The number of people commenting on the reasons for our choice of vehicle that we have chosen to use for this challenge is growing,so I will now endevour to explain that there is indeed method behind our madness...honest !.
Just for a moment then would you take time to ponder this Jeremy Clarkson style question.....
In aerial combat which of these machines would win a dogfight, the cutting edge of technology Eurofighter (AKA the Typhoon) which we love loads, but for(an earth bound comparison) will put in the same league as...oh I don't know...erm....how about a Bugatti Veyron supercar. OR.....the world renowned icon of British aviation genius......the Supermarine Spitfire, which again for the purpose of comparison we will align with an older style of motor car...such as...erm.....how about a 1987 VW Scirocco Scala ?
Now of course many of the purists out there will immediately point out to me the fact that if i am drawing a comparison between an old (German)VW and an aeroplane, then surely it should be a Messerschmitt BF109 and not a Spitfire.......so to those of you who have indeed let these thoughts cross your minds let me just say one thing ..............."I don't care !"...ok, that was three words and a smattering of punctuation, but as Neil, the long haired hippy character from that wonderfull 80's comedy "The young ones" famously said..."Alright, so most metaphors don't bear close examination".........so there !....anyway......the evidence for the comparison now follows:
A) The Spitfire (Scirocco)has proved it's worth in real combat,being able to take immense punishment and still come back for more (Roc Around the Clock charity drive,24 hours,672 miles,35 hospitals).....The Eurofighter (AKA Veyron) has not.
B) The spitfire (Scirocco) was (in the nicest possible sense) simple, and due to that fact if the jockey (pilot) found himself stranded in the middle of a field having been "bagged" during some aerial combat sometime after lunch, but perilously close to tea, there was an outside chance that with a little basic mechanical knowledge (such a rudimentary bicycle repair) he would be able to fashion a repair to the stricken craft and arrive back to the airfield just as the main course was about to be served !...the Eurofighter (Veyron)would be emedded in the field and it's unfortunate pilot would not be home in time for lunch ever again...unless he had time to bang out (eject) , in which case his spine will have shrunk by several inches resulting in a short stay in the local hospital and a terrble ringing in his lug holes which are both classic symptoms of having been shot out of a moving aeroplane atop a seat shaped firework !....and he would be far to late to even catch an after dinner mint !
C)Fuel....As we are all so painfully aware this is in rather short supply, and having to carry lots of the stuff has a relative effect on your aeroplanes performance.Let me explain:
The Spitfire carried 85-90 gallons of liquid gold and had a range of approx 1135 miles
The Eurofighter has a fuel capacity of 880 Gallons of Avtur and a range of 750-800 miles
Result ? Well you would not get any were near as far with a full tank of GoGo juice in a Typhoon as you would in a Spitfire which would be still turning cartwheels whilst the Typhoon heads for the nearest service station.............although the upside to this of course is that the Typhoon pilot would earn a shed load of points on his Tesco club card and be able to keep his Sqn mates in biscuits for many years :-).
I suppose the key point that I am trying to make in this rant is pretty straight forward really.............newer is not always better, and that, in a nutshell is why we are taking a 21 year old Volkswagen Scirocco and not a Bugatti Veyron.......well that and the fact that no one would let us get our hands on one, never mind drive it to Africa !