A quick look back at the progress in 2017 is a good reminder of where all the effort went to. There were lots of airplanes that came through the hangar, and some were sold without even making the trip to Birr Airfield. Probably the most exciting assignment was being retained to find a Pitts S2B on an EASA register. Lots of letters and phone calls resulted in G-IIII being the best option, and what a superb job Nick Houghton the Pitts guru from Leicester had done on restoring it. The airplane was flawless and is happily living in a heated hangar in Geneva where the new owner flies it daily.
Less exciting, but very active for us, were restoration projects of which we sold 6 during the year. Robin Aiglon to Belarus, Piper Lance to Germany, Maule to Russia, Diamond Katana to Czech, Piper Saratoga to Germany and Cessna 152 to Hungary. Some of our own airplanes to fly the nest during the year were the Piper Pacer "Lil Red" which went back to France, the Beech Sundowner to Belgium and the Piper Colt which stayed locally. Lots of brokered airplanes found new owners both in Ireland and abroad. A Tobago went to Redhill for restoration and the Piper Navajo hopped back to Yorkshire where she belongs on the racing circuit. Cessna 172's were hard to come by and G-GWYN didn't last long before finding a new home in Weston. LAA Rotax 912 powered aircraft are at a premium and the Alpi Pioneer 200 G-CEMA sold in record time to folks in Carrickmore. Some of our own projects are still on the road to recovery, the Luscombe 8A and Cherokee 140 should be light on their feet in early 2018.
Hard to credit the Piper Cherokee 180 EI-BBC with so much money spent on it, couldn't find an owner before the winter set in, but we hope springtime will bring a new owner for her. In between projects, parts, brokerage and prepping aircraft for sale we managed to find lots of time to fly our own Piper Arrow IV Turbo and the Alpi Pioneer 300 which really is the best part of being in the airplane business. The goal was always to have wonderful airplanes that you can just turn the key in and fly away!