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LOEHLE AERO COATINGS

Complete modern flexible paint line from surface prep, pinhole filler, primer, color and clear.  Works equally well on metal, composite and fabric surfaces.

Loehle Wonder-Fil - The SOLUTION to pinholes.  Quick wipe-on/wait 15 minutes/wipe-off application for fiberglass, carbon fiber, fabric and wood.  Disappears into the next sprayed layer.

Loehle Black and White Filler/UV Blockers - Our primers save a tremendous amount of time in the "homework" stage of getting a surface totally smooth and ready for color.

Loehle Color Top Coat - Available in just about any color desired, with extra flex and UV protection.

Loehle Clear Top Coat - Provides even more flex and UV protection, and encapsulates your masterpiece to protect it for years to come.

 

LOEHLE AIRCRAFT KITS

 

5151 Mustang 5151 Mustang
P-40 in Clouds P-40 Flying Tiger
KW-909 KW-909
Spitfire Spitfire (Prototype Stage)
Sport Parasol Sport Parasol
Spad XIII Spad XIII
Fokker D-VII Fokker D-VII
SE5a SE5a

LOEHLE AERO NEWS

Want to hear about the latest "happenings" at Loehle Aircraft?  There is always something interesting and fun going on in "The Loehle Aviation Valley" -- whether another plane (or other project) is being painted, a new aircraft kit or option is being designed, new paint line products being developed, we have special visitors, or whatever else is going on here.  Be the first to know about special sales or upcoming price increases.  Sign up for our free LOEHLE AERO NEWS below:

About Us

We are celebrating 37 years of making aviation history!

Team

Mike Loehle

President

931-857-3419

 

EAA Hall of Fame Inductee 2008

LAMA President's Award 2003

Grand Champion Sun 'n Fun 1982

Grand Champion Oshkosh 1981

Outstanding Craftsmanship 1981

Most Innovative Modifications Sun 'n Fun 1981

Banners - EAA Hall of Fame Mike Loehle - EAA Hall of Fame Inductee
Mike Loehle Inducted into EAA Hall of Fame EAA Hall of Fame Ultralights - Plaque at EAA Headquarters in Oshkosh, WI

More about Mike Loehle...

 

Videos:

Mike Loehle - EAA Hall of Fame Induction

October 24, 2008

(3 minutes 15 seconds)

http://www.eaavideo.org/video.aspx?v=1877355893

 

Mike Loehle - EAA Timeless Voices

http://www.eaavideo.org/video.aspx?v=1866912736001

(42 minutes 48 seconds)

 

Magazine Article:

Loehle 5151 Mustang

http://www.eaa.org/experimenter/articles/2010-03_loehle.asp

 

 

Mike Loehle soloed in a Cessna 150 at Bowman Field in Louisville, KY on his 16th birthday after practicing flying in his dad's Luscombe taildragger.  This was a switch from growing up watching his dad racing open-wheel midgets and sprint cars.  He fell in love with hang giding, which inspired him to participate in the Civil Air Patrol and attend the Air Force Academy survival school in Colorado. He purposely missed his bus home from the Academy so he could stop by Leading Edge Air Foils (LEAF) in Colorado Springs where he talked with LEAF owner Bill Raisner and picked up some hang gliding books. He attended his first EAA fly-in convention at 17 years old in 1976, where he was mesmerized as he watched John Moody fly the Icarus II.  He was front and center afterwards as John Moody (known as the father of ultralights) explained to the crowds about the famous unintentional outside loops.  He promptly bought one of Larry Mauro's Easy Risers and performed the same outside loops on his own (not intentionally, of course).  At this point, "ultralight" wasn't a word yet...and his aircraft required N numbers (even though it was foot launched, he hung on by his armpits (no seat), and the throttle control was held in his mouth). 

 

He became a private pilot the day after his 17th birthday, and worked while in high school at Kentucky Flying Service (a large full service Cessna dealership with 20+ Cessna 150s for rent, 10+ Aztecs and many other aircraft).  Dick Mulloy, owner of Kentucky Flying Service, appreciated his intense interest and responsible work ethic so allowed him to tackle mechanical jobs well beyond his age (and opening his multi-million dollar business solo before school hours and closing it down at night).  Mike went on to design a tail and landing gear to stabilize the Easy Riser, created a new engine mount along with other modifications, and called his design the Aeroplane (and later 3-axis Aeroplane XP).  He operated his ultralight business, first from his parents’ basement and then in a T-hangar at Bowman Field in Louisville, Kentucky.  In his early 20's, Mike negotiated with the State of Kentucky permission to develop and operate an ultralight flight park in E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park in Lousiville, KY complete with a grass runway and tie-down area.  He gave flight instruction, and also manufactured his Aeroplane and Aeroplane XP at this facility.

 

A rare opportunity came along in 1984 that accelerated his cabilities to become a major contributor to the world of aviation.  Gerry Ritz of Ritz Propeller Company, who designed and produced propellers with excellent performance, passed away and his widow Frances Ritz offered Mike (and Sandy) the opportunity to purchase the Ritz property in Wartrace, Tennessee - 137 acres, with 20,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing facility, plus a beautiful 1,800' grass runway....with all the equipment and inventory.  Mike and crew quickly became proficient at producing the very popular Ritz wooden propellers (to the tune of thousands!).

 

While the propellers connected Mike and Sandy with the larger ultralight aviation community, Mike's heart was still drawn to aircraft design.  What if...he pondered...one could design an ultralight P-51?  It seemed like such an oxymoron....but what other plane in all the world would everyone recognize and immediately love?  By this time, Carl Loehle, Mike's dad had also moved to Wartrace so they pondered together (argued quite passionately) about the possibility.  Carl said no.  Mike said yes.  Then Carl warmed up to the idea and put an amazing set of drawings in ink that still to this day have had very little changes.  With some helpful advice to a young Mike Loehle from prolific aeronautical designer Leo Pazmany, the 254 pound ultralight idea was dropped in order to build the plane very structurally sound as an Experimental category aircraft (without having to count the weight of every washer!), which proved to be an excellent decision.  Carl was a math whiz (made 100 on his military entrance exam -- most unusual), but insisted on load tests until he was satisfied his math was correct.  As he explained it, his son would be the test pilot...  The well thought out, conservative design Mike and Carl came up with passed even the very strict German first-of-type testing without modification.

 

Mike introduced the prototype at Oshkosh in 1986, and there was immediate interest that has continued to this day.  He has since followed up with other warbird designs: P-40 Flying Tiger, KW-909 German look-alike, and the Spitfire (still in prototype stage).  The very simple, basic Sport Parasol was developed as an entry level ultralight/light plane with a classic look.  Loehle Aircraft also produces 3 WWI biplanes: Spad XIII, Fokker D-VII and SE5a.  Loehle designs have been in production for 30+ years, and are being built/flown in 26 countries.

 

When the media's focus turned mostly to 2-place composite Light Sport Aircraft, Mike turned his attention to developing and introducing his own paint system.  He has been playing around with paint chemicals since the early days (late 1970's) working on the flight line at Kentucky Flying Service, repainting Aztec leading edges over and over.  His first Grand Champion Oshkosh award was earned with the Aeroplane - the first ultralight to appear at the air shows with glossy colors....to the point other manufacturers (like Homer Kolb) asked what kind of paint he was using.  While he had to recommend paint products that were commercially available, Mike was always tinkering with his own chemicals for his demo aircraft so the finish could be super shiny and flexible (and every demo plane so far has made major aviation magazine front covers and calendars).  Loehle Aero Coatings incorporates a blend of decades of Mike's hands-on experimentation in getting the job done as quickly as possible, with as few layers as possible, yet meet his extremely finicky quality standards.  It is possible to have 0 pinholes, 0 runs, 0 paint starved areas...and have the finish so slick that it looks wet enough to just pour off the plane onto the ramp.  Loehle Aero Coatings was designed to do all this....but yet allow a novice painter to use it successfully, even in a make-do temporary paint booth.

 

Mike Loehle has received many awards, including Grand Champion Ultralight and Outstanding Craftsmanship at EAA AirVenture, Most Innovative Modifications at Sun ’n Fun, Grand Champion at Sun 'n Fun, and the LAMA President’s Award.  He is probably most proud of being inducted into the EAA Hall of Fame.

Sandy Loehle

Vice President

Webmaster

Phone: (931) 857-3419

Email: paint@loehle.com

            aircraftkits@loehle.com

 

 

The friendly voice you hear when you contact Loehle Aircraft is most likely Sandy (Burgess) Loehle.  She was was involved in aviation before she met Mike Loehle Sandy learned to fly in Cessna 150s at the Danville/Junction City, KY airport in 1982, but soon wanted her own airplane.  She built her own ultralight aircraft and first flew her Hummer 2-axis V-tail ultralight at Danville/Junction City.  She soon became a dealer for American Aerolights (Eagle, Eagle XL, Falcon) and Maxair Sports (Hummer) to share her love of slow flight She moved her operation to Louisville, KY on a 235 acre farm, with a 50 acre sod farm as the airstrip, along with access to a closed country club.  Sandy taught ground school and ultralight flight training, and introduced the fun of ultralights to the Louisville EAA chapter membership and other aviation enthusiasts.

 

It seemed to make sense to join forces with Mike Loehle and his manufacturing company (UFM of KY) and also represent his Aeroplane XP biplane, so she moved her operations to his flight park location in the E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park in northeast Louisville.  She handled the office duties and sales, while Mike helped her with mechanical tasks.

 

A routine call to order propellers one day changed her future (and Mike's).  She learned that Gerry Ritz of Ritz Propeller Company had passed away, so a trip to pick up as many 54x27 props as were available was immediately put into motion.  The visit with Mrs. Frances Ritz (Gerry's widow) opened up a whole new venture --- purchasing the 137 acres in Wartrace, TN with 20,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing facility, with a beautiful 1,800' grass strip.  The purchase included two companies - Ritz Propeller Company and Ritz Aircraft Company - all the inventory and equipment.....and 5 German shepherd guard dogs (required to close the deal).

 

Mike and crew quickly became proficient in turning out wooden propellers using the very efficient Ritz airfoil blades, and Sandy handled office operations and talking with the customers.  It was a surprise to many ultralight pilots calling in for propellers that Sandy often quoted exactly the prop size they needed before they ever mentioned anything but the name of the airplane.  Thousands of propellers were manufactured and shipped to aircraft manufacturers and individuals in the U.S. and abroad. 

 

Soon the focus would become the lightweight Loehle WWII and WWI replica aircraft designs, and Sandy again took the front row seat in helping potential customers become "warbird" builder/pilots.  Deemed a success with 8 different kits in 26 countries around the world, this has been quite an accomplishment for the Loehle team.  When a call comes in or emails arrive, they could be from anywhere around the world...but all with a common bond of aviation.

 

Along the way, Sandy and Mike became more than business partners and got married.  They have raised two sons, John (23) and Matthew (20) who are fine young men with an entrepreneurial spirit of their own.  Sandy was very actively involved as school PTO President, band parent, as well as other school projects.  She was an active leader in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts (earning the coveted Long Rifle award).

 

Yet a new chapter started with the introduction of the Loehle Aero Coatings paint system.  Sandy is now quoting/selling/shipping paint needed for not only ultralight/light planes, but she had to quickly become proficient in materials and quantities required for all types of general aviation and homebuilt aircraft (with some military applications as well).  Loving the broad range of aircraft owners they now serve on a daily basis, Sandy says this is fun!  Now there are many other non-aviation avenues opening up for which the pinhole filler and paint system is an excellent match, so life remains an exciting adventure.

 

 

P-40 w Loehle Family The Loehle Family - Mike, Sandy, John and Matthew
Aviation Valley - Aerial View Loehle Aviation Valley - During Open House Day
Loehle Aircraft - View from Road Loehle Aircraft Factory
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