A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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29 August 2019

The Longest Day.

I seem to recall that my record, established in Arco Felice was 30 hours, but I've pushed that up to 32. My last week on board the Ndurance saw me doing the night shift - a 6am to 6pm stint that more or less fitted in with the ship's galley, but as it was the last shift and preparations for decommissioning were necessary, I was up and about at 2 in the afternoon.

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Later, the sun dropped below the horizon....

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... turbine platforms loomed out of the darkness....

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.... and we left the field to sail into Vlissingen to load another cable. A spectacular dawn was a farewell treat before leaving the ship and taking the train to Schiphol airport. A 5pm flight to Norwich had been arranged (I was beginning to see double by then) and we took off on 36L which, although we were in an Embraer 190 and taxiing at a good clip, took nearly 15mins to cover the 5km from the terminal building. Flying time was roughly 35 minutes....

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... and The Other Wright Brother turned up to collect me in his Cobra - time to his house, about 3 nanoseconds. Luckily, I'd put my suitcase on the truck taking the magnetising kit back to the works! After a splendid crab and linguini salad for supper, I took a taxi back to the farm, arrived at 10pm and went out like a light.

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The Other Wright Brother had been busy building this Aerographics 'Westland Widgeon', converted to electric power. I used to build CO2 powered scale models - though not to this standard - and eventually got around to building a Precedent 'BiFly', though slightly modified to give it a more vintage look. I had a lot of fun with that and I deliberately under-powered it so that aerobatics would be a case of energy management rather than sheer grunt. It made for a much smoother display. (I notice The Other Wright Brother has a 'BiFly' in his collection of 40 or so kits - hmm.)

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With the addition of wings, a water pump and temperature gauge; louvres and a general tidy-up, Sunita was sold to a couple of collectors in the Netherlands who continue to campaign the car. As you know, my next project is the Tear-drop Coupé and for that I have an Alvis TA14 chassis and TD21 3l engine and gearbox. I'm now thinking that this might have been purchased in haste and I've since been researching the Riley RM series because they offer independent torsion bar suspension at the front - more in keeping with my proposed design. The sump of the Morris 6 engine sits comfortably between the torsion bars and the later cars dispense with the torque tube propshaft arrangement which would get in the way of the Morris engine/Ford box configuration I plan. A couple of RM wrecks have come up on Ebay and I've been able to study the make-up of the chassis in some detail from the accompanying photographs. It looks a distinct possibility and, what's more, the Riley wheelbase is 4" longer than the Alvis.




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