Red Wing Aviation
Red Wing Aviation
Bay City, Wisconsin
Key People
Wes Converse, CEO
Number of Employees
About 80
Phone Number
(651) 797-0900

Red Wing Aviation

Wisconsin-based Red Wing Aviation specializes in providing on-demand charter in Cessna Citation V light jets. In addition to operating a mixed fleet of more than a dozen owned and managed Citations, the company provides Citation-specific maintenance and pilot training. Its headquarters are at Red Wing Regional Airport, approximately 50 miles from Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Airline maintenance technician Bob Converse and his son Wes, a former U.S. Air Force maintenance technician, founded Red Wing Aeroplane Company (dba Red Wing Aviation) in 1990. While Wes additionally worked as a cargo pilot for Evergreen International Airlines from 1991 through 2001, the pair started the company as a maintenance facility for piston-powered general aviation aircraft. They moved into light jets as the business grew. 

With Wes returning to the company full time as vice president of flight operations, Red Wing obtained its first Citation in 2004 and its FAA Part 135 charter certificate in 2005. As it branched out into aircraft management and added more Citations to its charter fleet, the maintenance business shifted from outside work to Red Wing’s own fleet, and the company focus shifted from maintenance to charter.

Operating a “floating” fleet—its aircraft continuously fly point-to-point trips and return to Red Wing solely for maintenance checks—Red Wing began to provide luxury charter service throughout North, Central, and South America, including Alaska, Canada, and the Caribbean. The company became an ARG/US Gold-rated charter operator in 2011 and has maintained that rating biannually ever since.

In 2016, Red Wing returned to its maintenance roots by becoming an authorized Mooney Aircraft Service Center, open to outside Citation and Mooney customers. Within a year, the company was reportedly performing maintenance on 20 customer Mooney aircraft. As a certified FAA Part 145 repair station, Red Wing also offers aircraft weighing, propeller balancing, pneumatic ice boot installation, and other maintenance services. 

In 2018 the company purchased a Citation-specific full-motion flight simulator to provide in-house training for its approximately 25 full-time pilots. It now offers initial and refresher Citation type rating courses for pilots outside the Red Wing organization. 

In November 2020, Red Wing became an independently operated subsidiary of Florida-based XOJet Aviation (itself a division of Malta-based VistaJet), which acquired a majority stake to expand its light jet charter capability.