William Laufer Aviation Collection
Scope and Content
The William Laufer Collection is a collection of aircraft maintenance materials used by Mr. Laufer during his career as an aircraft mechanic and as a teacher at the Miami Valley Career Technology Center. The collection consists of training maintenance manuals for aircraft, aircraft engines, and a wide variety of aircraft parts. Also included are parts catalogs and sales brochures for aircraft, engines, propellers, and aircraft parts. The collection is divided into eight series.
Series I, Aircraft Maintenance Training (1943-1988) contains material used to train aircraft mechanics. A large part of this series are training manuals prepared by the Aviation Maintenance Foundation, Inc. during the 1970s. Also included in this series are manuals for military training courses developed by both the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force. The series ends with a variety of training manuals developed by the aircraft industry or individuals.
Series II, Federal Guidance and Technical Orders (1919-1986) is divided into two sections. The first section contains guidance issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or its predecessor, the Civil Aeronautics Authority (CAA). Within this section the guidance is grouped according to the issuing agency. The second section is Technical Orders issued by a variety of agencies for the overhaul or maintenance of aircraft or their parts.
Series III, Aircraft Manuals, Parts Catalogs, and Sales Brochures (1928-1998) is the largest of the eight series. This series is organized according to manufacturer and then chronologically within each manufacturer. Twenty-one manufacturers are listed in this section with the largest being Beechcraft, Cessna, Douglas, Piper, and WACO. Of note for researchers are the Service Bulletins and Parts Catalogs for the Douglas DC-3/C-47.
Series IV, Aircraft Engine Maintenance Manuals, Parts Catalogs, and Sales Brochures (1932-1992) is organized by manufacturer and then chronologically within each manufacturer. Fourteen manufacturers are listed in this section with the largest being the Continental Aircraft Engine Company, Pratt and Whitney Aircraft, and Wright Aeronautical Corporation (Curtiss-Wright Aeronautical Corporation). Along with maintenance and overhaul manuals, there are a large number of Parts Catalogs for the aircraft engines, particularly Wright Aeronautical Engines.
Series V, Propeller Maintenance Manuals, Parts Catalogs, and Sales Brochures (1937-1977) is organized by manufacturer and then chronologically within each manufacturer. Six propeller manufacturers are listed in this series including Aeroproducts, Beech, Curtiss, Hamilton Standard, Hartzell, and McCauley.
Series VI, General Aircraft Parts Catalogs, Maintenance Manuals, and Sales Brochures (1938-1993) is another very large series with forty-four manufacturers listed. The series is organized by manufacturer and then chronologically with manufacturer. The types of parts included are spark plugs, aircraft hoses and fittings, radios and communication systems, magnetos, fuel injection systems, generators and electric starters, aircraft tires and breaks, batteries, landing gear, navigation lights, automatic pilots, and gyroscopes. The manufacturer with the largest representation in this series is Bendix Corporation, including Eclipse-Pioneer Electric Starters and Generators and Bendix-Scintilla Magnetos.
Series VII, General Aviation Information (1923-1997) is divided into nine sections. The first section includes aeronautical charts for a variety of cities/regions in the United States most of which are dated during the 1960s. The second section is WACO Aircraft General Information contains general information about WACO aircraft. Mr. Laufer was a volunteer at the WACO Historical Society and Museum. The third section is general information on the Wright Brothers which contains several brochures. The fourth section contains Aircraft Mechanic Publications such as Pocket Manuals for aircraft mechanics and similar information. The fifth section contains Aviation Publications produced by a variety of people and organizations. The sixth section contains general information on a variety of topics including the Curtiss OX-5 aircraft engine, magazine articles, and information on several aviators including Jimmy Doolittle and Roscoe Turner. The seventh sections contains wall charts and aviation posters providing information on aviation. The last two sections contain photographs and art, along with miscellaneous information including the "Mechanic's Creed" and log books.
Series VIII, Audiovisual Material (1929-1997) contains VHS tapes, 8 mm film, and 16 mm film. The VHS tapes and film primarily contain footage of WACO Glider Aircraft, WACO aircraft in general, and National Air Races footage.
- Creation: 1919-1998
- Creation: Majority of material found within 1940-1980
- Laufer, William F., 1933-2002 (Person)
Restrictions on Access
There are no restrictions on accessing material in this collection.
Restrictions on Use
Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.
Biography of William F. Laufer
A native of Troy, Ohio, Bill graduated from Troy High School in 1951. He was employed by General Motors Aero Products for fifteen months before going on to Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he received FAA Airframe and Power Plant certificates, as well as a Private Pilot's certificate in 1954.
He worked as an aircraft mechanic for Southern Ohio Aviation Company, an Aero Commander/Navion dealership in the Dayton area for seventeen years, the last twelve years as mechanic/crew-chief. He worked on corporate twin engine aircraft for many large companies and famous people such as: WLW Broadcasting Co., Anchor-Hocking Glass Co. United States Forestry Service, State of Ohio, State of West Virginia, State of Kentucky, Jack Nicklaus, the Kettering family, and was the mechanic for the jet airplane used by the Mercury Astronauts.
Bill was always looking for a better, easier way to do things. In 1963, he developed a tool used to jack-up an aircraft so as not to damage the plane. For this he received special recognition from the FAA and was the recipient the Outstanding Aviation Mechanic's Award for the State of Ohio. Only one Ohioan is chosen each year to receive this prestigious award.
After receiving his teaching credentials from University of Cincinnati in 1971, he joined the staff at the newly opened Montgomery County Joint Vocational School (now known as Miami Valley Career Technology Center) as an instructor in their FAA Certified Aircraft Mechanic's program. It was during his tenure there that he gained certification as a Designated Mechanic's Examiner. After twenty-three years in education, he retired in 1994. He had the privilege of training and mentoring many fine students, five of whom earned first place awards in the State and National VICA (Vocational Industrial Clubs of America) Skills Contests receiving scholarships for further training, fully equipped tool boxes and great job offers. He was able to place students in jobs in the aircraft field. He maintained contact with former students over the years, often being able to help them up-grade to better jobs.
15.2 linear feet
Language of Materials
William Laufer was an aviation mechanic for the Southern Ohio Aviation Company and later, an instructor for the Miami Valley Career Technology Center teaching in their FAA Certified Aircraft Mechanic's program. The collection contains aircraft maintenance training material, general federal aviation maintenance guidance, and a variety of aircraft maintenance manuals including manuals for Beechcraft, Cessna, Douglas, and WACO airplanes. The collection also includes parts catalogs and sales brochures for propeller-driven aircraft, including aircraft engines, propellers, and a variety of parts for aircraft including gyroscopes, radios, spark plugs, and generators.
Statement of Arrangement
The collection is arranged into eight series:
- Series I: Aircraft Maintenance Training, 1943-1988
- Series II: Federal Guidance and Technical Orders, 1919-1986
- Series III: Aircraft Maintenance Manuals, Parts Catalogs, and Sales Brochures, 1928-1998
- Series IV: Aircraft Engine Maintenance Manuals, Parts Catalogs, and Sales Brochures, 1932-1992
- Series V: Propeller Maintenance Manuals, Parts Catalogs, and Sales Brochures, 1937-1977
- Series VI: General Aircraft Parts Catalogs, Maintenance Manuals, and Sales Brochures, 1938-1993
- Series VII: General Aviation Information, 1923-1997
- Series VIII: Audiovisual Material, 1929-1997
Other Finding Aid
A full finding aid for this collection is available on Special Collections & Archives, Wright State University's web site at http://www.libraries.wright.edu/special/collection_guides/guide_files/ms486.pdf.
The William Laufer Aviation Collection was donated to Special Collections and Archives by Gail R. Laufer, William Laufer's wife, in September 2013.
Books donated with the collection have been cataloged and added to the Special Collections and Archives Reading Room.
Processed by John L. Armstrong, 2015.
Genre / Form
- Guide to the William Laufer Aviation Collection (MS-486)
- Finding aid prepared by John Armstrong, 2015
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English
Part of the Special Collections Repository
Special Collections and Archives
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton OH 45435-0001 USA