puts them back together for private use just like your local mechanic can do with an old car. Only you can order this re-build with or without ejector seats.
I can’t divulge where or how our rings our used. To quote Maverick,”that’s classified”. But it is safe to say our ring has nothing to do with keeping the aircraft flying. Rather it is part of our customer’s re-build process that enhances the aircraft’s performance and makes the aircraft a bit more fun to fly. Once the “military” is taken out of the plane’s operating system and replaced with civilian friendly enhancements their test pilot takes the rebuilt aircraft through its paces. My tour guide said that upon landing the pilot had that same type of “wow look” I spoke of earlier. Keep in mind that is a trained ex-fighter pilot who has a minimum of 5,000 flying hours to qualify to fly the aircraft.
Angle rings are used in a lot of standard markets. But every so often up pops a use that I could never ever imagine.
Copy that. Over and out.