John started his work in life as an aircraft engineer and has retained his love of aviation since switching to work with dogs full time in 1980. John obtained his private pilot's license (USA and UK) in the early 90's and in 1996 started building his own aircraft at home.
The first aircraft that he built is an American design, Fisher Horizon 1, aptly registered as G-DOGZ.
His second aircraft is a replica of a 1932 Hawker Fury (Issac's Fury II). This aircraft can be regularly seen flying displays around the UK where it is expertly flown by John's friend, Simon Johnston.
Aircraft number three is a vintage 1947 Piper Vagabond, which John acquired as a wreck and totally rebuilt. The rebuild included making two brand new wings and fitting a 100 horse power Continental engine with electric start. John can be seen in this aircraft flying around the Northeast countryside whenever time and weather permit.
The fourth aircraft, and another total rebuild (including making new wings) was a vintage Piper Tri-Pacer, which is now owned by a group based at Fishburn Airfield in Durham.
Spitfire (in progress)
Current projects are a replica Spitfire built from a set of plans, which will be the first replica of its type to fly in the UK. By the time it is flying (hopefully Spring 2008) John, his friend Ron Smith will have invested over 2000 hours of their spare time in building it.
Other Current Projects (not pictured)
A second Issac's Fury is also under construction. This aircraft will then fly in formation with the Spitfire and the other Fury at displays all around the UK. Another aircraft under construction is a Cavalier, which is a low wing, two seat, side-by-side, wood and fabic aircraft. John is also involved in building and supervising the construction of Matthew's (John's son) Acroduster II, two seat, acrobatic, bi-plane.