Hi, my name is Jim Fox and I have been making model aircraft for as long as I can remember. I started with radio in 1974 although I had messed around with control line and Free Flight before that. I had a shop in the UK for 15 years. Trained to be a motor vehicle mechanic from the age of 16. When I was young we lived near RAF Leconfield and I remember cycling to the guard gate to look at an early mark of Spitfire that was the gate guardian.
The RAF aerobatic team was based there and they used to practice with up to 22 Hawker Hunters. The Black Arrows and the Blue Diamonds were both based there. Then there were Gloster Javelins and Meteors that used to land directly over our school playground in the early fifties. Wouldn’t be allowed now, too dangerous.
The sixties brought a Lightning squadron to the base which was noisey and exciting with their full afterburner take offs. I guess this was what fueled my love of all things aeronautical. I left the modelling for a few years of motorbiking and girlfriend hunting before returning to the balsa bashing after I got married.
I initially taught myself to fly Mode 2 in 1974 but changed to mode one because the local club flew that way. Flew sport models of course but got into Helicopters and entered competitions using a Heim Star Ranger with a Redshift 60 engine. Drifted into Ducted Fans and then turbines. I also loved pylon racing and a few of us used to enter club20 which was a laugh.
After the shop I worked for a year in Thailand for Comp ARF. Back to the UK for a while and then decided to open a factory in Thailand making fully composite versions of the Hawk and Sabre I had done in the UK. This was ok but not very profitable for the hours worked so after 3 years finished with that. Now we just have the Komet and the Airblade which my girlfriend helps to make under my supervision.