For over 50 Years

Air Flow Research has been defining technological leadership in cylinder head manufacturing and flow dynamics. This complete commitment to performance has enabled Air Flow Research's cylinder heads to find themselves on the fastest race cars and the most powerful street machines in the country. As every engine builder will attest to, the secret to increasing horsepower and performance lies in the cylinder head. Air Flow Research's cylinder heads outflow and out horsepower everything in their league.


Founded in 1970 by Ken Sperling, Air Flow Research pioneered the process of CNC porting cylinders heads which is now common practice in today's automotive industry. Over the last 45 years we have been defining technological leadership and flow dynamics in the pursuit of increased performance. This commitment has enabled Air Flow Research to find themselves on the fastest race cars and the most powerful street machines in the country.

Utilizing modern manufacturing techniques and the latest in machinery, such as a Browne & Sharpe Coordinate Measuring Machine, fifteen Haas’ 5-AXIS CNC machines, two Mazaks, four Newen Epoc valve machines, Two Mori Seiki 42 pallet systems, and three VF4 Haas machines. AFR stays true to this commitment by manufacturing each piece in our Valencia, California facility just 30 minutes north of Los Angeles.

Early Years - Innovation (1970-1980)

Air Flow Research early years were defined by their high-powered porting of cylinder heads, innovative porting techniques such as fast burning chambers, D-shaped big block Chevy exhaust ports, hurricane chambers, and their CNC ported cylinder heads. In 1979, AFR pioneered CNC porting with their then revolutionary tape fed CNC machine.

Air Flow Research quickly established itself as a premiere supplier to the fastest race teams in the country. Names like Bill Jenkins’ Grumpies Toy, Bob Glidden’s Fords and Chryslers, Warren Johnson, and Frank Iaconio were getting their power from AFR aluminum cylinder heads.


A Technological Revolution

Air Flow Research cylinder heads became a key consultant to General Motors, designing cast iron and aluminum heads for the still-popular phase 3, 4, 5, and 6 Bowtie Small Block Chevy. AFR designed the big block D port aluminum pro-stock racing head, at that time the state-of-the-art.

AFR had also branched out into NASCAR, porting cylinder heads for top drivers like Darrel Waltrip, Cale Yarbrough, Richard Childress, Junior Johnson, Richard Petty, AJ Foyt, Harry Gant, and Neil Bonnet, to name a few. Air Flow Research’s pioneering use of wet-flow technology was allowing AFR cylinder heads to obtain unequaled flow and power.

Total Manufacturing (1990-2000)

Air Flow Research advanced to full production of cylinder heads in the early 90’s by incorporating advanced high density Cast Billet technology into their southern California facility. Now able to maintain full control of design and porting technology, AFR combined their 30 years of high performance racing experience into making aluminum cylinder heads available to a much broader customer base.

For the first time, racers were able to obtain full 5-axis CNC ported racing aluminum cylinder heads at an affordable price. In the mid-90’s, Air Flow Research was the first to offer cylinder heads for the popular Gen-2 Small Block Chevy LT-1 and LT-4 engine programs and the first to receive a CARB EO number for emission legal aluminum street heads. AFR also introduced the patented “Hydra Rev” to eliminate Hydraulic Roller valve float.


Continuous Improvement (2000-2010)

Air Flow Research continued their development of class leading cylinder heads in the new millennium by further adapting to CNC technology. In addition, with the implementation of Lean practices and the move to a new 30,000 sq. ft. facility in 2006, AFR was able to expand its product lines to fit a wide range of Small Block Chevy, Big Block Chevy, Small Block Ford and more.

In 2004 AFR was the first to introduce a carb legal aftermarket cylinder head for the popular Gen 3 LS1. Later in the decade AFR revamped their SBC line and released the class leading Eliminator Cylinder Heads. AFR's dedication to continuous improvement has poised us to be a leader for years to come.

Race Dedication

Air Flow Research’s dedication to continuous improvement doesn’t stop internally, we’re focused on you guys, the racers! Adrenaline junkies such as NMCA West’s Dick and Greg Dreher, NMRA’s Alton and Valerie Clements, Drag Week star Alex Taylor, Monster Jam’s Eric & Rick Swanson, Hoonigan’s Rob Parsons, Dirt Modified’s Russell Morseman, and Optima’s Ultimate Street Car Jimmy “Tater” Matthews all use AFR.

With a dedication to grass roots racing, trade events and the entire industry, we’re ready to see you guys out at the track.

State-of-the-Art Manufacturing

Throughout the years Air Flow Research has continually strived to incorporate best-in-class processes, methodologies and technology in pursuit of increased performance. Whether that was pioneering Wet-Flow testing and CNC porting of cylinder heads in the seventies, to full 5-AXIS CNC Porting in the eighties or adopting LEAN and AGILE methodologies to increase our overall efficiency.

This allows us to provide an affordable product, to the racer and enthusiast, with total flow consistency from one cylinder head to the next.

Quality Control

AFR uses state of the art metrology such as Browne & Sharp’s Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM). First and last articles are checked on all new set ups and breakdowns to ensure quality. We also use air gauges to hold tight tolerances on all boring and honing operations, measuring down to the tenth. Additionally, we practice in process lean principles throughout the facility to create a culture of responsibility, where every employee is accountable for his/her work. In addition, we thoroughly inspect all components received from outside suppliers ensuring they meet or exceed AFR standards. Closing the loop on our QC and QA process a documentation report is generated and filed with SPA reports on all completed inspections.

Into the Future

Air Flow Research’s design, engineering, and manufacturing technology never rests.
A leader today, Air Flow Research is investing in the horsepower of tomorrow with new manufacturing technology, complex dyno testing, and proprietary flow testing methods.

And to assure a long standing tradition to performance, AFR is bringing up a new generation of engineers and racers to meet the demands of tomorrow’s engine builders.
Racers include Andy Warren (most wins in NMCA history), Alton Clements, Alex Taylor. Also, Drag week legends Troy Lacrone & Dennis Talyor.




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