ABOUT US… AND YOUR GOAT…
In 2000, I was a development engineer for the Bayliner boat company in Seattle. I hated Seattle but I loved the mountains & outdoors but I was extremely new to big rock climbing & mountaineering. One weekend, I was roped up with a climbing guide named Jeff in hip deep snow on the west slope of the North Cascade Mountains in Washington State.
Jeff clearly had been mountaineering since before the Earth cooled off & while we’d climbed together before a couple times, I didn’t know him very well because we’d never really worked together “under pressure”. I did know that he would forget more about climbing than I would ever know. Conditions were deteriorating & weather was moving in. I asked Jeff if pushing the summit at this point was even worth the squeeze. His next words are the basis upon which I have run an engineering company and an aviation business with perfect safety records over the last 18 years.
“Den, you’re not paying me for the summit. We’re here for the experience & to watch each others’ backs. We’re damn lucky men to be here today & that’s enough. Our gear is pro – our planning is spot on – our experience is legit. But, buddy, my first priority is going home today & having a beer with my wife buck naked in the hot tub. And that’s what we’re going to do.”
Now, I wasn’t entirely sure if he meant that I was going to be naked in the hot tub with he & his wife – or if he just meant we were going home. I never asked to clarify but I had a lot to think about all the way down.
We love what we do. And, while we’re willing to risk our lives to teach you to fly & build you an expedition-quality flying machine – but our goal is to home at the end of the day. We have a process by which we learn about you as you learn about us. This will become apparent in our business plan if it hasn’t already. These aircraft, in the wrong hands, used without respect or absent good decision making – will kill you & worse yet, might take someone innocent with you. Used & maintained properly, it will provide you a lifestyle & adventures absolutely impossible to explain or even capture on film to sufficiently describe to others.
The “Goat” is not another bolt-together, over-priced novelty with eccentric advertising & social media hype. Frankly, it’s a very simple machine and possibly as indifferent to attention, conditions & affection as its name. Our aircraft & business are designed to speak for themselves. We do not hurry projects. We don’t agree to delivery dates. We are not high volume. We prefer you build yours from a kit for self-reliance & expertise. We spent 18 years & millions of dollars flying & modifying the best brands of trikes into quasi-adventure-capable portable aircraft with no success. We spent 6 years collaborating with the most respected backcountry pilots, off-road & racing fabricators in the US – developing the Goat while abusing our concepts & designs in the most awful flying & expedition conditions you can imagine. We notch. We cope. We bend. We weld. We laser-cut or brackets. We use 5-axis CNC mills for countless parts & fixtures. We use exclusively Stainless Steel or Chromoly for our fully welded airframes – and even purge the oxygen for longevity. We use adjustable nitrogen suspension on ALL landing gear. If backcountry pilots, off-road & racing pros do it, we do it. None of them told us to use aluminum tubes & bolts. We over-built most aspects of the aircraft. In other aspects, pure simplicity & the ability to trouble-shoot & maintain it with simple tools in the field prevailed. And, in case it isn’t obvious, the Goat is not “pretty” as utility & function prevailed over aesthetics. You have many options for pretty trikes. The Goat is not one of them.
This has been a long road & we’re very proud of the aircraft and our humble approach to it. I’ll close with this; if there is a better weight shift control aircraft for our purpose, we’d be flying it & avoiding the liability & hassle of being an FAA certified aircraft manufacturer. Build a better one, and I’ll be your first customer. Until then, we offer the “Goat” which stands for “Get Out And Travel.”
See you there.
Principal & Director of Engineering