Vintage model planes export success

Model plane business takes off 

High up in on the limestone White Peak plateau of the Derbyshire Dales lies the small hamlet of Flagg.  Yet the rural nature of the location belies the fact that here is based an innovative company exporting to over 50 countries worldwide.  

Businessmen Tim Wilcox and Hadi Kanan launched their Vintage Model Company in 2012 after city-based careers, researching the market to home in on a high quality vintage style product.   Their business, manufacturing vintage model plane kits, has since grown to become the biggest in the UK in its sector.  

Sustainability is important to the business and they use fast-growing balsa wood and biodegradable plastic parts to make the kits.    Having started with one machine they now have five laser machines to cut the wood. 

As the business grew and needed more space Tim and Hadi and took advantage of free help from the Derbyshire Dales Business Advice Service* to help them relocate here.  With the support of the D2 Enterprise Growth Fund they bought and converted some redundant farm buildings to suit their purposes.  

Tim explains:

"Model aeroplane kits were very popular in the 1950s and 60s but the hobby gradually died out over the years. We wanted to revive the pleasure of building from a kit, not just for the dedicated hobbyist but for anyone who appreciates the nostalgia and heritage of vintage aeroplanes.   We sell the range through retailers, museums and tourist attractions throughout the country as well as Amazon."  

The company now comprises six people and is hoping to convert more of the farm buildings to create space for other businesses.   

*Part of the D2N2 LEP Growth Hub, the advice service - part funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the District Council - provides free face to face support for businesses in the Dales wanting to grow. For more information contact