Days Past, but Moving Forward

Darwin with V2 Push-E Cat and prototype Manx

So, how long ago was this?

Welcome to the revived Garrison Aerodrome web portal!

For those of you who don’t know, Garrison Aerodrome is the business persona of me, Darwin A. Garrison.  Back between 1998 and 2001, I put out the Push-E Cat, the Manx, the HotCat, and the Positron kits.  They were all powered by Speed 400 brushed electric motors of various flavors energized by 7 or 8 cell Nickel-Cadmium battery packs.

Sadly, my first stab at this business didn’t hang on very well.  My wife took great affront to the fact that I needed to have a “real job” as opposed to what I was doing.  Worse, I got sideways on the necessary paperwork to keep the State of Indiana happy.  I think the final straw came when two assholes ripped me off of about $700.  Maybe that seems like small change, but it really made me re-think doing the on-line retail marketing thing and that led to me selling kits through Kirk Massey at New Creations R/C.

A shot of the original Hand Cat prototype

Push-E Cat Wing plus scrap EPP = Hand Cat

Now Kirk was always awesome to work with, but the issue with that was the kits made me a lot less money selling through a dealer.  With that factor added in, I kind of lost all incentive to keep at it.

Fast forward 10 years.  The guy I let make Push-E Cat after I stopped dropped out.  I also happened to be out of work.  When I saw that the old Push-E Cat still had a loyal following that was lamenting the loss of the bird from the market, I decided that maybe the time had come for me to take another stab at things, being a bit older and wiser and all.

Actually, the time is better than ripe because of all the positive changes that have happened in direct web-based retail marketing.  I don’t have to do a lot of HTML programming this time around.  Instead, I can use canned programs for everything from WordPress to the shopping cart software to accepting any kind of payment via PayPal.  Thanks to that, the odds of me being shafted by either pseudo-customers have dropped significantly.

Cabin Foamie, three quarter view

The Cabin Foamie shall rise again!

Another thing that bodes well for the return of Garrison Aerodrome is the ready availability of CNC machinery.  I have already ordered a PhlatPrinter (a low-cost-of-entry CNC router) that will allow me to cut fuselages and flat-foam kits very easily.  Building on that, I will construct a CNC hot wire machine using similar electronics.  That way, all of my equipment will function similarly, greatly reducing the learning curve.

Until that all gets going, though, I’ll be doing things the old-fashioned way with my bandsaw, hot wire rig, and router.

I hope you’ll follow along with me as I bring my products into the 21st century of brushless motors and lithium chemistry batteries.  The old shall be new and the new will be a lot of fun!

About Darwin

Darwin is a mechanical engineer and author living in the Fort Wayne, Indiana area. He is also the owner of Garrison Aerodrome R/C Model Enterprises.

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