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Ted Smith

Ted Smith sold his interest in Aero Commander to Rockwell and by 1966 had completed the first mockup of the Aerostar and production commenced in 1967, with finance from American Cement, at Van Nuys. Occupied a new factory at Van Nuys, California, in 1968. Airframe concerned claimed to have only about 50 percent of components used in comparable types, with loads carried by unstiffened sections of metal skin. Some vertical and horizontal surfaces interchangeable.

Ted Smith then sold out to the American Cement Company, which, Smith says, simply didn't know how to run an aircraft business and consequently ran Aerostar into the ground before finally selling out to Butler Aviation, another firm with no experience in manufacture. Butler did nothing with the Aerostar, and eventually, Smith was able to buy back the company and a large inventory of parts at a much lower price than that at which he had sold out in the first place. This sequence of events is crucial; it amounted to a huge gift to Smith, who found himself able to sell a comparatively exotic airplane of excellent performance at unnaturally low prices, because he obtained his parts - enough of them to make hundreds of airplanes in some cases - at a huge discount. Thus, after only a short time in business, Smith could boast of a 10-percent annual return (before taxes), one of the highest in the industry.

In 1972 became Ted R. Smith and Associates Inc, further developing Aerostar range. During 1976 the company was renamed the Ted Smith Aerostar Corp and later that year Ted Smith died.
During March 1978 Piper acquired the Aerostar.
In 1991 the Aerostar Type Certificate and manufacturing documentation were purchased by J.Christy & S.Spencer, former employees of Ted Smith Aerostar Corp. They began to operate a maintenance, support and parts service in the name of Aerostar Aircraft Corp.




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