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Tigers: Tracking a Legend
Allen H. Meyers
Allen H. Meyers was born in Allenhurst, New Jersey on September 4, 1908, and went on to become one of Michigan's foremost aircraft designers, builders and manufactures.
While in high school, Meyers enlisted in the New York National Guard and went for a ride in a military biplane trainer. By the time he graduated, he decided to pursue a career in aviation.
Meyers took a job in 1928 as an apprentice sheet-metal worker for the Chance Vought Corp. in Hartford, Connecticut where he built Corsairs. He soloed at the Curtis Flying School on Long Island in an OX-5 powered "Jenny."
After spending three years barnstorming the country, he settled in Detroit and became a sheet-metal worker with Stinson Aircraft in Wayne.
In 1933, he started building his first airplane in a garage in Wayne with the help of his brother Otto, and his friends Ray Betzoldt and Pard Diver. The finished product was a handsome machine they called OTW (Out to Win). Meyers made the first flight on May 10, 1936 from Wayne County Airport. He received his Approved Type Certificate on February 18, 1941.
In 1939, Meyers bought an old farm in Tecumseh, cleared the land, and built an airport, hanger, and factory. During the early 1940s, the plant turned out OTW bi-planes as fast as possible. When production ended in 1943, exactly 100 OTWs were built. At last count, more than 60 are now flying or being restored.
Meyers also developed and built the ME-165W before Meyers Aircraft Co. signed a contract with Applegate & Weyant Co. in 1947 to manufacture the A & W Dart. A year later, Meyers built the MAC-145 which was an all-metal, enclosed-cabin aircraft described as a most beautiful machine that pilots could easily enjoy. It was the ultimate airplane that was built by Meyers after a history of building airplanes in Michigan. The Tecumseh airport has been designated the Meyers-Diver Airport to honor he and his old partner.
Meyers passed away on March 15, 1976 at the age of 68.
Allen H. Meyers was enshrined into the Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame on October 6, 2001.