Greetings from The Aero Experience Team


The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Aero Experience Mid-West Tour 2016: Dodson International Parts in Rantoul, KS

By Mark Nankivil
Beautiful blue skies greeted us Monday morning as we headed south from Olathe to Rantoul, Kansas.  Just south of town is Dodson International Parts, the company that buys and sells used aircraft and parts.  It is a fascinating place, with so many aircraft types in their inventory.  We saw U.S. registered aircraft along with registries from around world.  As you pull into the facilities, you cannot help but notice the Lockheed Jetstar mounted high above the ground in front of the offices and  

From the parking lot, you look off to the north to a sea of aircraft and parts ranging from single engine Cessna, Piper, and Beechcraft hulks and miscellaneous others to portions of airliners such as 737s and DC-9s.  Even modern types like the ATR-42, Dornier Do-328 Jet and Embraer ERJ190 can be found.  Biz Jets abound, with various models of the Gulfstream series, Bombardier Global Express, Lockheed JetStar and smaller types such as Lears, Falcons, Beech 400s and a few Raytheon Premiers. Even helicopters are accounted for in the inventory along with U.S. Coast Guard HU-25s (specialized Falcon 20) representing retired military aircraft types.  The variety of types was astonishing and fascinating, making for a challenging aircraft ID quiz as we walked thru the storage areas.

Our visit to Dodson led to a visit across the road to a private airfield which is home to a Lockheed Lodestar, three Douglas C-54s (DC-4), a Convair C-131 and a Douglas DC-3.  T two of the three C-54s still have their drop doors from their fire fighting days. The C-131 has faded markings from its days with the Montana air National Guard and the DC-3 is totally devoid of any markings on the outside.  A very interesting place to visit.

The Aero Experience wishes to thank Donielle Dodson for her time and energy allowing us to really take in all of the aircraft.

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