At first glance, the square-footage it occupies at Addison Airport seems out of scale of the product that is part of its name, and that might be true if that was the only aviation service DFW Instrument Corporation provides. The repair and overhaul of precision aircraft instruments is where the FAA Repair Station started in 1990.
It embodies the aviation diversity of instrument sales, exchange, and support, and avionics installations and repairs. It manufactures, repairs, and calibrates flight line test equipment for aircraft pitot/static systems, the source of critical altitude and airspeed information. And when a general aviation or business aircraft cannot fly due to inoperative equipment, its Field Support Team can troubleshoot and repair most avionics squawks anywhere in the greater DFW area.
These services, provided by 25 employees led by James Zollo, president, who founded the company with his wife, Nina, fill every corner of the company’s 20,000-square-feet on Addison’s Hangar 2. Repair, engineering, and shop space account for 7,400 square feet, administrative areas occupy another 3,100 with the remainder dedicated to aircraft undergoing work.
Developed at the dawn of the jet age, the propeller-driven Douglas Aircraft Company Skyraider filled a vital niche for the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force. Slated to replace the dive and torpedo bombers then in naval service during World War II, the single-seat prototype Skyraider first flew on March 18, 1945.
The first production AD-1 was delivered in December 1946 and the design played an important role in the Korean War. Flown by Navy and Marine squadrons, it was the backbone of close air support and ground attack operations. Though the plane was never designed for air-to-air combat, Navy Skyraider pilots shot down enemy fighters during Korea and Vietnam, a further testament to its abilities.
With its 18-cylinder, 2,700-hp Wright R-3350 radial engine and ample fuel, it had a combat radius (that included 10-hour missions) that far surpassed the fuel-hungry jets. Its straight wing gave it excellent maneuverability and the seven hard points under each of them, with another under the fuselage, enabled it to carry an impressive 8,000 pounds of ordinance, more than a four-engine B-17 Flying Fortress, loaded for combat with its crew of 10.