My name is Thomas, and I’m a Co-Founder of ArmSoar Composite Gliders.
When I was around 11 or 12, I would sit in my parents’ restaurant daily in Richmond, British Columbia. There I met an elderly couple who one day bought me a Guillow’s Javelin free flight glider; boy, it opened my eyes! Since then, I’ve built, flown, and designed an army of stick and tissue planes until I shifted my focus to competitive sports.
In the early summer of 2010, I broke out the building board and got together a couple of planes to fly with the club again, but fields were getting smaller, and the hunting for lost planes in blueberry fields started to become troublesome, leading me to turn to micro RC. At about the same time, I ventured onto RCGroups and discovered the Hand Launch Glider forum, and from then on, I knew that THAT was what I wanted to do!
In July 2010, I started up ArmSoar Composite Gliders with my younger brother Jason to help fund my new DLG addiction and to (fingers crossed!) help pay for part of my tuition. Things started slow, and we were steadily selling a couple of gliders each month, just enough so that I didn’t need to go into my savings to continue flying. We continued selling planes out of our Richmond home until June 2011, when I moved to Hong Kong.
For the first year, I was only able to sell a couple of planes in Hong Kong and China; it wasn’t until April 2012 that we started to sell enough models to have a partial salary. In May 2013, I finally decided (and got the courage to!) quit my regular job and started pursuing this full-time. It wasn’t easy. Still, every day I am reminded why I love this sport so much, whether it’s friends sharing new setups, discussing new designs, customers sending me an email on how much they liked the planes, and especially when I’m out on the field, just soaring with the birds.
In mid-2014, a good friend suggested that we may need to start an online shop to refine the shopping experience. Fast forward to early 2015, with some of the projects on hand starting production, we finally had time to make it a reality. We even upgraded our back-end system to keep up with all the orders and allow everything to run smoothly and automatically, giving us more time for R&D.
Launched on April 1, 2015, the web store was a big step for all our customers and us. Fast, easy to use, and beautiful, it is now possible to purchase in-stock items with the click of a button and have them arrive within days. DLG shopping finally caught up to the times.
We moved back to Vancouver, BC, in March 2018. I hope that you enjoy the ArmSoar experience and that we can provide you with a plane that you can enjoy for many days, months, and maybe even years. See you at the field!
-Thomas Lee | Co-Founder