In 1956, Flo and Bob Irwin founded Fullerton Air Parts in Southern California. Bob was an active pilot, and Flo had good business sense and a passion for service. After several years, the Irwins sold that business and started a new one in 1965 — Aircraft Spruce. While the company initially sold only the timber mentioned in the name, it quickly grew into a one-stop shop for homebuilders and restorers, and was renamed Aircraft Spruce & Specialty. Starting with just Flo and Bob in 1965, today the company employs more than 150 people.
Bob owned and flew a Vultee BT-13B, a 1949 Navion, and a 1968 Navion Rangemaster that he used to travel with until he retired from flying after 50 years as a pilot. The Aircraft Spruce catalog is to generations of homebuilders what the Sears “wish book” was to a generation of kids — a sort of magic shopping list that overflows with the stuff dreams are made of.
Flo died in 1989, and Bob followed in 2015 at age 95. The Irwins’ legacy of service, quality products, and passionate dedication to the aviation community lives on as their children and grandchildren continue the family business in the form of both Aircraft Spruce & Specialty and ACS Products Co., which manufactures products distributed by Aircraft Spruce.
Phillip J. Lockwood
Lance A. Neibauer
John W. Dyke
William W. Ghan
Paul H. Poberezny