Our Aviation Heritage
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Aviation has long been a part of Benz Engineering’s heritage. Five generations of pilots dating back to the early 1920's.
Roy “Bud” Coleman’s Great Grandfather, Manuel de Arozarena, was a Captain in the Cuban Air Force during the early 1920's. He was the first Cuban pilot to train in the United States. He received pilot training at both March Field in Riverside, California and at Kelly AFB in San Antonio, Texas.
Both of Bud’s Grandfathers, Roy H. Coleman, Sr. and Manuel “Manny” Arozarena Atkins, were aviation pioneers. Roy Sr. was an airmail pilot, A&E licensed mechanic and manager for National Air Transport from 1928-1941 at Chicago Midway Airport, which later became United Airlines. During this time, he knew and worked on airplanes that belonged to American Aviators Speed Holman; Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart. His A&E license number was in the 800s. In 1941, he received a Government appointment to the CAA responsible for the Eastern Section Airline Maintenance Operations. During WWII, he was commissioned a Captain in the U.S. Army Air Corp in 1942 and sent to Wright Patterson as Chief Modification Project Engineer for the B-17, P-51, and B-29 aircraft. In 1943, he was sent to Bell Aircraft Corporation, Marietta, Georgia Division and from 1943-1945; he was Bell Aircraft's Manager of Operations, Modification Center and Flight Operations. From 1945-1950, Bell Aircraft Corporation, Niagara Falls Division, served as Helicopter Division Manager, part of the original Bell "Gardenville Group" that included rotorcraft inventor Arthur Young and Bell's first rotorcraft test pilot Floyd Carlson. While at Bell Niagara, Roy Sr. also served as Quality Director and Asst. to Vice President of Manufacturing, and was responsible for obtaining the world's first Rotorcraft Type Certificate, Certificate No. 1, for the Bell NC-1H Helicopter. In 1950, Roy Sr. was sent to Fort Worth, Texas with responsibilities for the site location and setting up manufacturing operations for Bell's new helicopter division. Before retiring from Bell Helicopter, Roy Sr. held positions that included: Manager of Manufacturing, Vice President of Manufacturing, and Vice President of Operations. He was a member of the American Helicopter Society, Society of Automotive Engineers, Air Force Association and original member of the OX-5 Club for aviation pioneers.
Bud’s Grandfather, “Manny” Arozarena Atkins received his pilot's and A&E license while attending Roosevelt Aviation School in Mineola, NY from1935-1936. He was friends and barnstormed with Herman "Fish" Salmon, a well known air racer and test pilot for the Lockheed Corporation during the early days. He was a mechanic for Pan American Airways in Miami, Florida (1936-1938) and Boeing Aircraft Co. in Seattle, Washington (1938-1940). He was an aircraft inspector for Boeing Seattle in 1941 before leaving for Florida to become a WWII Naval Instructor at NAS, Jacksonville. He joined Bell Aircraft Corporation, Marietta, Georgia Division, in 1944 serving as Superintendent responsible for B-29 modifications. In 1951, he moved to Fort Worth, Texas with the Bell Helicopter Company as Factory Manager. From 1960-1973, he was Bell Helicopter's Works Manager and from 1973-1976 he was Vice President of Manufacturing. In 1976, he was named Vice President of Operations before leaving for Iran to head up Bell Helicopter's new Iran Division, which manufactured the Bell 214A "Huey Plus" for the Imperial Iranian Army. Manuel was also a member of the American Helicopter Society, Society of Automotive Engineers and the OX-5 Club for aviation pioneers.
Bud’s Father, Roy H. Coleman, Jr., is an accomplished business pilot with well over 6,000 hours logged. He holds single-engine, multi-engine, instrument, instructor, commercial, airplane, rotorcraft and sea plane ratings since receiving his private pilot's license in 1956 at the age of 18 years old at Meacham Airport in Fort Worth, Texas. He has owned several aircraft that included a Piper J-3 Cub, highly modified Cessna 182SG Skylane, Bell 47G-2A Helicopter, Beechcraft Model 76 Duchess, Beechcraft Model V35B Bonanza, and a Beechcraft Model A36 Bonanza. Early in his aviation career, Roy Jr. flew a Bell Model 47 helicopter as a crop duster spraying fields in Ruleville, Mississippi at the age of 21. Afterwards, he worked and flew for Stanley Aviation in Denver, Colorado and for Fort Worth aviation pioneer Maurice Hunter "Pappy" Spinks, a renowned aerobatic competitor and aviation manufacturer. While at Air Lab Services (ALSCO) in Fort Worth, Texas, it was Roy Jr. who inspired Pappy Spinks to build nearby Oak Grove Airport, which later became known as "Spinks Airport", one of three public airports currently owned by the City of Fort Worth. In 1964, Roy Jr. started his own business, Benz Sales & Engineering, with aspirations for developing advanced, high-technology aircraft systems and sensors aimed at improving overall system reliability, performance and safety of flight. His efforts, combined with the effort provided by several key partnerships that he developed with top aviation industry manufacturers, business development partnerships that still exist today, proved highly successful with the industry wide use of our product developments on numerous aircraft applications. Today, Benz is a well regarded engineering and development company, recognized for providing advanced technology and high quality safety related devices and electrical systems for the aerospace, defense, marine, test instrumentation & measurement, and resource exploration & production industries. Benz holds several patents and has generated numerous technical publications and FAA Supplemental Type Certificates for its product developments. Some of Benz's product developments include: New and Advanced Engine Torque Pressure Indicating System for the U.S. Air Force UH-1N Helicopter, Bell 212/412 Helicopter, Beech King Air, DeHavilland Twin Otter, Piper Cheyenne, P&W PT6 Engine and other military and commercial users; Auto-Fault Chip Detection and Monitoring System used by the U.S. Army on the AH-64 Apache Helicopter, Army TH-67, U.S. Navy TH-57, Navy P-3, U.S. Coast Guard C-130 & HH-65 Helicopter, and USMC V-22 Osprey; and Electronic Continuity Sensor "ECS" System being used by the U.S. Army on the UH-60 Blackhawk, Army M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle.
Bud’s first experiences included training in a J-3 Cub and a Bell model 47 helicopter at around the age of 16. He soon after received his pilot's license and has since gained experience flying single engine, multi-engine and rotorcraft with most of his time in a Beech V35B Bonanza. He currently holds his single-engine, private pilot and instrument ratings. Bud’s oldest son Beau Coleman is the fifth generation pilot in the Coleman family.