Director - Development, Marketing and Operations
Mike, a shareholder and the person who started The Airplane Factory, is a fifth generation South African with a passion for aviation. A pioneer of early microlight aviation in South Africa, Mike has been involved in the aircraft business, designing, building and selling aircraft for 29 years. Mike is a past aviation world champion and has received numerous awards both for his contribution to aviation in South Africa and his aviation feats, as well as the films he has made to record them. To learn more about Mike’s aviation adventures see www.trike-expeditions.com and www.noneedforparking.com.
The Airplane Factory is Mike’s latest, and he believes greatest, venture.
Director - Corporate
James, also a shareholder in The Airplane Factory, grew up on a farm in the Kwa-Zulu Natal midlands of South Africa. He is a qualified lawyer who completed a university degree in science prior to studying law. More recently James has worked as a VP of a mining exploration company listed in London and Toronto. Following the successful sale of the mining business, James was able to give expression to his love of flying by joining Mike as his business partner in The Airplane Factory.
At a young age James developed a deep love of the outdoors and adventure. He has also always been a keen sportsman and traveler. For background information on some of his more recent adventures see www.noneedforparking.com.
Also growing up on a farm in the Midlands of Natal, Andrew, early on, developed a love for traveling, the outdoors and speed, often being found stripping a 2-stroke dirt bike, only to see if it would go faster once put back together. After attending Michaelhouse boarding school for a fairly rebellious five years, Andrew graduated from Cape Town Varsity College in 2002 with an IMM diploma in International Business Management and Marketing.
He moved to London the following year, and joined Addison Corporate Marketing as an Account Executive and later Account Manager, providing support to the investor relations teams of various clients, including Anglo American, Vodafone, The Premier League, Visa and WPP.
With six years’ experience in corporate financial communications, Andrew fled the UK and returned to South Africa to join The Airplane Factory, as the tea boy and book keeper, later becoming sales and marketing manager. Having developed a passion for business, flying and adventure, Andrew now heads up The Airplane Factory overseeing Sales, Marketing, New Business Development, Finance and Operations both locally and internationally, and is the Accountable Manager of the company.
Engineer - Aeronautical Engineering
Terry graduated in 2009 as an Aeronautical Engineer (BSc. Eng. (Aero.)) from The University of The Witwatersrand and joined The Airplane Factory in 2010.
His role at the Airplane Factory is to utilise his knowledge acquired at university, coupled with Computer Aided Design (CAD) Software, to design aircraft from the conceptual to the final
product. This includes predicting the performance of a prototype aircraft, calculating the expected loads, designing each component to meet the standards of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), overseeing the static load testing, and submitting documentation for Type Approval of the aircraft.
Terry manages the engineering department comprising of engineers, draftsmen, and CNC machine programmers. He therefore drives the ongoing updates and improvements of the manufacturing and quality control drawings, assembly instructions, tooling, and configuration / revision control.