Hi Jon Johnson here,
Started with model airplanes, as a lot of you I am sure , with Control Line Cox .049,
Stuka was my favorite. Crashed a lot, rebuilt a lot and loved it, Moved to RC boats for quite some time. Moved to ARF J3 Cub, loved it and crashed it more than once. Got into building from Balsa long kits and had a ball. I currently have a number of planes and love to fly.
I really enjoy pontoons the most, water provides a much softer landing lol. I was very lucky to get with Vic and Bob to start a couple of new adventures. Please take a look and give us your feedback. Happy building and happy flying.
Robert D. (Bob) Martin
I have always had a love for airplanes. Assembling my first plane in 1950 began a life long love affair with modeling. Early years were filled with U-Control, first kits and then my own designs. Short break from modeling in the early 60’s when I got married and raced motorcycles and cars. Late 60’s I got back into U-Control and by 1972 I bought my first proportional RC radio and built several pattern glow engine planes. In 1974 I bought my wife a Hobie Hawk sailplane. In 1976 I started Bob Martin RC Models and developed Dura-lene unbreakable plastic fuselages. I designed the Coyote, Katie II, Super Gryphon and SR-7 slope sailplanes all with the Dura-lene fuselages.
In 1979 I bought the tooling to the Hobie Hawk and leased a 5,000 sq.ft. building for our production of our planes and the Hobie Hawk.
In 1983 I bought House of Balsa to gain the ability to process raw balsa and to enter the balsa wood model kits area. This proved to be too large a step for us, in that we did not get part of the business we thought we were buying and so we turned the business back to the original owners.
Taxes in California were killing us and so we moved to Lake Havasu City, AZ in 1985.
We soon found we needed to process our own wood again if we were to remain competitive in the hobby. I borrowed $60,000.00 from the bank, designed automated band-saw, die-cutter and sander systems. Designed and built a gang saw and began production. After designing the Fantasy, Giant Fantasy, Talon, and the world’s first all laser cut RC kit, the Mystery Ship and the Mystique our market became world wide and when we sold our business in 2001 our production peaked at 2,500 kits per month.
During the time we were producing RC kits, I convinced our local club, the Desert Hawks, to put on a float fly to generate income for our field in SARA park. This became the London Bridge Seaplane Classic, the largest float fly in the south-west part of the USA and continues today, over 35 years.
After the success of the float fly and because we have the London Bridge here in Lake Havasu, I thought we could tie the English victory of the Schneider Cup with an event that featured the Schneider Cup aircraft and at a large scale. This event became the top RC event in the world that year in terms of publicity, even being recognized and published in Forbes Magazine. Our posters were extraordinary
with each one a new painting by an artist and printed, and the event ran for 4 years, 1989 thru 1992.
When I sold our airplane business, Major Hobby in 2000, I was hired to design full size boats for North American Sleekcraft. All of the boats I designed were branded MAGIC Powerboats. The first a 44 ft. luxury triple blown engine Cat, then a 34 ft. twin engine and also redesigning the cabin and bottoms on the 30 and 28 ft. boats. They became the favorites along the Colorado River.
When the housing crash of 2007/2008 hit, the boat market dried up and I retired from boat designing.
When my wife passed away in 2010 I was devastated and over a period of a year, friends would lure me back into the glider world and we launched the Katie Martin Tribute at Torrey Pines. The event grew and became International a few years later and Tributes have been held in France, Germany, Great Britain, Venezuela and two locations in Spain.
Other modeling friends inducted me into a Schneider Cup organization to possible bring back the Schneider Cup Re-enactment. I saw a need to be able to offer kits of these unique aircraft featuring laser cutting. The group found Kit Cutters in California was for sale. We bought it and are planning on making it the finest Laser Cutting business in the US of A