A Guy in a Garage
Yup, this was built by a crazy guy in a garage
Hi, my name is Ansel, nice to (virtually) meet you! I'm the crazy guy who built the Flyt 16™ - in a garage.
You'll notice that the terms 'I' and 'we' are used somewhat interchangeably on this website, because both are true. I don't like using 'I' because it seems too selfish/arrogant and there were lots of people who helped to make this project a reality, but I also don't want to give people the wrong impression by using 'we' everywhere and having them expect a team of people working on this. It's a hard balance to strike.
Here's the basic story:
- Guy dreams of flying machines
- He majors in business in college
- Teaches himself some aeronautical engineering on the side and does the basic math to show it theoretically could work
- Works in management consulting for several years after graduating and saves up money to pursue this dream
- Quits job and works (mostly) alone in a garage every day for three years and across four(ish) prototypes to turn it into a reality
That pretty much sums it up. I like to tell people I'm a crazy guy building a cross between a flying car and a jetpack, but at the end of the day I just really believe in what I'm trying to do and never learned how to take no for an answer.
There have been tons of people who have helped over the years, especially friends and family who have provided invaluable advice, support, and skills. For example, I had no idea how to do anything in CAD when I started, so a friend of mine helped me to design parts I needed and teach me how to use the software. Or the countless times I needed help with testing and friends graciously offered their time to do free physical labor.
While it's fun to be able to say I built a personal flying machine in a garage, it's only the first (and arguably easiest) step of many. I'm sort of working alone on this by choice, because I'm really, really optimistic and think that each prototype won't take long to finish and of course, this one's going to work! In the end, I didn't spend enough time looking for a co-founder because I was worried the concept wouldn't work at all. I'm fine wasting my own time on something that won't work, but I'd feel awful if I ended up wasting someone else's time on something that didn't work. Maybe that makes me a bad entrepreneur, but it's important to me to treat others like I'd want them to treat me.
Anyway, that's the short story behind this. There's a ton more in our 'History - long' page where I tell the whole story of the process and each prototype. At the end of the day, don't take me too seriously though, because who in their right mind would build and fly a contraption they built in a garage?
If you want to see some of the times things didn't go according to plan, check out the Stories and Failures page.