European airplane company coming to Winnsboro - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

European airplane company coming to Winnsboro

WINNSBORO, TX (KLTV) -

By Morgan Chesky - bio | email | Twitter
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email | Twitter

WINNSBORO, TX (KLTV) - A little airplane is making a big landing in an East Texas town. Pilots call it the Tomark Viper SD-4, but many Winnsboro residents are calling it a blessing. The airplane, once only made in eastern Europe, will soon be made in East Texas.

Area pilots parked their planes and joined Winnsboro residents for a first look at the Viper SD 4.

Larue Allen could hardly contain his excitement sitting in the plane bringing much more than sleek styling to Winnsboro. "To see a European company actually investing here, the jobs are here, it's pretty exciting," said Allen.

It is happening after the plane's company, Tomark Aero, chose to move Viper assembly to Winnsboro Airport.

"They know the American market is the biggest in the world," said Tomar Aero president Jan Pjatak.

But, money had nothing to do with the decision to divert work from Tomark's Czech Republic headquarters all the way to Winnsboro, Texas.

"I was just doing some research where to actually find the correct fuel for this airplane," said Pjatak.

Winnsboro is one of the only Texas airport where pilots can fill up with Viper's engine required unleaded fuel without ethanol.

"[It is a] very exciting day to see this be able to be coming in," said Winnsboro native James Davis. "We've seen some rough times here and all that.

Now, an open hangar will soon house where a dozen new workers will piece the unique planes together.

"Hopefully, a little more efficient, hopefully a little more cost effective in the long run and just new and different," said Allen.

They are helping an ailing economy and the dreams of local aviators take off. Aspiring pilots are in luck with the Viper's introduction to Winnsboro. Because it is a sport model plane the Viper requires only 20 hours of flight training and your driver's license.

Copyright 2010 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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