When industrial hydraulic lines technician Tom Swearengen was fabricating fluid lines for companies operating big manufacturing machines in Beaufort, South Carolina years ago, little did he know where life would take him. One day he was contacted by Lee Logan, a former Marine fighter pilot, who wanted some brake lines for his “Rocket.” Baffled, Tom did not even know that rockets had brakes. A trip to Logan’s shop revealed that this F1 Rocket had tandem seating and a monster Lycoming engine. Tom fell in with Lee and helped him finish the Rocket and that point, Swearengen was hooked.
Soon, other Rocket builders got wind of Tom’s incredibly precise work and his unbending will to provide exactly the right fuel, oil and brake lines that would be strong and reliable. Word then circulated through the Van’s AirForce web page and Tom found that he was doing more work for home builders in his garage at night than he did for industrial customers during the day. He took the plunge and started TS Flightlines, dedicated to serving the home building community.
Several years later, Steve Tshurwald, who operated Aircraft Specialty company out of Milwaukee, learned about Tom’s work, and contacted him about joining forces. Both figured that Tom’s design work and Steve’s manufacturing prowess could combine to provide products to aircraft builders that far surpassed what was then on the market. The two joined forces to create Aircraft Specialty Flightlines, dedicated to providing fuel, oil and brake lines specifically for aircraft builders. They made their debut appearance at AirVenture this year, with a tent at the ultralight, light sport field.
Aircraft Specialty Flightlines does not buy fittings from others to graft onto lines, they design and build the fittings themselves. All fittings are designed to meet or exceed Mil-spec. They do not use extruded rigid tubing or brazing for their fittings. All tubes are CNC milled directly from 304 billet aluminum bar stock and then bent to spec. They are eager to build any teflon hose assembly for any experimental aircraft. For example, they can provide all of the fuel, oil and brake lines for 50 different iterations of the Van’s RV-14. Currently, Aircraft Spruce sources all of their custom made lines from Aircraft Specialty Flightlines. You can find their lines on aircraft built by Synergy, Rans, Zenith and even on Mike Patey’s Scrappy. Many builders appreciate having a custom product company dedicated to the experimental community. For more information, visit asflightlines.com.