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Airline History

Airline History

Airline History

1949 M. Joseph Loughran founded Airline Equipment Company to distribute pneumatic tools and accessories in Philadelphia. At that time, the city had a vibrant industrial manufacturing economy with companies like Baldwin Lima Hamilton, Midvale Heppenstall, Westinghouse Electric and Philco employing thousands of workers. All of these companies bought air tools from our Company, at that time named “Airline Equipment Company” because we sold equipment used in conjunction with the air lines in factories. The Company was very successful and, with its growing reputation, Airline Equipment Company became referred to simply as “Airline”. “Call Airline for the tools you need.”

As the local industrial economy diminished, so did the strong need for air tools. Airline then shifted into the pneumatics business, selling air valves and cylinders to a greater geographic area. Airline also started to branch out into other technologies to better serve our industrial customers.

1967 The Company was offered the exclusive distribution rights for the Vickers line of hydraulics, which nearly doubled the size of the Company overnight. At the time, Vickers was the worldwide leader in hydraulics.

The name Airline Equipment Company would not do justice to this new activity of selling hydraulic equipment, but we did not want to give up the name “Airline,” since that name was so well known by our customers. So we adopted the new name “Airline Hydraulics Company” to indicate our new direction. Later, we changed from “company” to “corporation” arriving at our current name — Airline Hydraulics Corporation.

1968 M. Joseph Loughran’s son, Joseph E. Loughran, joined the Company.

1972 Joseph E. Loughran opened the Company’s first branch in Baltimore, MD.

1981 Joseph and his brother, Robert Loughran, purchased the Company stock from their father, who retired from the business.

1986 Joseph bought out his younger brother’s interest in the business to become sole shareholder.

Joseph E. Loughran and his father,
M. Joseph Loughran pictured above.

As the demand for hydraulic and pneumatic products and services grew, branch operations were established in York, PA; Bethlehem, PA and Edison, NJ. As our capabilities and positive reputation grew, customers demanded solutions to a wider array of machine problems, so Airline further broadened its product offering to include automation products such as sensors, PLC’s and motion control products from Omron Electronics, SMC Pneumatics and many others.


Airline launched our Marine and Mobile Systems group in Ocean View, NJ. As a distributor of Braden, Gearmatic, and Pullmaster winch products, Airline Marine and Mobile Systems also provides customized systems and excellent field service capabilities for the marine and mobile hydraulic markets.

1998 Mannesmann Rexroth (now Bosch Rexroth) appointed Airline as their distributor in the Mid-Atlantic States. Both Airline and Rexroth made major commitments to be the leading provider of fluid power and automation equipment in the region. Airline’s investment in sales and engineering resources was rewarded when Rexroth eventually consolidated their distribution network in the Northeast and expanded Airline’s sales territory.

2000 Airline was asked by Rexroth to increase market share in New England, resulting in the creation of our Fitchburg, MA office which relocated to North Billerica, MA in January 2007.

2002 As part of an asset purchase agreement, Airline acquired the services of key personnel at Weinman Pump and Supply in Pittsburgh, PA and New York State. As a result, our Pittsburgh branch office was opened and Bosch Rexroth and other manufacturers named Airline as their distributor in this marketplace.

2005 Airline and JLS Automation of York, PA enter into an asset purchase agreement whereby Bosch Rexroth transferred the distribution rights of their motion control product line to Airline. To emphasize our electric drives, motors, and motion control products and services, we officially introduced our Electro Drive & Control Group as a division of Airline Hydraulics Corp. 2005 was also the year when Airline Hydraulics became a 100% employee-owned company (or ESOP Company).

2008 Airline acquired certain assets of Phenix Automation in Rochester, New York and T Motion, also located in Rochester. Airline was appointed exclusive distributor for all Rexroth automation products and opened a branch location in Rochester, NY.

2009 Airline formed an independent Board of Directors whose initial task was to provide guidance in the selection process of a new CEO.


Airline CEO Joseph Miceli pictured above.

2010 Joseph A. Miceli was named as the new Chief Executive Officer of Airline Hydraulics Corporation. Former CEO, Joseph Loughran, remains as Chairman of Airline’s Board of Directors.

2011 Airline acquired the shares of Fluid Power Automation LLC, a technology distributor of pneumatic and electric machine automation products located in North Kingston, RI. Our distribution agreements with SMC and Omron were extended throughout New England shortly thereafter.

2012 Airline completed the acquisition of Innovative Automation & Controls Inc., an electrical controls and automation components distributor located in Owings Mills, MD. Later that year, Airline acquired Fluid Power Service Corporation located in Lancaster, NY, near Buffalo. Fluid Power Service has been in business since 1981, providing hydraulic system solutions and the service, repair and installation of industrial and mobile hydraulic machinery.

2015 Airline Hydraulics Corporation acquired Hanover Controls & Supply Corporation, an automation and industrial controls distributor located in Ashland, VA.



Today, Airline has branches and sales offices from Maine to Virginia providing local customer service and technical expertise.


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