By Chris Green
ROCKFORD — Code 1 Aviation, a vintage aircraft restoration facility, is the latest business to set up shop at the Chicago Rockford International Airport.
Code 1 Aviation recently moved to a hanger at RFD and will provide aircraft maintenance, restoration, avionics, sales, training and consulting services for owners and operators of ex-military, “warbird”-type aircraft. The company currently provides maintenance services to clients around the world.
Code 1 Aviation, which also operates a facility in Lakeland, Fla., has 12 employees at its Rockford base.
“Our team includes structural and sheet metal specialists, avionics and systems technicians, engine and airframe mechanics, and more,” Code 1 Aviation President Nathan Jones said in a news release. “We also provide import/export services, crating and shipping and other specialty services.”
The business has made a name for itself in restoring L-39s, Yugoslavian jets.
“It’s a small market, but a high-end market,” RFD Director Mike Dunn said Wednesday. “It’s a good fit for the airport. It’s perfect for what we are trying to do in not only attracting big MROs (maintenance, repair and operations) but smaller MRO operations, too.”
‘Code 1’ is a military aviation term for an aircraft that is in perfect condition and is ready to fly with no discrepancies.
Code 1 Aviation mechanics specialize in repairing and restoring World War II fighters, 1950s-era jet fighters, MiGs and various other Eastern-bloc aircraft, and even helicopters. Code 1 Aviation also will provide aircraft sales and brokering for aircraft owners and for those in the market to buy an aircraft.