HomeDrone business sees teenager’s dreams taking flight

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CATHERINE GROENESTEIN

Ever since the age of 4 Paul Short has enjoyed making things fly, he has moved from paper planes to drones.

 Paul Short has dreams that fly higher than most.The Inglewood 14-year-old has just launched his own business, building and selling remote-controlled drones and hopes he’ll eventually turn it into his career.
 From back when he began making paper planes as a 4-year-old, Short has loved making things fly.
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Paul Short pilots one of his collection of drones.He built his first remote controlled plane, a 1.7m balsa wood glider, aged about nine. He’s now importing parts to build drones of various types, for himself and clients.

The combination of a camera and the fast-moving machines, viewed through a FPV (first person view) helmet or goggles, makes for a exciting sport that is growing fast around the world, he said.”What is fun is getting six or seven guys together, and you make a course using swimming pool noodles, then you fly around it, race around the course.”

Flying drones was better than computer gaming, he said.”You’re out there flying instead of sitting inside playing X-box and if you crash you have to fix it, I think its better, it’s like playing games but something real is happening.” There’s no club in Taranaki yet, but Short intends to change that by setting up one himself.

Short, who is home-schooled, launched the business GOdrone with a stand at the Stratford A&P Show last weekend.”We had the idea that it could become a bit of a business, it’s always good to be able to make money with your hobbies, especially expensive hobbies,” he said.A friend who does graphic design created him a logo and he built his own website, GOdrone.co.nz, with his dad Rex who is a computer expert.

“It was a bit of a struggle to get ready for the A&P Show, I had never done that before but it was definitely worth it. I sold all my little nano quads that I’d taken to sell and I’ve got lots of people interested in getting custom-built drones.”