History of Swindon Aircraft Timber Company
Swindon Aircraft Timber Company was started by Dudley Pattison. Dudley is known to many involved in light aircraft, chiefly for two reasons. Firstly, many people who love light aircraft are also aero modellers; Dudley designed a number of model aircraft and ran, ably supported by his wife Jane, a company called Flair Products Ltd, that manufactured kits for these models. These kits were very popular with aeromodellers. During the next twenty years or so this company went on to become one of the UK's leading model aircraft manufacturers and distributors.
Secondly, Dudley is one of a rare breed; a serial aircraft builder. One of the attractions for visitors to Flair was the opportunity to see the progress being made on Dudley's full size Isaacs Fury II being built in the factory buildings. This aircraft was started in September 1983 and had its maiden flight on the 12th June 1998. Yes, just short of fifteen years, but the business was very time consuming and a bit of a bump at the Badminton Air Day stopped progress for a year.
The Fury (K8303) went on to win four PFA awards including the Pooley Sword for best replica at the Cranfield rally of 2000. Dudley and Jane sold Flair products in 1997. Dudley then built an RV4 which was a real pocket rocket and a delight to fly but decided to sell it in 2007. Dudley’s next aircraft build was a Stummelflitzer Z1R, a beautiful design by Lynn Williams for the Rotec R2800 seven cylinder radial engine. It was when this project was started, and Duds had a little difficulty in sourcing materials, that the Swindon Aircraft Timber Company was born. This aircraft turned out to be the prototype Z1R, and it is this aircraft, G-ZIRA, that is the basis of the company logo, and that appears in various places on the website.
Seen here after the Rotec was successfully fired up for the first time, the small Flitzer ‘office’ is seen on the right.
Dudley recently sold the Stummelflitzer, and is now completing the build of a Groppo Trail. He has recently started building a Sherwood Ranger. This desire to focus on building new aircraft led to a decision to sell the Company. The new owner is Tim Wood, an appropriate surname! Tim is a Chartered Engineer with a background in aerospace development engineering and the management of engineering projects and businesses in the Aerospace & Defence industry. He and his wife of over thirty years, Carol, operate the company as a partnership. Tim’s path to light aviation started with aeromodelling; in fact, Tim has quite a few of Dud’s old Flair designs in his loft. Like many others, Tim moved to flying full size aircraft following a birthday gift from his wife of a trial lesson – what an expensive gift that turned out to be! Tim has been a member of the LAA for many years, and also is a member of the EAA. He owns and flies a Rans S10 Sakota and an Andreasson BA4-B. He is also renovating a Jodel D112.