I was 6 or 7 years old when I first laid eyes on a jumbo jet close up. It was 1975 and my parents took us to see a neighbour off on a trip to Europe. I remember marvelling at the enormity of the Qantas, British Airways and Pan Am 747s parked at the international terminal. I’d watched them fly overhead many times, but it wasn’t until the Airport first came into view and I saw those red flying kangaroo tails towering above the international terminal that I realised how big and amazing they were. This had planted a seed that stayed dormant in me for 15 years.
1989, I was 20 and had my first overseas holiday igniting what has become a lifelong obsession with “Jumbo Jets” after my friend took me out to Sydney Airport to video aircraft arrivals and departures in the months leading up to the trip. I remember seeing the last of the Qantas 747 classics still in the 1970’s livery, taking me back to that first visit to the airport when I was a kid. I made the connection of what it means to be passionate about something.
I’ve since made countless trips to Sydney Kingsford Smith and taken thousands of photos. Spending time at Sydney Airport to watch and photograph commercial airliners has always provided a source of inspiration and a mental escape. It also represented success and a source of motivation to stick to my goals of doing well in life, for myself and my family.
In the early 1990’s I saw a display of handmade wooden airliners in the domestic terminal at Sydney Airport. Their level of detail and glossy finish captivated me. There was a Qantas 747-400 and a Qantas 767 among others. I remember thinking to myself…”I can make one of those…”. A few months later I completed my first handmade 747-200 in the classic Qantas 1970’s livery. Of course it wasn’t perfect in my opinion, but over the years, I’ve completed other examples including a large scale Qantas 747-400 and A380. I also dabble in Space-craft including the Space Shuttle and plan to do something in the military jet category.
These days, there are many cast epoxy and fibreglass examples out there that are mass-produced. My models are all handmade from re-purposed timber and mostly hand painted with the exception of some hand drawn, printed decals. I am also a perfectionist, so I like my work be as close to the real thing as possible, including shape, dimensions and profile.