In celebration of our 70th anniversary of providing specialized services to the international aerospace industry, we take a look back at the evolution of FIELD and the major milestones we have passed along the way.
In 1947, the Hunting Group of the U.K. created a photographic survey company in Ontario, Canada. This business expanded through the purchase of Weston Aircraft of Oshawa, Ontario which added design, manufacturing, service and maintenance capabilities in support of Photographic Survey Corporation and was renamed Field Aviation.
Soon thereafter, in the mid-1950s, we opened facilities at the international airports in Calgary and Toronto. Our Calgary facility provided maintenance and support to the growing number of aircraft used in oil and gas explorations, while our Toronto facility specialized in taking standard transport aircraft and modifying them for special-purpose applications such as aerial photography and geophysical survey.
Aircraft Modification Becomes Our Cornerstone
Each decade has brought new capabilities for Field. Throughout the '70s and '80s, we became internationally recognized as the foremost expert in reclaiming and repairing accident-damaged aircraft - performing salvage operations on every continent from Canada's high Arctic to South America and Africa.
In the '90s, its innovative aerospace engineering capabilities ushered in a new era with aircraft fire-fighting systems and modification services. These services included restorations, cargo conversions and interior reconfigurations, as well as major air frame inspections and aircraft painting. In addition, in 1994, Field Aviation was selected as the special mission modifier for the Australian Coastwatch Dash 8 program.
By the early 2000s, Field Aviation had achieved international acclaim for its wide range of capabilities in the modification of regional and business aircraft for missionized operations by designing, manufacturing, testing, certifying and delivering state-of-the-art missionized aircraft. Between 1992 and 2017, Field Aviation has been involved in the creation of 45 special mission aircraft.
Parts Manufacturing Rounds Out Our Capabilities
In 2011, Calgary operations discontinued the MRO business, transferred the interior reconfiguration activity to Toronto, and focused on manufacturing build-to-print parts and sub-assembly work for major OEM’s such as Bombardier, Viking and Boeing, in a new 77,000 sq. ft. facility located just off airport property.
Field Aviation Becomes a U.S. Company
About a year later in 2012, a privately held U.S. company, Amavco which was renamed Field Aerospace, acquired Field Aviation from Hunting. Field Aerospace retained Field Aviation’s senior management and invested in its Canadian operations driving business improvements.
Field Completes Acquisition of ARINC Aerospace Systems Engineering & Support from Rockwell-Collins, Commencing U.S. Operations
In 2015, Field Aerospace then acquired ARINC Aerospace Systems Engineering and Support (ASES LLC) in Oklahoma City from Rockwell Collins, expanding its modification, maintenance and sustainment capabilities into the United States. The addition of ASES, which was renamed Field Aerospace, brought more than 25 years of experience developing and delivering systems engineering and integration solutions to the U.S. government and aerospace and defense industry. This is in addition to the many highly experienced staff, and hangar and production facilities totaling over 350,000 sq. ft.
ASES was formed in 1990 when ARINC established this business unit, in both Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Warner Robins, Georgia to support the U.S. Airforce with Contractor Logistics Support and upgrade programs. These included the installation of the first FAA approved military GPS receiver and flight management system in C-5, C-9, E-4, and KC-10 aircraft as well as engineering support with the C-130 and KC-135 Program Management Office.
By 2001, ASES had opened its first hangar facility at Vance Air Force Base in Enid, Oklahoma to perform NVIS modifications and a cockpit upgrade on aircraft for South America. In 2003 ASES provided international support on avionics modernization for the Netherlands KDC-10 tankers to meet European Airspace Requirements, and due to growth in other programs, moved to a larger hangar at Sundance Airpark to modify Cessna Citation and C-26 aircraft.
By 2007, as aircraft related business expanded, ASES built a new hangar facility at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City. This site was part of the acquisition by Field Aerospace and remains in its current Oklahoma City location providing engineering expertise in aircraft operations, structural and systems design, avionics, electrical systems, instrumentation and testing, and modification services.
Sure to Set the Standard For Years to Come
Today, Field Aerospace in the U.S. and Field Aviation in Canada, have over 500 employees across 4 North American locations. With corporate offices in Cincinnati and engineering and manufacturing locations in Oklahoma City, Toronto, and Calgary, Field is increasingly well positioned to meet the needs of its global customer base. As a market innovator, we're committed to constantly meeting new requirements and technological opportunities by always adapting to embrace the dramatic changes the world of aviation has undergone.