Our roots have been in business aviation since there has been business aviation.
Joe Carfagna, Sr. takes a position with Bendix Corporation’s newly formed business aviation division selling avionics to this young expanding market.
Joe, Sr. was recruited by Bill Lear at Learjet to sell their new airplanes in the northeast. Joe reported to Torch Lewis and one of Joe’s first sales was to Jack Nicklaus.
1968 - 1970
Lear enjoyed wild success during this time. Here is Joe Sr. delivering an early Learjet to Arthur Godfrey with Torch Lewis looking on.
Joe, Sr. joins Executive Air Fleet as a founding member. EAF pioneered the concept of corporate aircraft management and charter & shortly after has the first 135 certificate issued in the NY area.
1970 - 1983
EAF experienced substantial growth during this time, becoming the largest aircraft management company in the US. The ad at left is from Fortune Magazine in 1982. Joe, Sr. managed the aircraft sales portion of EAF and also acted as chief operating officer.
Executive Air Fleet was acquired by PHH Group, a Fortune 1000 New York Stock Exchange Company. Standing: Founders Matt Weisman and Bill Watt. Seated: Joe Carfagna Sr., PHH officers on the right.
Joe, Sr. and staff applied the same basic principles to transacting aircraft as Leading Edge does today. See the video EAF/PHH released to existing clients and prospects in 1987.
PHH Corp. sold Executive Air Fleet and its FBO with over 110 aircraft under management to Jet Aviation. Joe Carfagna Sr. departs and forms brokerage agency Wings Aviation International, the predecessor company to Leading Edge Aviation Solutions.
1990 - 1996
Family members Kay Carfagna, Joe Carfagna Jr. and Craig Carfagna join the firm in 1990, 1994 and 1996 respectively, although this photo is a little before that time!
Shortly after its founding, we joined the National Aircraft Resale Association (NARA) with the intention to work with like minded firms who adhere to a higher standard of ethics in an unregulated industry. NARA since became the International Aircraft Dealers Association (IADA) in 2018.
Wings Aviation completes its 200th aircraft transaction.
After 15 years as Wings Aviation International with 275 aircraft transactions completed, Leading Edge Aviation Solutions is formed and adds technical and consulting services to its offerings to broaden the services we made available to clients and differentiate ourselves from our competitors as the industry begins to mature.
Joe Esmerado joins LEAS and brings 40 years of experience in aircraft maintenance and management with him, to manage LEAS’ Technical Services team.
Frank Janik joins LEAS and brings the financial and analytical acumen of an MBA to the sales and consulting divisions of LEAS.
Leading Edge completes its 500th aircraft transaction.
Leading Edge completes its 100th Gulfstream transaction.
Leading Edge manages the quality control of a new aircraft completion for the 150th time.
Joe Carfagna, Jr. becomes the President of LEAS.
Rick Richardson joins LEAS after running the sales team at Bell Aviation, the largest player in the light jet and turboprop market at the time.
LEAS forms an alliance with Glenn Hinderstein at Glenncoe Aviation to capture the Southern California market.
Joe Carfagna Jr. appointed to the Board of the NBAA Associate Member Advisory Council (AMAC). The AMAC has since become the NBAA Advisory Council. Learn more by clicking here.
Greg Wedding joins LEAS.
Leading Edge hits the $10B dollar mark in aircraft transactions and new deliveries.
Leading Edge completes its 100th Falcon transaction.
Leading Edge introduces The Client’s Edge – Benefits Program offering valuable new services and discounts from ARGUS, Marsh, Medaire and Flight Safety.
Joe Esmerado receives the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award from the FAA for 50 years of service dedicated to aviation safety.
Leading Edge completes its 200th Citation transaction.
Leading Edge launches a new website showcasing our core strengths, deep history and track record.
Leading Edge completes its 100th Challenger/Global transaction.
Joe Carfagna, Jr. has been involved in aircraft sales with Leading Edge Aviation Solutions and its predecessor company for 25 years.