AirCorps Aviation Acquires the Pioneer Aero Services P-51 Mustang Inventory

AirCorps acquires the world’s largest inventory of original P-51 Mustang spares and surplus parts.

Bemidji, MN (February 9, 2023): AirCorps Aviation announced today that they have acquired the P-51 Mustang inventory of parts and resources from Pioneer Aero Services of Chino, California.

“On behalf of everyone at AirCorps Aviation, we are very proud to be sought out by the Ward family to buy their storied assets and inventory” stated Erik Hokuf, General Manager of AirCorps Aviation. “Aligning our AirCorps team, FAA Parts Manufacturing Approval (PMA), fabrication and engineering services, and Repair Station with Pioneer’s  inventory will allow us to better meet the needs of P-51 owners, operators and shops. We are prepared and eager to ensure the P-51 Mustang is well supported, maintained and safely operated into the future.”

Pioneer Aero Services was owned and led by Bret Ward who took over the business from his father Elmer. In 1987 the Ward family purchased the assets of Lefty Gardner and Gordon Plaskett of Cavalier Aircraft Corporation. This acquisition was significant because it created a stockpile of parts, drawings, and tooling that elevated Pioneer Aero Service into the position of being the largest supplier of P-51 mustang parts in the world. Every P-51 in the world flies with parts and components purchased from Pioneer Aero Services.

Over the past eleven years AirCorps Aviation has continued its globally recognized WWII aircraft restoration work, while developing a number of strategic investments in Build to Print fabrication, and Repair Station work. AirCorps has grown to a team of over 50 and has made significant improvements in our range of fabrication capabilities, design, and engineering.

“We are restorers at heart, and an entrepreneurial mindset has always been a part of our company’s DNA. That creativity brought to life offerings like AirCorps Library, and it allowed us to build our own P-51 parts business beyond our restorations” said Eric Trueblood, VP Sales and Marketing.  “As restorers and maintainers of Mustangs we realized the only way to build our parts sales was to use our capabilities to focus on proactively stocking airworthy or overhauled parts to meet the immediate needs of Mustang operators. That approach has been successful and yielded consistent growth. What Bret, Ginny, and Greg have built to support the industry is remarkable and we are honored to carry the torch. We are excited to manage this inventory–not with the sole intent of depleting it–but instead to find ways to build, replenish, maintain it, and most importantly predict and respond to what the Mustang market needs.”

AirCorps Aviation will be incorporating the Pioneer inventory into their existing parts warehouse, and will be selling them via phone sales and their AirCorps Depot website. “We plan to make the transition as seamless as possible, and will be taking over the fulfillment of orders from Pioneer immediately” said Hokuf. An AirCorps employee will be onsite at Pioneer to help facilitate the shipment of parts to Bemidji, and existing Pioneer customers will still be able to reach the office through the existing Pioneer phone number.

AirCorps Aviation is world renowned for its historical aircraft restorations. Our specialized capabilities and project experiences have developed departments that now provide aircraft integrations, modifications, and repairs as outside services to the larger aerospace industry.  Adherence to an FAA PMA Quality System, a broad range of metal forming & machining capabilities, and exacting detail are evident in the award-winning work for which AirCorps is known.

For more information about AirCorps and our talented team, visit our website:

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