The History of the Aircraft Wash Guys, Part One
Business scholars and students throughout recent periods have studied the fascinating business model of franchising. In the most history of commerce under a common currency from Amsterdam forward to the Global Power House of the United States of America we have seen franchises lead the way. The first franchise was said to be that of the Singer Sewing Machine. Yet if one were to carefully study the Catholic Church or even colonialism itself you can see that franchising or at least its structure is all over mankind's creations. This is on of the reasons we study franchising and franchised companies. From Ray Kroc at McDonalds to the modern day automaker dealerships, we see franchising's mark all over our civilization.
However rarely do we study the makings and grass roots humble beginnings of niche franchise companies. This article is about the history of just such a company. It is intriguing to read how franchises occur naturally in free market systems. Below is the story of how the Aircraft Wash Guys wash founded and how they got started in the Aircraft Washing Business. Although there is tremendous data and written articles to back it up, the story is written from a fictional point of view and opinion, so we do not intend to try to prove anything to anyone, nor do we want to get the founders in any trouble for the fun of the past. We claim freedom of speech, of the press in its entirety since a good part of it is opinion based. This of course should be familiar to any of those who have read the history of McDonalds in Ray Kroc's "Grinding it Out" or Subway Sandwich Story; "Start Small, finish Big."
The Aircraft Guys was not always called the Aircraft Wash Guys. The founder Mr. Lance Winslow's original company at age 12 was Speedy Waxers. He stared with partners. Andrew Rice and Mark Daily, who father both owned aircraft too. In Lance's family they had a Piper Colt, two-seater, which Lance had some 80 flying hours in. Andrew's dad bought a Cessna 150 and Mark's dad had Bellanca Decathlon and a Beech Bonanza. It was in the business of aircraft washing and waxing. Mark Daily became a businessman, Andrew Rice joined the Air Force. All three were in the Civil Air Patrol at the time. Andrew and Lance were also in the Boy Scout Aviation Explorers. Lance eventually came to own the business by himself and later sold this business to a friend, Glen Tierney, who was in the Junior ROTC. This was in 1979 at Camarillo Airport (CMA) in California near the Coast above Los Angeles. After selling Speedy Waxers, Lance went to work for a local McDonald's as an employee, for Clay Passion, Franchisee, who owned a Beechcraft Debonair that Lance use to wash on a weekly basis. Clay was a long time customer and his office staff were Car Washing customers for at least a decade in Lance's other company the Car Wash Guys; www.carwashguys.com . Clay promised Lance a quick advancement due to his previous business experience and aircraft washing loyalty. Lance was waiting for a turn to go into training to be an assistant manager. Meanwhile he read Ray Kroc's book and studied every single manual and videotape in the place and how every single detail was accounted for. WOW, he thought, this is how you really do it, this is when Lance decided he would emulate Ray Kroc whenever he could. Glen Tierney later joined the Air Force five months later and left the business.Lance recontacted all the customers and went back into business under the name Aero Wash, and then set up more units at Santa Paula Airport, Van Nuys, Oxnard Airport and even got accounts in Santa Barbara. Back then we washed 135 aircraft per week at approximately $10.00 each. (Can you imagine those prices today?)
Back then Lance thought he would try aircraft sales, however he was young and naive and nobody would give me a chance. He knew he would do well, he happen to know just about everyone at five different airports, contacts for sales would be a no-brainer. Not only was he young, but he was small for his age. It was hard enough to get people to let him wash their planes at age 12 let alone sell planes at age 15. So at 15 he formed an aircraft finders fee business and asked a commission for referring buyers. This was when the ITC-Investment tax credit was taken away, America was still in the energy crisis with high fuel prices and luxury tax law went into affect the next year and killed General Aviation. We still had the aircraft washing business, but Lance now armed with a driver's license at sixteen knew no limits. He started washing fleets for utility companies, California Highway Patrol, Post Office Jeeps, anything. At the time we had several Independent contractors we called "franchisees." Of course at the time Lance didn't really understand the total extent of what franchising was, he understood McDonald's and attention to details, but was only starting to grasp what he would some day become. Lance was winning in the market in the middle of the recession, he said we do not participate in recessions. We are good at the down times too, we have been there and we won and we understand the market and the sectors we are in. Here are some articles in the beginning. www.carwashguys.com/history/beginning.html
Lance started a company he called Speedy Aircraft Finders. As part of this business he started the first Aircraft Multi-Listing Service, which was online. Although the Internet was not really being used yet and TRS 80's were just hitting the market. He used dumb terminals and watts lines to send aircraft brokers updated listings. He sold approximately 40 or so aircraft back then and assisted other brokers in doing the same. He took on two partners and later they were able to squeeze lance out of the pattern. Two years later one of the gentleman later went to prison for embezzlement when he sold the same aircraft to three people, the other reprimanded on another deal and eventually lost everything.
Lance after being forced to sell his third of the business went to work for Air Camarillo and started the Aircraft Sales Department determined to out-sell those gentlemen. He did and everyone else too. Although he really did not like to do sales, he loved to fly the aircraft for sale. Sometimes he would insist that every buyer fly every single aircraft on the line for sale and many that Lance had brokered agreements, before they were allowed to make and offer, sign a conditional sales contract or buy an airplane. Thus Lance got more flying time in lots of cool aircraft and he doubts he ever had an unhappy customer, they always gave referrals and always came back. It was through this high volume of sales that Mira Slovak, a famous Russian Defector during the Cold War, came to Lance with a proposition to help him sell Partnavias. An Italian Built Aircraft, which Mira had the North American rights to sell. Lance became a dealer for that brand too.
One day Mira shows up in an Italian Bi-Plane and asks Lance if he wants to go for a ride. Lance says sure. Lance and Mira Slovak inventor of the aircraft maneuver the Lumshovak, fly to 300 AGL and do the inverted snap roll entry cartwheel and tumble through the sky. Lance was then hooked on aerobatics. There was a time when if Lance could not cage the gyros and in a plane so he could do a spin or a barrel roll or in aerobatic aircraft do a loop or tail slide he just wouldn't fly. He got over that quick enough, sometimes it gives you a real head ache.
End Part I
"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs
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With airline travel increasing in record numbers, more people are experiencing the frustration of understanding the airlines industry language, and leaving them feeling that they need an interpreter for the travel information they're receiving from the airline industry!It seems that air companies think that every individual that flies should have to understand all that travel Jargon they place on their flight reservations, and maybe it's about time we figure out what they're talking about, because it's costing you money and valuable time!Once you learn all the airlines travel terms, you won't be dependent on your local travel agent anymore, and he/she won't be able to collect all the wonderful service fees from you for being your traveling interpreter.The price of your travel flight is based on many intricate components that the airlines reservations department implement, not to purposely confuse you, but to formulate their airfares and determine what they need to charge each passenger for all flights taken.
Really Cheap Airline Tickets
When you're looking for airline tickets to your specific destination, whether it be for business purposes or for a well-deserved holiday, finding really cheap airfare tickets will relieve a lot of your traveling costs.Though there are so many places offering 'really cheap airfare tickets' on the web most have some kind of strings attached - for instance these sites may offer you really cheap airfares on flights to less popular destinations.
Jet Lag - You Can Suffer From It...Or You Can Do What This International Airline Captain Does
Whatever the reason for your travel, you have made a considerable investment. It costs you time and money.
Sex in a Cessna, Part III
So far we have learned the safety aspect of setting the aircraft up in non-restricted airspace, with auto-pilot and away from other aircraft traffic. Now we will describe sexual positions, which will help you maintain controlled flight without restricting visibility.
Hypersonic or Ultrasonic Sound to Disrupt Laser Beam Attack on Commercial Airliners
In large buildings to prevent sound pollution often double paned glass is used with music or flowing air between the panes, this works very well and is sufficient to prevent the noise. Since many commercial airliners have double paned glass already if we are careful to watch the harmonics as to not cause structural problems to the aircraft (remember the Comet), then we propose hypersound or ultrasonic sound within the panes to prevent laser light from entering the cockpit and inhibiting or blinding the pilots.
Learning to Fly
Flying is fun. I learned to fly myself when I was 10-years old as my dad was an Airline Pilot and former Naval Aviator.
Airline Security; Stewardesses The Last Line Of Defense!
Introduction:It might come as a chock to many people, including the Stewardesses, but the fact remains that in today's Airline Industry, the Stewardess is the last line of defense!In the 11th of September terrorist attacks, on the WTC and Pentagon, the first victims were the Stewardesses. Savagely attacked by the terrorist on their way to the cockpit's and tortured to pressure pilots, to comply with the terrorists demands.
Inflatable Aircraft Wing Camber Modification
Every aircraft is a compromise. It is either built to fly fast or slow to land in tight distances and carry more weight.
De Ice Boots Preventative Care
If you have de-ice boots on your aircraft you realize that for them to last you will need to keep them in new condition. In days gone buy aviators and aircraft mechanics have used all sorts of things to keep them in mint condition.
Sport Aviation and Jet Aircraft
Do you want a little business jet with a lot of power? Well hold on, as we are almost here. There are many new little Biz Jets about to come to the market place.
Entering Business Aviation, Part I: Types of Aircraft
The jets that people fly in corporate aviation are usually a lot smaller than those found with the airlines. Exceptions to the rule are Boeing's BBJ and Airbus' Corporate Jet, both of which are based on some of the smaller types of aircraft marketed to the airlines.
What Causes Jet Lag?
Jet lag is a common sleep disorder suffered by many millions of travelers every day, whether traveling on business or for pleasure. In one recent survey of international business travelers, seventy four percent of those questioned said that they suffered frequently from jet lag.
Jet Lag - 7 Steps To A Successful Trip
Don't let jet lag spoil that much needed holiday trip to paradise or stop you from closing that career enhancing deal you've been working on for months.Arriving full of excitement and anticipation is great, but finding that you can't sleep at night, you're tired during the day and you've got an upset stomach and a headache can do a lot more than just take the edge off your trip.
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