Thread Number: 356
Airways Vac
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Post# 3320   11/1/2006 at 09:23 (4,966 days old) by bunnysucker ()        

I am finally able to rid my home of dustbunnies with an Airways. Charlie delivered my machine last week and YES !!! he does lick the filter bag when demonstrating the efficiency of this amazing vacuum. I know I will enjoy this purple friend for years to come !!!!

Post# 3321 , Reply# 1   11/1/2006 at 09:27 (4,966 days old) by bunnysucker ()        
happy customer

I have an all metal vacuum and no more dust bunnies.I have had my eye on an Airways since first hearing about them from Charlie in the early 9o's-I love a clean home, love purple, appreciate efficient use of my time.

Post# 3386 , Reply# 2   11/1/2006 at 22:21 (4,966 days old) by air-waycharlie (USA)        

air-waycharlie's profile picture

I am so glad that I am the guy that could help you rid your home of dustbunnies! We sure did pull a lot of dirt out of your home even though it was neat as a pin. That is the power of the Air-Way.

Vacuum folks, Terri waited a while and finally got her Signature Series, (she heard about Tom Gasko and how he updated and improved the machine), BUT, when I first told her about Air-Way, I mentioned that I lick the bag like Don Clark because I believe totally in the product so she had to see it and capture the moment for us!

Thanks Terri for posting the pictures and I hope you hear from others out there.

Happy vacuuming with your new Air-Way!

Post# 3408 , Reply# 3   11/2/2006 at 01:31 (4,966 days old) by eluxomarty (Palm Springs)        
My Air Way!!

We are getting new carpets tomorrow and we've been painting so I have been doing alot of dusting and vacuuming and i have been using my Signature Series alot! I was just thinking today that i need more bags. Charlie, i will email you soon about that. Terri, you will LOVE your AirWay!!

Post# 3410 , Reply# 4   11/2/2006 at 01:37 (4,966 days old) by swingette ()        


Post# 3413 , Reply# 5   11/2/2006 at 01:52 (4,966 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

I also have the Purple Air Way vacuum-very nice and effective machine-so far haven't licked any bags.

Post# 3448 , Reply# 6   11/2/2006 at 16:13 (4,965 days old) by vinvac (Dubuque IA)        

vinvac's profile picture
I love my Air-Way. I consider myself a good housekeeper, but the first time I used my new Air-Way, the sand in the bag totally amazed me. The house gets vacuumed everyday and sometimes twice if there is nothing good on TV and still the Air-Way pulled more dirt than any other vacuum in my house.(40+)

Charie, I will also need bags as well. Looking forward to trying out the new bag.

Terri, your going to love vacuuming with your Air-Way.


Post# 3479 , Reply# 7   11/3/2006 at 10:32 (4,964 days old) by dysonman ()        

When I was at the Air-Way factory in 2000, talking Steve Tomberlin into the design for the Signature Series, we talked about using Filtrete bags. 3-M had sent Steve a sample. At that time, the machine to produce the paper used in Air-Way's bag was fine. Of course, it was a very old machine, designed in 1920 for the very first paper bags Air-Way ever made. It was only fate that it would someday break down. I think that the blue Air-Way Filtrete bags are wonderful, certainly up to the filtration standards of the 28 layer Allergy bag. The 28 layer bag was the ONLY bag I wanted them to use in the Signature Series (it was after all, MY signature on the machine) - which became the current Anniversary Model. The requirement was, that the white electrostatic filter UNDER the bag MUST remain clean, even after multiple bags have been used, proving 100% filtration of fine dust. The new Filtrete bags from Air-Way provide that perfect filtration and I'm delighted they are using it in my Signature Series design.

Post# 3504 , Reply# 8   11/3/2006 at 19:41 (4,964 days old) by air-waycharlie (USA)        

air-waycharlie's profile picture
Thanks for the endorsement from the designer! You know I have this "love affair" thing with the signature series.

I, too, feel the new "blue" bags live up to their predecessors so can sell and lick them in good faith.

Thanks Tom!

Post# 3531 , Reply# 9   11/5/2006 at 08:48 (4,962 days old) by vacuumkid3 ()        
I have a question:

Why lick the bags? I never quite got that. I am using paper bags for the black Air-Way (the new one) and for my 88 Mk. II. Do you think my local Air-Way store will have the new bags? Thanks!

Tom: I was curious about your affiliation with Air-Way. Could you tell me about it? :-)

Post# 3544 , Reply# 10   11/5/2006 at 18:20 (4,962 days old) by bigbubbacain ()        
Licking bags? That sounds a

Ok, what you do in the privacy of your own home is your business. Yet still, what's with the bag licking? Is that like a good luck thing like licking salt before a tequila shot? Please clue me in.
Another thing, is the signature series really that powerful? My problem is, I've owned a lot of machines but I rarely kept track of their model numbers. I've owned one Air-way, metallic blue, rectangular body, four runners.(Iknow one of you knows this model number) I thought the suction for this one was mediocre, but I knew it was a machine from the 50's so I didn't care. I was mesmerized by the aesthetics.

Post# 3562 , Reply# 11   11/6/2006 at 11:12 (4,961 days old) by dysonman ()        
signature series (anniversary model) air-way

In 2000, Air-Way decided to give door to door sales a try again, and I went to the Air-Way factory in Alabama to design and update a new version of the Sanitizor. I called it the Centurion 2000, and it had many new features such as the "select-a-flow" 2 speed switch, the sentry light, the new electric hose with pistol grip handle and full swivel, the on-off switch for the power nozzle, and a new RugMasteR power nozzle with geared lifetime belt, headlight, height adjustment, and best of all, quick release wands with direct connect cord connections.

It also featured the new Lamb 2 speed high efficiency motor for superior suction, together with the 28 layer allergy bags and hepa filtration to protect the motor.

Unfortunately for Air-Way, the association with the door to door distributor didn't last long.

Late in 2000, I was asked back to the factory to help with the finalization of the plans for the Anniversary Model to celebrate Air-Way's 80th year in business. The first thing I wanted was for the machine to change color. I HATE the white Sanitizor and Centurion 2000 models, but it took a LONG time to convince Steve to change the color. I picked "Purple Haze" since it is almost a direct match for the very first Sanitizor in 1937, the purple model 55.

We also took off the Sentry light, as well as the Select-a-Flow switch and 2 speed motor. Steve and I felt that vac shops (which is where the new model would be sold) wouldn't care about such things, as they help the door to door salesmen convince someone to the machine is also an air-cleaning device. In a vac shop, where it will be sold for less than a thousand dollars, it only needs to be perceived as a vacuum cleaner.

The first 100 of the new Purple Anniversary Models were called the Signature Series because Steve had my signature engraved on a special serial number plate, along with a special serial number. The first five were two speed models (really just purple Centurion 2000's), as I MYSELF wanted a Centurion, IN PURPLE. I sold three to club members, one I kept for myself, and one I gave my mother. All the rest of the Signature Series models were one speed.

In 2001, after the first 100 with the special name plate were sold, the purple machine became the "Anniversary Model" since Air-Way has an anniversary every year. The CenTec-Built RugMasteR powerhead got a make-over, going to the 'quiet drive' serpentine belt system.

In 2006, the machine that made the paper for Air-Way's special bags (the process was patented in 1920 by Daniel Replogle, designer of the first Air-Way's) broke down and the company had to go to Filtrete bags made by 3-M.

Post# 3645 , Reply# 12   11/7/2006 at 16:44 (4,960 days old) by air-waycharlie (USA)        
Correction on bags

air-waycharlie's profile picture
The new blue bag used by Air-Way is not made by 3M and it is not filtrete like the bag Black Knight uses. That one IS filtrete and IS made by 3M.

The new blue bag is paper and contains an element of spun fiberglass. According to Air-Way, the new bag's filtration is superior to the wood pulp cellulose bags. That is Air-Way's claim. The verdict from collectors and experts is not in yet!

Post# 3647 , Reply# 13   11/7/2006 at 16:57 (4,960 days old) by air-waycharlie (USA)        
The whole licking thing..................

air-waycharlie's profile picture
Don Clark, who is one of our VCCC Legends,(and former national sale manager/director for Air-Way), is the one who started licking the bag during his sales demos many, many years ago.

It was his way of demonstrating the superior filtration of the Air-Way wood pulp cellulose bag. He demonstrated this to the VCCC members at the Milwaukee convention several years back.

I found it to be fascinating as a sales tool. As the Air-Way distributor and authorized franchisee for Charlotte, NC, I made it part of my selling technique. Terri, who started this thread, was so enthralled by it that she wanted a picture and wanted to post it to this site.

When showing this to a new customer, I ask them, "How close would you want your Kirby/Electrolux/Eureka/Hoover/etc. bag to your face? Don't those manufacturers tell you how wonderful their bags are and filtration is? Would you let me hold, (their current paper bag of whatever they have), next to your face? Do see dust? Do you smell dust? Now that I have vacuumed your living room and dining room, let me show you how much I believe in this vacuum and IT'S filtration............."

Out comes the bag and a quick lick to show no dust, dirt, chaulky ick in my mouth. Done properly and with personal conviction, as I truly think Air-Way is the finest vacuum made----just my opinion, it can cinch the sale and is a powerful visual selling aid.

Post# 3731 , Reply# 14   11/9/2006 at 16:33 (4,958 days old) by vacuumkid3 ()        
Is the Air-Way factory cool?

As I live in Alabama, I start to wonder what it would be like to visit the Air-Way factory. Charlie, I suppose you have been before. Is it possible for me to go? And is it worth going? I may start working for my local Air-Way vacuum store this coming summer. I hope they will take a 14/15 year old boy by then! (I have a summer b'day) I love my 88 mk. II. I think that is the best vacuum, along with the newer Air-Way, the black anniversary edition. Can someone tell me what model that is? And how new is it? Or rather when did they first start making them? They look completely different from any other "square" model of Air-Way. Even the Centurion is "square" like the old ones! I think they are more durable this way. Thank you Charlie for the info! Go Air-Way! (and Kirby!)

Post# 3763 , Reply# 15   11/10/2006 at 10:16 (4,957 days old) by dysonman ()        
Air-Way factory

I took a video camera with me to Alabama, to the Air-Way factory, in 2000 when we started production of the Centurion 2000. It's all on tape. I took another video of the launch of the Signature Series (which bacame the Anniversary Edition). We have played the tapes at VCCC conventions. If anyone is interested, I could bring the tapes to Omaha. They show the machine being made from start to finish. It starts as a sheet of steel, then gets cut, stamped, and formed into the body parts of the Air-Way. Then, off to paint (that wonderful Purple Haze color that I had such a hard time convincing Steve to paint them). The polishing operations for the bag chamber cover and the middle ring are awesome to watch.
Final assembly is kind of cool, as is watching the old woman sew the tops onto the (then) paper bags.

If you didn't know the factory was there, you would drive right past is. It's nothing to look at, but very effective for Air-Way's needs. Retired farmers work there part time making Air-Way models as well as the Vita Vac Plus (a black Signature Series) for Vita Mix Corp.

Post# 3926 , Reply# 16   11/13/2006 at 09:30 (4,954 days old) by sukething ()        
Hey Tom...

Do they still make the Vita-Vac? I still have the one I told you about. How long have they made that vac? I don't remember you telling me the history.


Post# 3927 , Reply# 17   11/13/2006 at 10:24 (4,954 days old) by dysonman ()        
Vita Vac

The Vita Vac started out as a private labeled Air-Way Sanitizor about fifteen years ago. With the exception of the bag. Vita Mix wanted a micro lined bag (lined with melt blown polypropelene) to increase filtration and decrease bag capacity (Vita Mix felt they would make the most profit selling the bags).

Along the way, Air-Way changed the color of the Vita Vac to all black to distinguish it from the all-white Sanitizor. Air-Way was asked to add a handle to the front of the Vita Vac to allow for picking up the machine easily when in the horizontal position.

When the Signature Series was launched, Air-Way made the decision to offer a second, higher priced Vita Vac model, which was an all-black Signature Series, called the Vita Vac Plus. Last year, the standard Vita Vac (with Douglas power nozzle) was discontinued, and only the Vita Vac Plus is currently made today for Vita Mix. The attachments are NOT the same as the Anniversary model, they do NOT use horse hair brushes of the vita vac model nor is the attachment carrier supplied, nor the combination rug/floor nozzle, sustituting a tool bag and a standard plastic bristled floor brush instead.

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