Wow, 2020 was quite the year. I don’t really need to review any of the things that affected us as a country and the world – all of us lived that and I am sure that 2020 will not rank as “My Favorite Year” to very many people. Let’s all hope that we have a better 2021 than we did 2020.
I flew as often as I could in 2020 – but they were all small local contests and even some of those were cancelled. All of my planned big contests were cancelled. No Indoor Fling in Pontiac, no Indoor Nats in Arizona, no FAC Nats in Geneseo, no Outdoor Nats in Muncie, and no Muncie contests at all. I love flying at Muncie – it is my favorite field and when I arrive there, it feels like home. I get to fly my big planes, stay on the field as long as I like in the evenings and rise with the morning sun. I did none of that in 2020.
As for the business, sales were down in 2020, but not too much. I kept busy , as people still ordered at a consistent rate throughout the year, with June, July, and August orders coming in at a higher than average rate. I guess people kept building throughout the year, whereas they normally would have been traveling the country and fly flying.
According to my records, I produced 12 new Short Kits in 2020. I had time to build, but it was frustrating as I couldn’t get out and fly to the max, especially those produced at the end of the year. Build it, refine the parts and plan, get in a few test flights in my back yard, and put the model on the shelf. Oh well, at least I can get in enough flying to get the products on the shelf for you to buy. Maybe you can build while your locked down, too.
Apart from being at the flying field, I really enjoy the development of new kits. I like to draw, either translating someone else’s drawing to a kit or developing my own designs from scratch. I draw every day and that is not an exaggeration. Every morning, I sit down with my hot cup of coffee and work on a drawing for an hour or two before I pack orders before the mail comes – then I often draw more in the afternoon or evening. Some drawings are really quick and some take a very long time. I’ve been working on an obscure OT Stick for over two weeks. Now, OT Sticks are simple, right – I mean you can’t get much simpler than a straight box fuselage with a wing and tail. Well, this one has rather complex wing and tail details that have required a LOT of time to convert into a product that can be made into a Short Kit. It is taking a lot longer to get to the build stage than I had anticipated. I am getting a lot invested in this design and I am expecting big things from it when I get it built – haha.
I try to do a lot of “things” for myself and I do share these with the Free Flight community. I’ve become better at designing things for the 3D Printer. I try to solve “problems” that I am having and then share these with everyone else that is interested – because sometimes others are having those same “problems”. This is also rewarding – whether you, the public, buys my stuff or not. I try to help and share, even share information. I often get notes or calls telling me that people do appreciate the things I do. That is always good to hear. I was surprised – and honored – this year by two recognitions in particular: I was nominated (and won) a Special Model of the Year Award from the NFFS community and also nominated (not yet announced) for the Flying Aces Club Hall of Fame. While I do not do what I do for this recognition, I am proud of both of these. Thanks to all of you.
So, 2021 is merely hours away. We can look forward and plan and hope. There will be new experiences coming. Let’s all reflect on what has passed and be thankful for what we have and what we will have and even the things we had and lost. Appreciate every day for what it is and try to wake up and say “what a beautiful day” everyday, because it is a gift, regardless if it is our “perfect” day or not.
See you on the flying field! –george
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