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Kate Tiffany of Spring Valley, Ohio, has her mind, heart, and hands immersed in aviation. With an impish twinkle in her dark brown eyes, she unabashedly blazes her own creative pathway to inspire and educate others regarding myriad facets of aviation.
Long ago, she nurtured bright hopes of learning to fly as soon as her children were grown. Then she met an unforgettable character — an aviator and airplane restorer who had a novel approach to the concept of a first date.
“Jack Tiffany showed up at my house with a Monocoupe door and an iron! He already knew I liked to sew,” Kate fondly recalls, “so he showed me how to do airplane fabric work. I really enjoyed it, and that’s how I got hooked on working on airplanes!”
Kate with one of the Fairchild 24 ribs she built.
It wasn’t long until Kate took the plunge and married Jack. From 1989 on, she’s been hands-on with award-winning restorations including three antique parasol-wing Davis aircraft, a 1930 KR-21 biplane, a 1930 Waco INF, a clip-wing Cub, a 1948 Vagabond, a 1932 Pitcairn PA-18 autogiro, and a Fleet 10D that is in the Venezuelan Air Force Museum.
“All the while, I had two kids growing up and I was teaching social studies full time in a vocational school. I had the summers off, and after learning how to do fabric and paint, I painted the final coat of orange on a Davis’ wing — that was exciting! Jack showed me how to paint the N-numbers, and do pin-striping, which was really fun,” smiles Kate. “I used a brand new HVLP paint gun, because that was my graduation gift when I earned
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