Aircraft Spruce’s Jim Irwin to Sponsor #Oshbash 2017

4:23 PM

By Dan Pimentel,
Airplanista Blog Editor

I do all sorts of writing projects these days, and one of the larger gigs I just completed had to do with successful entrepreneurs. I cannot divulge any details of the project, you’ll just have to watch my Twitter feed for an announcement of how you can read more about what I discovered. But it really allowed me to deep dive into the minds of these entrepreneurs, and I found that they all have traits and habits that are strikingly similar.
So when I went searching my digital Rolodex for someone to sponsor Airplanista’s #Oshbash social media meetup event this year at Oshkosh, I stopped looking when I saw Jim Irwin’s name. He and his family started Aircraft Spruce and Specialty Co. decades ago, and I was lucky to have recently profiled him for one of my In Depth articles in Flying Magazine.   

Jim agreed to sponsor this blog’s 2017 event, so I can announce that just like last year, we will again be serving that ridiculously great Bacon Jerky from Pork Barrel BBQ. How good is it? I went through 60 bags of it in 90 minutes at #Oshbash 2016, and am increasing the order this year so everyone can get some of what people have called “the official snack food of #Avgeeks everywhere.”

Jim Irwin and his family are the kinds of entrepreneurs we can all learn something from. They possess many of the required traits any successful person in business needs to have. The first – and probably the most important – is a desire to listen to their customers. That is true in any business, but in a business that sells aircraft parts and supplies, knowing what to stock is a key differential between success and failure. The company has deep roots in the experimental aircraft world and maintains a very good relationship with EAA. Over the years, Aircraft Spruce has never stopped asking what their customers need to build better aircraft.
Back in the day, it was high-quality spruce to craft ships with a wood skeleton, but when kitplanes became white hot as Rutan’s designs became popular, the Irwin family pivoted and started selling those kits as fast as they could get them out the warehouse door. And when composite designs came on the experimental scene, they pivoted again and started stocking the complex menu of supplies those builders needed to form a strange array of plastics into new and sophisticated airplanes.
I will be interviewing Jim Irwin at #Oshbash 2017, and discussing something about him and his company you may not know about. We’ll also hopefully dig a bit into the wisdom of this man and his family, to see if we can inspire you to be more successful in your job or business. And between now and July 25th when we hold #Oshbash in the Press Tent (more info at I will be rounding up some other interesting entrepreneurs to interview, some big ones you might know, and others with only a dream and gobs of ambition.
If you are a successful business person – or someone with a great idea for an aviation start-up – contact me via email here and let’s see if we can get you on the program for the evening.
Remember, if you love aviation social media, you will really dig the scene at my #Oshbash events. Come and enjoy a room full of #avgeeks, those insanely cool people who love technology as much as they do flying machines. Grab a cold soda, meet face-to-face with some of the people you may have been talking to on Twitter, and stuff your pie hole with the best Bacon Jerky you have ever tasted. It starts at 530P on Tuesday, July 25th in the EAA Press Tent at AirVenture…and for vectors to find that venue, visit and scroll to the “venue” section.

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