Friday, April 7, 2017

AVIATION: Birth of truly Long Haul flights...




Aussie' Aviation Pioneer Sir Charles Kingsford Smith. (Source: Bing.com Images)
As it's been a long time ago since I made my longest  transcontinental flight Down Under Mates, but Hey, if A-L-L the Daily Mail can dribble on 'bout between Grands Prix is Lewis going scuba diving, then I can Bloody well babble 'bout long haul Aeroplane adventures...


By now, Y'all are quite tired of reading about your humble No Fenders scribe recent trek to thou B-I-G' Islands 'O Hawaii. As naturally travelin' via B-I-G 'Ol Jetliners lingers on thine mind.

And Although I've moved on, I still had Bill Bryson's enjoyable Down Under travel tome stuck in Thy Head, thanks to our dreadfully long, dark, untypically snowy, "wintery Percip" bleakish winter we've endured this year, with our local Fishwrap' proclaiming it's the coldest winter since 1985; Shiver me Timbers, R; Although we've had everythingy' Man; but I digress...

Alas, as if I was on a Waltzing Matilda myself, with my virtual Walkabout thru Bryson's excellent In a Sunburned Country travel narrative, read by the author himself on the CD Audiobook version I'd corralled from my local library last December. Having taken a month's time to go from start to finish...


I marveled at how his trek Down Under ended in Perth, after having gotten horrifically sunburned when attempting walking to Freemantle; CRIKEYS!

Having decided to go for Walkabout in order to view the widow of OZ's Iron Ore magnate's Lang Bancock - How dare he marry his Housekeeper and her $35m house ...

As Bryson notes, it's 4,000 kilometers from Sydney, 5,000 from Brisbane and 4,000 actual driving kilometers from Alice Springs; did I get that correct Mates? With NO idea how far it's to Melbourne.

As won't even reach for the low hangin' fruit by spinning some witty yarn about some lad who's Perth's favourite son currently wearin' Red Bull overalls and driving the #3 in Bloody F1 Mates! Although I'm sure he's happy to have the Melbourne weekend over...

Bryson finishes off his adventure in search of the ever elusive Stromatolite, which can only be easily accessed via Boardwalk at Shark's Bay...

And as he explains to presumably another Ugly American traveler, who complains to her husband 'bout traveling across an entire continent to stare at some ugly rocks.

Bryson politely tries explaining their amazing qualities and that she's standing at the only place where one can see such treasured gems so easily accessible in the world, and she retorts: you've got a very nasty sunburn!

Naturally Bryson's tome put me in the spirit of travel and also peaked; NO Danica Jokes here; Hooah! My curiosity about an unknown aviator named Charles Kingsford Smith, who seems to live in the total shadow of some chap named Lindbergh.

As I found myself way more intrigued over Bryson's stumbling into the remains of the Kookaburra accidently on a day's Walkabout of Alice Springs tourist attractions solo, bungling into a totally obscure, nondescript building with its door slightly ajar.

And after my most unimpressed search findings for the Museo in Questione, like seriously? It's Twenty FREAKIN' Seventeen, and Alice Springs cannot afford  a dedicated website for its Central Australian Aviation museum; WTF! Like Holy Internetz Domains Batman! Having owned the No Fenders website for over 10yrs now; but I digress...

Oh Yeah, it's a-L-L coming back to Mwah over Bryson's most unflattering description of Alice Springs lack of caring towards tourists, from the Hotel's being named incorrectly to the snobby Desk Jockey Clerks, etc; albeit that was Wayback in 2000, so you'd like to ARSE-Sume it's improved since then, eh?

As just the "Back story" alone about the fate of the Kookaburra is most interesting itself, but I was more intrigued over the lost aviator the two doomed pilots had set out to look for on their fateful flight. As I'd never heard of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith before, who's truly an aviation pioneer who seems largely relegated to obscurity here Stateside; Sigh!

As I'm having trouble finding much of substance upon the lauded Aussie pilot fondly known as Smithie', although I did run across this brief story 'bout a damaged wooden propeller from one of the 'Ol Bus's flights in 1935, in which Y'all should really check out the gallantry of navigator Gordon Taylor who climbed out on the wing six times to scavenge oil for their remaining overheating Ford motor!


As this famous Fokker tri-motor Aeroplane was subsequently donated after it's failed King George Silver Jubilee Mail Delivery flight headed for New Zealand, shortly prior to Kingsford Smith's disappearance.

Alas, this new found curiosity over the forlorned Aussie aviator naturally turned my radar onto other aviation stories, as Bingo! Up popped an article from Air & Space Museum's online magazine, regaling another once unthinkable flight.


Whilst the father of true modern day transcontinental flight, made seemingly ordinary with the creation of the Boeing 747, giving our local Aerospace company a true leg up upon its competition just passed away recently.


But Y'all know how Man's never satisfied, eh? As how dare some of those really, really Bad Middle East people go about breaking the record for longest distance flight! As sure good thingy' they did I-T ahead of those IDIOTIC travel bans...


And lastly, since you're probably saying this isn't very Open Wheel Racing related, if you've stuck with me this far, albeit Australia and New Zealand do rightly hold their place in both Formula 1 and IndyCar racing!

As just think of such luminaries as Jack Brabham, Bruce McLaren, Alan Jones, Denny Hulme, Scott Dixon, Will Power and Chris Amon for starters.

As I had a very enjoyable Chinwag' with my Shuttle Express driver on the way home. Asking her if that's a Wee Bit 'O Aussie' accent I hear? NO, try a little farther away... As Sue promptly told me she was from New Zealand and has to "Educate" us Yanks' A-L-L the time. And I wasn't too shocked when she told me she didn't know who Scott Dixon was...

Nonetheless, perhaps the next long haul flight frontier will become ordinary flights to the Moon and Earth's outer atmosphere. For which one local entrepreneur's busy trying to win the race...

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