A MIRFIELD business that started out as a hobby has really taken off after moving premises.
Flightstore, run by Andrew Holdsworth, opened its new 9,000 sq ft premises last Friday and is now the largest pilot shop in the north of England.
Already established as a leading mail order pilot and aviation supplier, the move from Town Hall Street in Mirfield town centre to a much larger base just off the A62 Leeds Road has allowed Flightstore to expand its mail order operation and, for the first time, create a new ‘walk-in’ pilot shop stocking more than 5,000 products for aviation professionals and enthusiasts.
The business was founded by Andrew in 1999, as little more than a hobby.
Mirfield born and bred, Andrew was asked to create a website for a major air show at Elvington and got interested in flying as a result.
He said: “I decided to use the website to set up my own small business selling aviation products, and it proved so popular that I decided to branch out and open my own store.”
Fifteen years later, aided by wife Sarah and a nine-strong team, Andrew’s Flightstore offers the widest range of aviation products in the UK, from core pilot and training equipment through to enthusiast and historic clothing and memorabilia.
It’s one of only four such stores in the country, with pilots, trainees, hobbyists and enthusiasts all catered for.
Scores of training manuals and maps stock the shelves, alongside GPS units, safety devices, clothing, watches, sunglasses, memorabilia and a comprehensive selection of flight simulation products for home computers.
New additions at the pilot store include a fully-working multi-screen flight simulator, where customers can choose from over 200 aircraft which can be flown in a realistic simulation environment and an aviation art gallery by renowned artist Paul Cordwell.
“This is an exciting time for Flightstore,” Andrew continued. “I am delighted to offer our customers a wonderful environment to view and sample such a large selection of aviation products under one roof.”
Last Friday’s successful launch event was attended by more than 90 invited guests, including Mirfield councillors Vivien Lees-Hamilton and Kath Taylor.
The new Flightstore shop is open every day Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm.
For more information call 01924 480777 or visit www.flightstore.co.uk.