Trade-A-Plane celebrates 75 years as general aviation’s pre-eminent marketplace

This year, 2012, marks the 75th anniversary of Trade-A-Plane, The Aviation MarketPlace, as General Aviation’s pre-eminent “buy/sell” resource for everything that keeps you flying.

“Since 1937, Trade-A-Plane has served General Aviation as the first choice among active buyers and sellers,” said Cosby Stone, publisher. “We are now a fourth-generation, family business and our roots go deep in aviation.”

Stone said that his grandfather and the publication’s founder, Cosby Harrison, got his start as a homebuilder in the 1920s in Crossville, TN, constructing a glider in his living room. He later purchased his first powered plane, a 1929 Laird Swallow TP, in 1930.

“In 1935, my grandfather crashed that airplane on a hot, hazy day,” said Stone. “When that happened, there’s no way that he could have realized the lasting impact of his adventure. His slight misfortune would give rise to a shoestring operation that would become a great entrepreneurial success–and play a significant role in aviation history.”


TAPtv Season 2 Sun-N-Fun 2012 Special

Trade-A-Plane TV kicks off their second season at Sun-N-Fun 2012. Along the way they meet country singer Aaron Tippin, talk to the Black Diamond jet team and see the show from their perspective. They also meet up with the Aeroshell team and fly with them in their T-6’s. They also fly on the last airworthy B-29, the Commemorative Air Force’s Fifi and interview airshow legend Julie Clark.


Stone said that his grandfather–against his father’s best advice–had borrowed $995 from the local bank to buy the Swallow. The open cockpit biplane had an overhauled, low-power, WWI OX5 engine and was Crossville’s first flying machine.

“Luckily, after the crash, my grandfather’s ego was the only thing hurt, aside from his airplane, which was in tatters,” commented Stone. “In spite of his determination, he encountered a great deal of frustration finding parts to repair it. Aviation magazine ads of the day took months to generate a response. So, at the age of 37, this became the inspiration for him and my grandmother, Margaret, to start Trade-A-Plane at their kitchen table.”

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The first issue of Trade-A-Plane contained 76 ads and was mailed on October 5, 1937, to 9,000 transport pilots registered in the United States. An original copy is housed in the Ramsey Room of the National Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.

During WWII, hundreds of thousands of pilots were trained. When the war ended in 1945, these pilots helped General Aviation thrive and, naturally, Trade-A-Plane grew with the industry.

“A few years after his crash, my grandfather sold his plane for $100,” remarked Stone. “Although he died in 1984, his aviation magazine became the flagship publication of TAP Publishing, which is still based in Crossville,” he added.

Besides Trade-A-Plane, TAP also produces similar publications for heavy construction (in English and Spanish) and oil and gas. The company has a web publication for trucking and an online subscription weather service, as well as a commercial printing division.

“TAP Publishing is really all about information services,” said Stone. “We are very grateful for the loyalty that our customers have shown us over the many years that we’ve been in business. Without them, we would not have become the company that we are. Trade-A-Plane and all of TAP Publishing remain totally focused on delivering excellence in quality and service for our valued advertisers and readers all over the world, and we are extremely excited about the future of our company and its products,” he concluded.

Trade-A-Plane is published three times a month for pilots and aircraft owners in every state of the U.S. and more than 130 other countries. The non-editorial print edition contains sections for jets, turboprops, multi-engines, single engines, experimentals and homebuilts, helicopters and special types of aircraft. Many aircraft parts for sale, products and services are also included, as well as real estate by region.


Trade-A-Plane’s Julie-Cristie Tours The Boeing B-29 Superfortress

[hr4], launched in 1997, compliments the print edition with sections for aircraft, engines, parts and products, real estate and aviation services. Buyers can use a number of detailed search techniques. Continuously updated, the site also features the NAAA Evaluator and Aircraft Value Trends. A mobile edition is available, as well as free apps for iPhone and Android.

For more information…

Rachel Hill, Associate Publisher
800-337-5263 or 931-484-5137

174 Fourth Street
Crossville, TN 38555