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181. Thanks from David…

30/06/2015

Yesterday I heard from Gene DeMarco to say he’d be here on 6th July, and Francis Donaldson has indicated that we should have the Permit to Test by then. Rick has emailed to say that the minor glitches with the engine controls are fixed, and the compass has been removed, which means therefore that in just over a week’s time we should be in a position, weather permitting, to get air under 1264’s wheels.

I’m not a nervous person, and I know we’ve built her to the highest standard. But we have SO much invested in her, and she’s the only one in the world, and I must admit to some sleepless nights thinking about those early flights.

And in this period of relative inactivity, it seems like a good time to say some thank yous to those who’ve helped to make this project through to completion.

Any list of this type is necessarily incomplete, and if your name isn’t included specifically here, please don’t think we aren’t grateful, because we are.

Leo Opdyke, who built the first Bristol Scout since 1916 and his machine provided our initial inspiration and persuaded us that our idea of rebuilding Granddad’s aeroplane was feasible. His research meant that we had an excellent head start in gathering the necessary information.

Derek Staha, who freely gave us high-quality scans of the original Bristol drawings that had ended up in the US.

Sir George White, who preserved Leo’s machine and photographed the parts list.

Gene DeMarco and The Vintage Aviator Ltd who have provided the engine, fabric and many other essential bits, together with masses of advice.

Jean Munn and the Shuttleworth Collection, whose advice and help throughout have been essential and freely given.

Alan Haseldine, our welder.

Rupert Wasey of Hercules Propellers, who made all the struts – interplane, cabane and chassis – as well as the propeller.

Ian Harris, who made the tanks and side shields.

Steve Moon, who made the cowlings.

Scott Powell and the team at Light Aero Spares, who have been extremely helpful in finding us some pretty unusual parts.

Keith and Kevin Edwards, who built our amazing trailer.

Francis Donaldson, Mike Smart and the LAA, who’ve overseen the project, provided constructive help and support, and will shortly give us the piece of paper that allows 1264 to take to the air.

Chris and Pat Jones, who provided accommodation at the airfield, use of all his workshop facilities and tools, advice, a helping hand whenever it was needed and endless, endless cups of tea,

Dave Garrett, who stepped in at short notice to get the trailer to and from Bicester when we were completely stuck for tow vehicles.

Dodge Bailey, Chief Test Pilot of the Shuttleworth Collection, for his advice and – probably – test flying.

I know Rick and Theo will have their own list of thank yous to make, and they will make them elsewhere, but for me, there’s one gigantic thank you I still want to make.

Sue Bremner

Sue Bremner - the fourth member of the team.

Sue Bremner – the fourth member of the team.

This list is necessarily incomplete and partial, and most men would have felt obliged to say thank you to their wives, even if their contribution had been a grudging acceptance of their husband’s long-term absence in the workshop, and the diminution of their savings. But Sue has been an active enthusiastic partner in the project from day one.

She has undertake a great deal of the research, coming up with all sorts of exciting leads relating to instruments, photographs – indeed anything to do with the Bristol Scout. It’s Sue who insisted on my starting this blog and who has pestered me to make regular entries, Sue who runs the Facebook and Twitter pages, Sue who has been in touch with the Ludlow Ledger and the BBC, Sue who has kept me going with her enthusiasm through the dark times and who wanted to lend me money when things got a bit tight.

The three of us, Theo Rick and myself, are the ones who get the credit for 1264, but in fact Sue is the fourth member of the team. Her contribution is at least as great as any of the rest of us.

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