Spotlight on Dillon Aero

Dillon Aero UH-1

Dillon Aero in Scottsdale, Arizona

Our customers do some amazing things with helicopters. If those amazing things include suppressing enemy fire or strafing an enemy column with miniguns blazing, chances are that a Dillon Aero minigun or ammunition feed system is involved.

Former TWA pilot Mike Dillon founded Dillon Aero—an offshoot of his Dillon Precision firearms accessories and ammunition reloader business—in the early 1990s while consulting in the movie industry. He had obtained a handful of surplus miniguns and had been contracted to fire them on a film shoot in northern Arizona. When the guns continued to jam, threatening the entire shooting schedule, Dillon and his team decided to redesign the ammunition feed mechanisms.

It took quite a few years to perfect the design, but the Dillon team finally unveiled a new feeder/delinker mechanism that fed the ammunition to the minigun without significant jamming issues. While Dillon and his team were merely trying to get their miniguns to work well, the US Army caught wind of the improvement and asked for a demonstration. During the demo, the Dillon mechanism (DADF-2000) fired 50,000 minigun rounds without jamming, the US Army replaced their systems with the Dillon system, and Dillon Aero was born.

Why Dillon Aero and not Dillon Minigun? Because Mike Dillon had an extreme passion for aviation, restoring and flying several warbirds over his lifetime, including a UH-1 Huey that had been retired by the U.S. National Guard with only a half-hour of flight time left. The restored Huey served as the main platform for the minigun project, with Mike Dillon often piloting the ship.

Dillon Aero Hangar
Dillon Aero Hangar in September 2017 (with a few aircraft missing)

By 2002, Dillon Aero had redesigned every component of the minigun. Soon after, Dillon introduced its all new production Dillon M134D, which the US Army began to purchase to replace its older miniguns.

Today Dillon Aero builds a variety of weapons systems for air, land, and sea vehicles, including high-capacity feed systems for the M134D, various machine guns, and the M19 Grenade Launcher. Dillon weapons, mounts, and ammunition handling systems have been integrated into 16 different helicopter platforms, a variety of land-based vehicles, and various small watercraft for U.S. and foreign navies.

Dillon Aero UH-1 Huey with VHA Tail Rotor Blades

While Mike Dillon passed away in 2016 at the age of 81, his passion and spirit lives on at the companies he founded. Dillon Aero continues to fly the Huey—now outfitted with VHA composite tail rotor blades—for product development and training missions. We are honored to call Dillon Aero one of our customers.

For more information on Dillon Aero’s products and services, visit dillonaero.com.