Angus Buchanan

Angus Buchanan died in a crash of a Stampe bi-plane on May 9, 2021

Our first look at Angus and his project

Like people who climb mountains just because they're there, I suspect I have built an aircraft just because the irresistible opportunity exists....

Having gained a licence I learnt that you could build your own machine and was astonished anyone would let you do this! So research began ending in a pretty diverse shortlist. Ultimately round the kitchen table one evening my wife declared "Well you like the red one, don't you?" At that point I was struggling to justify where my heart lay. Little did she know that in construction terms there are large undertakings, insanely ambitious projects, and of course the Falco.

Thus in October 1994 the project began in a 3rd story Scottish flat in a bedroom two inches wider than the stabiliser wing span. As a qualified engineer, then building warships, the drawings were not a struggle and advice was plentiful from all trades in the yard experienced in welding several thousand tonne structures together.... I had a good early run on the tail, with my ballet-dancing wife away from home for several months of the year, allowing devotion to the build.

My story then sounds like that of all Falco builders apart from one thing. I think I may be the youngest person to have started this build. However, not the youngest to have finished! 24+ years later and 5,000 hours in my shed, I can now declare “I built an aircraft”. It hasn’t been a chore. Far from it, I enjoy the workshop, but learned very early on that you cannot just “be there”. You have to have a mission in order to make progress -- which means the 5,000 hours are supplemented by planning; in the car, lying in bed etc.

Interruptions are inevitable over such a long project, and I have had my fair share: moving houses, two children, job moves, business travel and construction of a couple of interim projects amongst the main event. This has included being part of a team assisting a girl’s school to build a microlight over a two year period -- a considerable pleasure to see the girls fly in something they constructed themselves.

All builders write their emotional First Flight report. One in particular sticks in my mind -- and this builder subcontracted the task to his wife. Her comments were that their children had grown up with an aeroplane being created in the garage. The upshot of which was that the children clearly understood that anything was possible....

Angus Buchanan


Angus Buchanan, 1994 and 2018

Angus Buchanan was working as a project director for a warship builder in Glasgow, Scotland when he first purchased the Falco plans in 1994. Since, his career has encompassed commercial shipping, waste to energy and innovation in milking machinery -- engineering the theme both at work and home! Angus lives in Kent in the South East of the UK Email:

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