Alliance Aircraft Corporation 1928 - Alliance, Ohio - Issued to Aubrey Hess

Alliance Aircraft Corporation 1928 - Alliance, Ohio - Issued to Aubrey Hess

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Alliance Aircraft Corporation 1928 - Alliance, Ohio - Issued to Aubrey Hess
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Beautifully engraved RARE certificate from the Alliance Aircraft Corporation issued in 1928. This historic document has an ornate border around it. This item is hand signed by the Company’s President ( William E. Trump ) and Secretary ( Lyman H. Reed ) and is over 75 years old. The certificate was issued to Aubrey Hess and endorsed on the verso by Alane Hess, as administretrix of the estate of Aubrey W. Hess. The Alliance Aircraft Corporation began life as Hess Aircraft Company in Wyandotte, Mich., the brainchild of Michigan brothers Aubrey and Adrian Hess. They were the sons of the Rev. Dr. Aubrey H. Hess who served as president of Adrian College in 1915 and 1916. Audrey Hess developed a deep interest in flying and was eager to pursue a career in aviation. He served in the armed forces and then returned to Michigan to work in the automobile industry while tinkering in his free time with construction of an airplane. Adrian “Doc” Hess graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in engineering. Melding their talents, they formed Hess Aircraft Co. and built their first plane, the Hess Blue Bird in 1925. Two years later, the Hess brothers entered into negotiations with a group of Alliance businessmen who were attempting to bring new industry to the Alliance area. Aubrey W. Hess’s dream brought him to Alliance in the 1920s when city businessmen negotiated with Hess and his brother Adrian to bring their fledgling aircraft manufacturing concern to Alliance. A few years after relocating to Alliance, the death of Aubrey Hess in an airplane accident and the Great Depression ended Alliance Aircraft Corporation. By April 1928, a factory was constructed just north of Alliance on land that had been owned by Mount Union College. That factory, on what was then South Range Road, later became home to Taylorcraft. When Taylorcraft left Alliance the factory was reborn as Armour and is currently home to SIA. The roadway was renamed Armour Road in the late 1940s. When Hess Aircraft became Alliance Aircraft, local businessman William E. Trump was named president. Aubrey Hess was vice-president of engineering and Adrian Hess was in charge of production. Other company officers were Robert A. Purcell, second vice president, L. Paul Kulka, treasurer, and Lyman H. Reed, secretary. W. Edgar Leedy and Fred R. Donaldson served on the company’s board of directors. Capt. Fred Giles was the company’s first test pilot with William Leonard later joining the company as a test pilot and factory demonstration pilot. The engine powering the locally-built airplane was a Hess warrior, a seven-cylinder radial engine built in space leased from Morgan Engineering on Broadway. The Alliance Bluebird Sport was the first airplane built in Alliance, it was shown publicly at the Detroit air show in the spring of 1929. The production version of that plane was named the Alliance Argo, 21 of the aircraft were built when tragedy struck the fledgling company. On Oct. 12, 1929 Aubrey Hess was conducting a test flight of a new type of carburetor when the airplane caught fire. The death was soon followed by the Great Depression. The crash of 1929 forced the newly organized company into bankruptcy. In the spring of 1930, J. E. Foster of Detroit took over the Hess assets and started the Foster Aircraft Company. J. E. Foster was chief engineer and Jack Hill in charge of the stockroom. The company was listed in the Alliance 1931-1932 City Directory. But the depression prevented the company from ever getting ahead. It was only operating a few weeks. Not more than 15 men were employed at the peak, and only 2 planes were produced. Then the company folded up and the flying field lay idle again. C. G. Taylor and his brother, Gordon A. Taylor organized the Taylor Brothers Aircraft Corporation in Rochester in 1927. It was the beginning of the barnstorming era, and the brothers demonstrated “Chummy” in numerous barnstorming exhibitions. Unfortunately, Gordon was killed in such a demonstration at Detroit in 1928, -due to his fellow flier grabbing the controls. In 1929 C. G. Taylor moved to Bradford, Pa., accompanied by his father, Arthur Taylor, who was a master mechanic, and who took over the jigs and tools. From the beginning they were handicapped by depression conditions. Still operating under the name Taylor Bros. Aircraft Corporation, they first produced a glider, then put a little engine in, and sold it as the Taylor Cub until 1937 when it became the Piper Cub, named after a financial backer who became associated with the company in the early days at Bradford. In February 1935 Taylor and Piper broke up. Taylor learned of the idle field north of Alliance, and came over on a Sunday morning to see George O’Brien, then secretary of the Alliance Chamber of Commerce. Taylor had no money but wanted to organize a company to produce small planes and was seeking loans with which to finance it. O’Brien lined up the building and machinery of the former Alliance Aircraft Company, and tried to line up $50,000 in loans from the lending industries of Alliance, through the banks sponsored by them and some funds were secured. The Chamber of Commerce moved Taylor’s equipment to Alliance. The Taylorcraft Aviation Corporation was formed with C. G. Taylor as president and treasurer. The company was capitalized at $50,000 and Taylor owned all the stock. Most of the funds were finally obtained by C. G. Taylor from Frank L. Wherhan in New York City. History from Taylorcraft Org and The Review


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