Bloody freezing! That’s what it’s like flying on open cockpit Fokker E-111 Eindecker replica in the winter skies of Scotland.
She gave up her space in the hangar for the Sting and then spent 5 months in a 20ft shipping container, but we were recently informed that there was hangar space again so it was time to put the Eindecker back together.
Unfortunately the fork end from a turnbuckle on one of the flying wires had gone missing during one of the moves. We couldn’t find it anywhere so there was a slight delay while we tried to find another. I ended up emailing Dave Stephens (the original builder) for advice and he came up trumps, telling me which bit to get and where to get it (a yacht chandlery in Essex!)
So after rerigging, tensioning the wires, connecting the ailerons, charging the battery, checking the oil, a ground run and refitting the cowling it was finally time for the Eindecker to fly again…on the coldest day of the year so far.
It was cold. So cold that I had to land after 15 minutes, drag the Sting out and go flying for another 25 minutes with the heater on full blast. This video was made last year, but gives you some idea. Lots of headroom but the cockpit heating leaves a lot to be desired…
It’s November, and it seems that all airline captains whose first name starts with “D” can expect to retire in November. I know of three this month, so it must be true.
Duncan and Dave and Danny all retired this month, but then again so did Iain and Paul, so maybe the November “D” thing isn’t a hard and fast rule…
Captain Dave Dickie of Thomson Airways (formerly First Choice, formerly Air2000) and I spent many an hour in 757s and 767s trogging backwards and forwards over Europe and the Atlantic taking holidaymakers to and fro. We first met at Loganair in the 80’s when he was on the shed (Shorts 360) and I was a lowly Pilot’s Assistant on the Twin Otter (flying with the aforementioned retiree Iain).
Photo: Capt Peter McC
Capt Danny Linkous and I have never flown together, but we have met. A former USAF F4 Phantom pilot, he flew for Piedmont and US Airways. Living in North Carolina, he flies light aircraft for fun and lives on an airpark where his Chipmunk is kept in a hangar about 15 seconds walk from the house.
We met when he and his wife Diane came to Perth Airport in Scotland to look at the replica P47 Thunderbolt I owned ( see http://www.sigurdmartin.se/2016/10/30/replica-fighters-why/ ). Because he was the one who built it! He got to sit in the cockpit and tell stories. At the end of the visit I gave him a Spitfire book and he gave me a dodgy brown envelope full of photos and articles and other stuff about N47DL, as it was originally registered in the US.
A long and happy retirement to both Dave and Danny, and of course the others not pictured – Duncan, Iain and Paul.
And finally… If you have lots of spare cash lying around and fancy living in a genuine (converted) WW2 Royal Air Force control tower have a look at this. Sadly it’s surrounded by the rest of the development. It’s at Clathymore on the former airfield at Findo Gask, west of Perth, and is surrounded by mud in the photo below…