View Full Version : Chairman's Rant - March 2020 (non-contagious version)

27-03-2020, 22:33
Well, it’s a funny old time and no mistake, innit? Here we are inthe middle of an actual pandemic, and it’s causing massive changesin everyone’s behaviour. People working from home, self-isolating,can’t go out, no loo rolls so having to use the cat, etc. etc. etc.(but hey, it’s self-cleaning for next time, right?) But the bigeffect on us peeps reading this is, how will we get our petrolheadfixes? Shows, meets and events are being cancelled all over, with noreal idea of when things will be back to normal – or whatever“normal” ends up being. I was thinking that we’d still be ableto get out in the car/on the bike for a wizz to help prevent theinevitable bloody violence that will result from households beingforced to stay cooped up together (anyone who’s met Leah will knowthat of which I speak). But apparently no, because despite beingeffectively isolated from anyone else, it seems you might break down,or have an accident, and consume vital resources that could be neededfor more urgent things. Or that’s been the line on social media,with people there getting proper irate about anyone selfish enough towant to do such a thing, despite such luminaries as the nation’sfave TV Doc, Dr Hilary Jones, initially saying it seemed fine, asyou’re cut off inside a car, although he backtracked a bit as theweek progressed, talking about touching petrol pump handles andinteracting with petrol station staff (er, gloves, anyone??).

Anyway,since I wrote that (I’m doing this in chunks cos I get bored reallyquickly), it’s now become a no-no anyway as the government haveexplicitly said not to do it. But last Sunday, we went out for a spin(before Monday’s lockdown edict), and ended up going over ParboldHill – I’d never seen so many cars parked there...dunno what for,it’s not like there’s anything there besides an ice cream van!And it seemed scenes like that were played out all over the country –places there’d normally be a modicum of people, were instead rammedfull, with cars parked all over. We didn’t stop, on the basis it’dbe foolish, as well as no fun, and instead made our way to CharnockRichard services (that well-known tourist trap) for a pee, takeawaycoffee and a sit-down at an outdoor table. What does this prove? Wellfor one, people have forgotten how to think for themselves (if theyever did), and when seeing a crowd like that, give it a miss and gosomewhere else. And for another, and as a consequence, theylove...no, NEED...to be told what to do, in minute detail. Jeez, whatis it with people when they get into a group?? (apart from us,obviously.)

Whoops!Got a bit sidetracked there (hey, this IS a rant – I’m allowedto!), and what I was gonna say was, that it’s all up in the air asto when events will kick off again. The government ain’t saying,cos they don’t actually know (this 3 week lockdown is just to makeit palatable – I reckon at the end of it, they’ll announce afurther fortnight at least), so there’ll be no socialising beforeMay at the very earliest, and most likely later than that. Goodwoodhas just been cancelled, with the hope of running it in late summerinstead, and the NEC Resto Show has now been rescheduled for 7-9thAugust (same dates as our Northern Run – which I’m leaving inplace, by the way, till things become clearer). Will Silverstone goahead? I reckon the organisers are thinking along the same lines asme, and leaving it as is for the moment, although it’s a lot harderto pull an event like that than our Run, which is dead simple. Sowe’ll probably hear about that one in the next week or so too…and of course we all know Stoneleigh and the AGM aren’t happening,so you’ve got me as Chairman for a bit longer yet (still more badnews). Thing is, the lockdown can’t stay in place for too long, orthe economy and society will collapse completely, so it’ll beinteresting to see how “they” handle that...but at some pointwe’ll be back out there terrorizing the roads and breaking down andgenerally looking like people having mid-life (end-life??) crises :)

Iwas gonna ask what we were doing in the meantime to get our kicks,but I’m late to the party as usual (hang on – can’t haveparties!!) cos Dave (STR_Strat) Evans has posed that very question ina new thread. So bung yer comments on there!

In asurprise move, I’m not gonna comment on values this time (shock!!),cos you can only go on about something for so long, and I think Iprobably passed that point long ago ;) But anyway, the car markethas had the “pause” button pressed on it, with some factorieschanging over to making ventilators, etc. It’s all a bit WW2...I’mhalf-expecting someone, somewhere, to start knocking out Spitfires bymistake. I’ll have a Mark 9 two-seater, please.

Asfar as our cars go, I know LB have temporarily closed – dunno aboutHawk – so those waiting for kits and cars, are gonna have to wait abit longer. But, y’know, this might be a good time for people toslow down, think about other things, and realise what’s reallyimportant in life. Who knows, the world might actually be a betterplace on the other side of all this. But being a Born-Again Cynic, Ireckon that if it is, it won’t be for long….

StaySafe, Everyone, and I’ll see you all again soon (I hope!)


27-03-2020, 22:37
Assuming you've read the above (and why would you go straight to this post instead???), please forgive the weird spacing between some words. It's cos I composed the thing in a separate doc and then cut-and-pasted it into here, where it got a bit muxed ip. And I really can't be ar*sed going through it all editing it, so you'll just have to lump it. So there.

28-03-2020, 07:34
Very disappointing Norm, nothing to argue there! 😁 Although perhaps a Mark 9 2 seat Spitfire isn't the best choice 😯

I think you're right about extending the lock down - ours in Sardinia has been extended to mid April, so 5 or 6 weeks at present.

Stay safe everyone.

28-03-2020, 09:52
Cheer up Norm

28-03-2020, 14:56
Ta Griff :) Yes I know a 2-seater oesn't have the same elegance as a sinle-seater, but how else are you gonna share such an experience with friends? ...oh, and scare them sh*tless? ;) :)

28-03-2020, 15:06
Ta Griff :) Yes I know a 2-seater oesn't have the same elegance as a sinle-seater, but how else are you gonna share such an experience with friends? ...oh, and scare them sh*tless? ;) :) Especially if you can't fly! (Can you? if so apologies)

28-03-2020, 15:30
Only in my dreams, Tim! Wonder how much a Spitfire goes for these days? Anyone know? Is this a possible candidate fro the next LB or Hawk model? :)

Gordon Caro
28-03-2020, 15:52

Try this, https://www.platinumfighters.com/spitfiresm845 or this two seater which has sold https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/17254/lot/390/
or a kit spitfire https://www.spitfireclub.co.uk/

Only in my dreams, Tim! Wonder how much a Spitfire goes for these days? Anyone know? Is this a possible candidate fro the next LB or Hawk model? :)

28-03-2020, 17:07
Spitfire... pah.

Mig 29 for the win.

I did this a few years ago. Same aircraft, same pilot as well. Got to 72,000 ft and max speed of touching 1400 mph.
Paid extra for the low level aerobatics at the end and can't remember a thing about it other than trying very hard not ...... to...... black.... outttttttttttttttttt zzzzzzzzzzzzz

Cheaper than building a kit car as well. :p



28-03-2020, 21:06
Nooooo, that's not the idea! It's about that WW2 vibe - if you're going "jet", think Gloster Meteor or Messerschmitt Me 262. Or indeed that Horten flying wing thing they were doing. That'd have been a bit of a game-changer...you can see where the modern stuff came from...

MIG-29's cool tho. Did you get to loose those missiles at anything? :)

Guy Mayers
28-03-2020, 21:18
Ooooh - Horten Ho229 - what an amazing design! It's in the Udvar Hazy Centre! In bits awaiting restoration when Andrea & I saw it a few years back!

They also have a Donrier Pfeil that was returned to Germany a few year back and restored to flying condition, returned to the museum and put on permanent display.

And Enola Gay.

If you're ever on that side of the pond it's a must see museum - on two sites. Incredible!


28-03-2020, 22:34
MIG-29's cool tho. Did you get to loose those missiles at anything? :)

The instructions were fairly specific not to touch anything.... particularly the red lever that fired the ejector seat.

I'd like to do the Zero Gravity parabolic flight experience sometime in the future but they don't call it the Vomit Comet for nothing so I guess it could get messy. :o

30-03-2020, 15:19
That's right, Guy, one of the Hortens did end up in the States, didn't it. Probably went as part of Werner Von Braun's household stuff when the Americans spirited him away too.... (what d'ya mean. "conspiracy theory"???)

Guy Mayers
30-03-2020, 17:48
I think it's the only extant Horten Norm. So much stuff went out to America after the end of hostilities and unfortunately much of it ended up being scrapped after evaluation. If you're ever out is Washington DC I really can't recommend highly enough visiting both halves of the National Aerospace Museum. It's breathtaking.