Charles T Vogelsong, Dillsburg Aeroplane Works, Dillsburg PA.

I have been buying straight gauge 4130 aircraft seamless tubing from Dillsburg Aeroplane since about 1994 [and Fat City bought tubes since 1982]. I tried to place an order last week only to find that old Charles is closing up shop 😦    I always new that Charles was old and he had a very particular way of doing business, that the new builders could not deal with 😉 He had no website and I have been using this same price sheet since 2001. You had to give your information and order in a certain way and talk very clear and loud. Every single time I have called, it is like placing a new order and he had never heard of me before 😉

While trying to place my last order Charles kept saying that was out of stock, then he finally said “You are going to have to buy that from Wick’s Aircraft” “I am selling out to Wick’s” My wife has been bugging me to get out of this business…I am 93 years old” I have been doing this for 65 years and I have had enough”

You might think well so what? You can also buy aircraft tubing from Aircraft Spruce. And besides most bikes are made from…bike tubing, not aircraft tubing. While this is true, I still use a lot of aircraft tubing for all of my cargo type bikes, ladies step through frames and or any frame that has curved tubes. Plus all my stems and handlebars and some racks. Also the Dillsburg shop was really helpful for the early days of Mountain bike building.

When companies like Fat City Cycles started there were no oversized 4130 tubes for making these new off road bikes and no bent stays to fit over fat tires, so most builders had to improvise with this aircraft tubing. And some companies like Fat City sort of got stuck making their rear stays out of non-tapered tubing, because it became a style that the bikes were known for. Thousands and thousands of Fat Chance bike were built with tubing from Dillsburg Aeroplane and old Charles will be missed.


I have several demo bikes for sale and one more coming soon.

The Redbones Bike Party is coming soon. Monday June 6th.

After Redbones I think I am about all showed out. While all these bike events are fun, give my business a lot of exposure and such, I am just to busy and to burned out to continue with them. I think ANT is going to take a break from bike events for one year and just concentrate of working on my orders.

On that note…boy is it springtime! I am so busy and so far behind of my delivery. That has been getting me down and very overwhelmed with not being able to deliver on time for many people. I have bumped any new order out to 12 months, to try and keep it all in the real zone. Now it is just a matter of getting caught up on several orders that are in the works now. I did take a break to install a screen door of my office/shop entrance 🙂 The ventilation is not so great on my work space and I am going to do a few other small improvements to fix that.


About antbikemike

Bicycle frame builder
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5 Responses to “Vogelsong”

  1. Tony Pereira says:

    93 years old! Awesome. Awesome tribute to Charles too. Thanks for adding the bit of history too.

  2. Dave Talsma says:

    No new pics?? hint, hint…

  3. Mitch Pryor says:

    I’ll miss the cover of that catalog.

  4. Retiring at 93 years old?? Damn, that’s hardcore : )

    I think you are making the right decision regarding the bike shows; there are just too many of them. We will try to make it to Redbones this time and take some pictures though.

    That large bike above the “demo bikes” link is beautiful.

  5. peter weigle says:

    I started buying tubing from Charles in 1982 to build some of my mountain bikes.
    Terse on the phone, but always helpful whenever I asked a “real”question.
    My Dad flew in the war, and then was an old school corporate pilot, we were allowed to talk about this,,, once,,,, and only briefly.
    Not one to chit-chat as he had steel to ship!

    My “new” catalog is 1996 and has yellow highlighter just like Mikes.
    When I asked Charles for this I remember him saying, “what happened to your old one”???
    When I drive down to Cirque I see signs for Dillsburg (town), now I wished I had taken the detour to stop in (for just a moment!) to say hello to the man.
    End of another era, for sure.

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