I thought I’d do a short New Year’s post since I have been a little lax in posting recently. I say it often, but I’ll say it again – I’ve been busy. The end of December marks the half-way-point in the busiest time of the year for my business – I guess that corresponds to building season.
Apart from the business, I always feel like I never get much built. I make a list in the fall of to-build planes and I always seem to get about 20% of it built. But, doing a rough count this morning, I see that I built at least 16 models in 2017, and that is probably short. Still, the latest Fall List shows only two complete and two frames built out of twelve proposed models. I did finish two Peanuts and built 3 Jet Cats in December, so I do get some things done.
The Peanuts complete my proposed small plane list for Indoor this year, although I do have to cover a Low Wing Trainer that I hope to toss into Scale just because I don’t want to damage any of my outdoor planes indoors. As shown in my last post, I have the tissue ready to cover the 24″ Cessna C-34. I need to consider if I want to print markings on it or do them by hand. Other than that, it should be finished before outdoor season. In the very near future, I will be starting a Jumbo Aircraft Designs Stallion. This is a favorite plane – I did two Peanuts, a NoCal, and a Jumbo years ago. It’s a high-wing, so no bonus points. On the other hand, my earlier Jumbo was a floater – nearly guaranteed maxes, so I will probably fly it more often in events like Simplified Scale or Modern Civilian (insert devilish grin here).
Then I will probably start another jumbo for the Airmail Commemorative Event at the FAC Nats.
Business-wise, 2017 was a good year; you generous customers kept me busy all year long. The only down-side is keeping up with orders, and keeping supplies stocked. And I am having some issues with some of my suppliers and materials.
Making new kits is the favorite part of my business. I now have 44 kits/combos available. And I appear to have released 10 new ones in 2017. Here’s a surprise: I count another 10 very close to release. I had hoped to release one today, but that might not happen – I have some final kit assembly to do on that.
I have the Peanut Barracuda and the Peanut Pegna nearly ready. The Pegna needs to fly successfully (I am 100% sure I over-propped it and it wouldn’t fly last month – the prop has been replaced). The Barracuda just needs kit finalization (remember, it will include a vacu-formed canopy).
The Cessna needs to be finished and flown. I do have that out for a prototype build – and it is being covered and the builder reported no problems with the parts. I believe he is going to do micro r/c, so when he flies it, that will not satisfy my requirement for the design to fly – so you all will just have to wait for that kit until Spring. Oh, when it flies, I will also publish all the documentation that qualifies it for FAC Thompson Race!
Old-Timers – I have five nearly ready. OK, four are nearly ready, the fifth needs the drawing and parts finished before it can be built. One of the four is one that I hoped to release today. the other three – one is have successfully built and flown, and two are being prototyped, with one of those undergoing test flying.
I also have one contest-winning Embryo ready to be built. And two Jet Cats to finalize kitting. See? That’s ten new kits nearly ready for the New Year! And I hope to release the Jumbo Stallion and several others over the course of the coming year.
So, I am anticipating more good things ahead in 2018. I hope you are, too!