Tuesday, 19 February 2008

S2M @ Waddington Air Show July 2008

I spoke to one of the organisers of the RAF Waddington International Air Show today, and we have been given the green light to attend this fantastic event on the weekend of the 5th and 6th July this year :-).

In years gone by the number of people attending what is probably now the UK's leading Air Show has frequently topped 400,000 over the 2 days it is staged, and therefore it goes without saying that a stand there will hopefully help us to swell the coffers for our 3 nominated charities as well as enabling us to highten the profile of the event amongst the general public....and that will be a great help in securing sponsorship of our challenge.

I have been an avid attendee (is that a real word ?) of the Waddington air show for around 8 or 9 years now, and always find it an excellent day out for all members of the family having not only a shed load of aeroplanes both flying and static, but also a wide veriety of stalls, funfairs and exhibitions that will keep you occupied for many hours.

Apparently we are to be allocated a pitch within the "Vintage vehicle" area (!), and Glen and I will be asking people to donate towards any of our charities, but especially the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance as the helicopter itself is actually stationed at RAF Waddington.

We will also be holding a prize draw to win the fantastic Simulator prize mentioned in an earlier post that was donated by Real Simulation based in Yorkshire.This prize is for a 1 hour flight in either an F4 Phantom or a Boeing 737 airliner and it's worth £279 !

For more info about the event just click on the link that is under the S2M Sponsors heading.

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Old Vs New......the facts.

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 !

Friday, 8 February 2008

Is it me or is it getting hot in here ?

I had a taste of what to expect when we go to Morocco in September this week after i managed to not only break off, but then loose the heater control lever !.As luck would have it the lever is not so much broken as detatched, and so once i manage to find the ruddy thing (it's gone missing...looked everywhere and nowt !) i will be able to turn the heater off...because at the mo it's like driving a sauna to work once the engine is warmed up :-).

On a slightly cooler note Leukaemia Research have managed to get details and web links on their site, so hopefully the traffic (it's net slang for viewers !) to this blog will increase a little.

Can I please ask people who read these blogs to make a comment on them if possible ? I don't really care if they are good,bad or indifferent...just let me know that you are out there...please !.

Changing tack (yet again!) I took Scarlet to the Sleaford branch of AW body repairs this morning and had a chat with Mike down there.He took some piccies and we had a good old chat as to the merits...and pitfalls of attempting to drive a 21 year old car with no air conditioning,sunroof or opening rear windows to North Africa, but agreed on one major point and that it is all for a good cause, and (to paraphrase)as John F Kennedy,the then president of the USA said about the NASA Apollo space programme “We choose to go...not because [driving to Morocco] easy, but because [driving to Morocco] is hard, because that goal will serve to measure and organize the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win......and possibly pick up a few duty free's on the way !”.......oh,and to raise lots of money for the charities that we are helping !

One more thing.If by any miracle/act of God/total breakdown of reality I win the Euro Lottery this evening (£95 Million !) please take this post as notice that i intend to keep just a measly £5 Mill, and donate the rest to friends,family and Charity.......I don't care if i do regret saying that, cos i will have £5 million reasons to be happy anyway :-).Don't forget to leave your comments !.