Aero Flite Trailers
"America's Smartest Trailers"
Aero Lines, Incorporated
The company that built Aero Flite trailers had its roots in the early days of aviation, as the Wally Timm Company. During World War II the company operated under the name Aero Services, Incorporated and repaired military and commercial aircraft. As the war began to come to an end, the directors of Aero Services decided to build trailers to try to sustain the company after war-related contracts were canceled.
The company entered the trailer industry in 1945 with a brand named “Aero Flite.” Two prototype trailers were built by employees of Aero Services, Inc., before the company went bankrupt and sold its equipment. The prototypes were referred to in company records as “pilots.”
Aero Flite trailers were introduced to the public on December 8, 1945, in front of the world famous Beverly Hills Hotel. The glamorous hotel provided a fitting backdrop against which to introduce one of the most elegant trailers designed and built for the public. The “unveiling” was hosted by Hal Sackett of Long Beach, California, western distributor for the Aero Flite brand of trailers. Sackett had paid Aero Services the sum of $25,000 for the rights to distribute the trailers west of the Mississippi River. Sackett was accompanied by the trailer’s designer, Frederick C. Hoffman, and J. H. Nicholson, both of whom were employees of Aero Services.
In early 1946, Aero Lines, Incorporated was founded as a division of Aero Services, Incorporated, for the purpose of building and selling house trailers. Shortly after it was founded, the Aero Lines division was sold by Aero Services to Hussey's children. Ironically, or by design, Aero Lines outlived Aero Services, which went bankrupt in mid-1946. Aero Lines built an estimated 110 to 120 trailers between 1946 and early 1949. The trailers were built in the same factory at Van Nuys Municipal Airport in which the men and women of Aero Services had rebuilt war-ravaged airplanes and helped America to win the war.
The company endured financial struggles from the start. On March 1, 1946, company directors approved borrowing funds from Bank of America to help the company to meet its obligations. Later that same month the directors met and approved sale of the real estate parcels Aero Lines had purchased from Aero Services a few months earlier. Hussey had also been loaning money to Aero Lines during 1946 and 1947, and the company was receiving loans in 1946 and 1947 from Palmdale Airport Company. A former employee of Aero Lines reported that the company often had to sell a trailer before it could buy materials to build the next trailer.
Aero Flite trailers were unique in their design and high quality in their materials and workmanship. They were introduced into the marketplace at a time when there was high demand for trailers and a booming market. Despite these factors, Aero Lines was unable to sustain itself and discontinued operations in late 1948 or early 1949.
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