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 everyday in Richmond, British Columbia. There I met an elderly couple who once day bought me a Guillow’s Javelin freeflight 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 onto competitive sports.
In the early summer of 2010, I happened to break out the building board and got together a couple planes to fly with the club again, but fields were getting smaller and the hunting for lots 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 off slow and we were steadily selling a couple 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 planes in Hong Kong and China, it wasn’t until April 2012 that we started to sell enough planes 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’s still a long and hard road ahead, but everyday 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 to us that we may need to start an online shop to refine the shopping experience, and upgrade our system in the back end to keep up with all the orders and allow everything to be run smoothly, automatically, giving us more time for R&D. Fast forward to early-2015, with some of the projects on hand starting production, we finally had time to make it a reality.
Launched on April 1st, 2015, the webstore is a big step for us and for all of our customers. Fast, easy to use, and beautiful, it is now possible to purchase in-stock items with the click of a button and have it arrive within days. Not in stock? No problem, you can either pre-order or choose to be notified when it is back in stock.
Jason is also close to finishing his studies to be an accountant, and is now helping out with accounting and administrative work... nothing beats working with your own brother and sharing this experience together.
I hope that you enjoy the ArmSoar experience, and that we are able to provide you with a plane that you will be able to spend many days and months and maybe even years enjoying. See you at the field!
-Thomas Lee | Co-Founder