Dad's model Spitfire took flight! While it wasn't a total success, it flew long enough for those of us on the ground to cheer. I am putting in the comments below that came after Gord sent out the video. Rob edited the video somewhat as well.
It looks like the video will have to go on YouTube and here's the link to the edited version - http://youtu.be/fKDs_0E0nTI. And here is the unedited version - http://youtu.be/HkjV5DFPdTc. You'll have to copy and paste the links.
Here's the first message that came from Gord - "The good news is the plane flew, the bad news is the crash into the trees. One of the aileron linkages let go, and Brian could not recover - he's an excellent pilot. The video isn't great but you get the idea. And for full disclosure, I'm sending a picture of the wing damage. There wasn't much other damage, as the trees broke the fall a bit. I'll take some time to let this all settle in before I decide what to do next. Gord"
From Cousin David Hall - "Never mind, Gord. just to see it in the air was wonderful after all that work and testing. And you might reference your Dad's flight log, after all the flying he had done, when taking off for Belgium in late 1944, he 'pranged' his Spitfire. Now, for me a little considered part of of warfare has always been the mechanical failures-things wear out and break or don't perform as expected. One has to weave all that into the experience. And it makes it more real. Hell, if it was easy, everyone would do it. You are still da man for pursuing this. David"
From me - "It was wonderful to see it take off and listen to it. Congratulations for getting this plane so far along. And thanks to Brian for all his assistance. Love, Anne"
From sister Louise - "Oh SHIT is right! Too bad but hey- you will fly again, Gord!
From brother Don - "Hey Gordini. That was absolutely, seriously, excellent!!! When I look at the freeze frame of the video right after the Spitfire takes off, I get a megabuzz of Dad taking off in the grass. What an image!! Brian was brilliant and I enjoyed the cinema verite classic ending, "Oh Shit!!!" Flying the Spitfire was SO 'the right thing to do' and the Spit looked AMAZING in the air; like it couldn't wait to get soaring and diving. So, fix it up (Epoxy Phil...) at your leisure and let's do this again; this time maybe those who want to could join in to watch, now that you've taken the hard knocks for us all by actually flying. Well done, good and faithful servant ("God", it's a good thing). Big D"
From brother Rob - "Hi all - I'm with you Don - the first few seconds as the plane was taxiing and taking off, the shadow underneath and the first banking turn are magnificent! I edited the start of the clip and slowed it down - see what I mean? Whatever else happens, Gordo, the effort was worth every second of the flight and, as the Aussies say, "Good on yer, mate!" We'll talk again about a North Bay fly-in this summer (after the shad flies and deer flies have settled). Rob"
From friend Karel - "Too bad the plane crashed but the damage looks repairable. It was very nice to see the spitfire getting airborn, could it be the CG was too far back, as the plane seemed to hang on its tail? it could just be an impression. I hope the repair will go well. kind regards, Karel"
And from friend Allan - "Hi All, Sorry for the late addition to the discussion, nice to see the little PVK XIV flying – IIRC wasn’t the engine changed on this one, if so is it the same weight as the original as my comments would match those of Karel otherwise? Hopefully the damage shown in the picture isn’t too hard to repair, and we will see it flying again soon – albeit from a distance for Karel and I!! Kind regards to you all. Allan"
And again from brother Gord - "Sister Anne suggested this after I told her of the cockpit damage. Seems the pilot has done a bit of a face plant into the dashboard after the crash. Gord"
Here are a couple of photos from the video of the flight.
This was a long journey as you can see earlier on this blog and I certainly count it as a huge success.
And the Good News from Gord is that the repair work has already started!