About Fox Manufacturing

Thanks for checking here to find out a little of the history of Fox Engines.

He could drive when he was 4..........
Fox Manufacturing was started by my step-father, Duke Fox, in 1948 in his parents garage outside Los Angeles, California. He'd been fascinated by engines since he was four years old. His dad was a car salesman who needed to convince people that new-fangled automobiles were easy to learn to drive so he taught Duke to drive when he was 4 and sent him out to drive (Alone!!) around the block

His dad also took him to the auto shop when cars came in for repairs, so by the time he was four and a half Duke had a clear understanding of valves, crankshafts, pistons, coils, timers, and transmissions.

He was out flying on Sunday, December 7th, 1941 when a friend walked up and told him Japan had bombed Pearl Harbor.....
Duke went to work for Hughes Aircraft after finishing junior college.  He flew with the Burbank Club and out at Western and Rosecrans Flying Field which were the centers of gas model flying at the time.  He was flying there one peaceful Sunday when war broke out.  He developed our first engine, the Fox .59 while working at Hughes. It's now at the AMA Museum

Have you heard the one about trying to drop-launch a glider from a helicopter.....
Duke was called up in 1944. His first weekend pass he walked 5 miles out into the Denver countryside to go to a model contest.  After basic training, he went to Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio and was assigned to glider research.  He was sent to test a glider suspended under a helicopter with a vertical assent of no more than 10m 9r 15 feet.  In the downdraft, the clamps ripped the sides out of the glider.  This really doesn't have anything to do with Fox history, we just thought it was a funny story.

After the war back to the garage.....
Our .35 Stunt engine was the successful result of experimenting in the late 40's.  With a VA loan and partnered by Dale Arnold, we went into production and did so well at AMA's 1949 Nationals that we had offers lined up and waiting. With the success of the Fox .35 Stunt engine, Fox Manufacturing bought its first factory.

Los Angeles has always had bad traffic.....
Fox Manufacturing moved to our current home, Fort Smith, Arkansas, in 1954.  From this location in the Middle South, we had shorter shipping routes as well as a pool of talented labor.  We live 5 minutes from our factory. The 1 acre building is in the Heart of Fort Smith's industrial center. It has been here that we've filled out the rest of our hobby engine line from the Fox .15 to the Fox .74 fuel engines and Gas engines from the Fox 2.4 to Fox 11.5.
Our exceptional line of world famous glow plugs started here too. 

The second generation retools.....
Duke Fox died in 1991, leaving the company to my mother, Betty, and myself. She ran the company until her death in 2002. To keep a successful family business  alive I took over Fox Manufacturing . For those of you who do not know me, my name is Ralph Fox.. I was 13 when Duke and my mom married and moved to Fort Smith. As a kid I ran second operations machines and spent (seemingly forever) vacations and summers in the run-in rooms breaking in engines. So, I was trained at an early age in the operations of Fox. I left home at 16 to enter the University of Arkansas where I got my PhD. from the Engineering Department. From there I went to Wall Street, where I worked until I was able to retire to Atlanta, Georgia, in 1998.

To keep up with current technology and production, I've bought new computer-numerically controlled mills and lathes to ensure the highest quality on all our products.  As well as our big new Haas CNC machines, we've found continued work for our 19 automatic screw machines.  We do a fair amount of outside contract work making precision military parts, parachute rings, and oil rig components.  You name it, we can make it! We like to say, "We can make anything!"

We speak your language (or The Great Pall of China).....
As you probably know, foreign competition has been devestating for our friends at the other U.S. hobby engine companies.  Most of them are sadly gone. We have been able to continue because of your loyalty. Thanks for keeping us in business and thanks for supporting home-grown products.

We've been blessed with talented and dedicated employees who've continued to improve our older models and bring new hobby engines into production. Alot of you have met Charles Thacker, our plant manager, and Harold Wille, our lead salesman, at the air shows.  When you call in you've spoken to Sharon Shawkey, our office manager. (How many great grandmothers can tell you how to re-shim your engine?)  

When you call us, you speak directly to the talent that makes your Fox Engine.

Thanks for reading this far and Keep Flying
Ralph Fox

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