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Gargantuan goings-on in Gargunnock


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Gregor Searois Featherstone-Kite was a popular man but if you were to ask anybody in the quiet Scottish village of Gargunnock, near to where he had settled, any questions about him then you were quickly shown the door.
They were fiercely protective of the young man whose life had been beset by tragedy.

His grandfather, Rupert Featherstone-Kite, had returned to Scotland after he had been banned from 'the other place' and had set up his aircraft construction business in an out of the way barn.

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It was here that he produced the Featherstone -Kite Mark 27

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On Saturday 27 April 1988 around 7pm when the winds had calmed, he undertook its first flight.
It went reasonably well but he took the aircraft back into the workshop for some tweaking.
The next morning, just after sunrise, he took it up for its second flight.

Tragedy struck ,the aircraft suddenly entered a steep spiral dive from which it never recovered. He was killed instantly.
This left Gregor an orphan, albeit a very rich one, as his father had been lost at sea many years before whilst testing a product from the Featherstone-Kites ill advised venture into power boat construction.

By 2022,Gregor himself was a qualified engineer but he couldn't find any company willing to employ him. This was especially so in Notland where sanctions were still in place on anything Featherstone-Kite related
He decided that in order to carry on his grandfather and father's legacy he would have to build his own flying machine.

He couldn't buy parts from official sources so he travelled the country visiting scrapyards.
Many a night his faithful ERF lorry was to be seen travelling through the country lanes with a load secreted under a sturdy tarpaulin.

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Locals making their weary way home late at night would often see a chink of light from the workshop and wonder what on earth he was up to.

Word that something was afoot was quickly picked up by the spies from the other place and were soon passed on.

The head bummer of the other place almost choked on his sixth pasty of the day when he learned that Featherstone- Kite  was up to something. At all costs he said, find out what is going on.

The browbeaten sidekick , with dread in his heart made his way over the wall and into deepest Stirlingshire via Edinburgh. He had heard terrible stories about a man from Edinburgh who put Nutella on a pizza and another not too far from his destination who was planning a revolution where everybody would have to build 1/72 civvies. What a barbaric place this is he thought to himself.

 

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The intrepid spy spent a pretty miserable week before his chance came.

It was the night of the dominoes tournament in the local pub which to his consternation didn't appear to have a name. They certainly stuck to the old Scottish traditions here.

It was the one night for certain that Gregor wouldn't be working on the project.

On reaching the barn he was surprised to find it unlocked. He quickly snapped two photos. 

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He crept in and prepared to remove the coverings.

He heard a noise and stopped.

Then he saw it

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That's why the door was unlocked. The place was guarded by black-footed ferrets.

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Gregor made his way home from the pub. He was thinking about how he had been thoroughly beaten in the final by some brilliant playing on 'Big Malky's part when he noticed that the barn door was open and the black footed ferret was standing guard.

"Well well" he muttered, "that didn't take them long. Nothing disturbed though" and he gave the ferret a scratch behind the ears. "Well done lad".

The following morning it was noticed that the birdwatcher chappie from down south had suddenly left.

A few days later a friend of a friend who's auntie worked in A & E at Stirling Royal Infirmary told Gregor that a man had arrived in the middle of the night to have a rather nasty bite seen to.

With the amount of stitches he got she said, he'd have to stand up all the way home on the train.

Meanwhile all the planning, research and general blethering had reached the stage where construction could begin.

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4 hours ago, RWG686 said:

I have it on good authority that he had it and a pie for 'elevenses' and had finished them all by lunchtime.

Fiendish,greedy baa stud him.

There was a train of thought at one time that he'd sat upon an air-line,

thus causing great inflation(Pssssssssst),but it transpires(through no doubt,some astute detective work via colleagues past of the Dunoon Consta-bulery)this is not the case.

Glad to see that young F-K's trusty steed is one built in the fair Notland county of Cheshire too.

Edited by Miggers
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After hearin' some rumblings fae a bicyclist chappie up Inverurie wye about lack of progress, Gregor took stock.

He had a forward fuselage.

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Granted it was a gutted shell from an old BK-117 but it was corrosion free and lightweight.

He had the centre fuselage and wings from an old Czech trainer recovered from a scrapyard in Prerov

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The tail came from the dump on an aerodrome in deepest Cornwall.

Gregor breathed a sigh of relief when he made that deal and made his escape before he was drawn into the debate about Cream or Jam first. He never realised just how much planning went into a pop concert.

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The engines were surprisingly easy to find. They came off a Jet Commander which was scrapped in 1971. They had been well preserved and he got them for a good price

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They would require some modification but were of a simple and robust design.

Finally he had enough pieces gathered to start work.

Following the tradition found in Airfix (other model makers are available) instructions, he started with the cockpit and cabin interior.

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He is at pains to point out that Effie McGlumshie's 3 piece suite played no part in the construction despite persistent rumours to the contrary.

Several days later ( after much use of words worse than damn) the basics were there.

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As he looked fondly at his creation he realised that quite a lot of sheet aluminium work would be needed.

Later that evening he asked around and was given details of where he might source some materials.

 

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Next day Gregor was up at half past darkness and after a healthy breakfast of porridge and prunes he was on his way.

An hour later he pulled the faithful ERF into the car park of a cafe and had a proper fry up with a gallon of coffee.

Soon he was at the farm of Hector Harailt Halkerston, a Fife man now settled in Stirlingshire.

Ye've come tae the richt place ken. Ah hiv a Bessacarr caravan that wis wrecked in the storm of '88, ye're welcome tae it.

Gregor was pleased with the lot and soon a price was agreed. It was a fair pile right enough

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It was soon loaded and on its way back to Gargunnock.

 

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9 hours ago, RWG686 said:

debate about Cream or Jam first. He never realised just how much planning went into a pop concert.

I think I may have woken Mrs Gorby laughing at that. :laughing:

The shape of this thing actually looks more believable as an aircraft than your Let Z. :whistle:

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11 hours ago, RWG686 said:

some rumblings fae a bicyclist chappie up Inverurie wye

Ah thank yang F-K mit just drive the trusty ERFie ower tae Inverurie tae see if yon bicyclist chappie has a set

ae wheels fae yon flying machine,guid idea or whit?

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There was one part of the flying machine which F-K was not prepared to use scrap parts.

He was able to buy two but he was aware that as the supplier was far far away on the wrong side of the wall, it wouldn't be very long before word reached the ears of the head bummer over there.

A plan was made and transport was arranged as Gregor's ERF was too well known.

Sure enough , not long after it set off , the lorry driver noticed he was being followed by a vehicle with a very strange roof rack

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On they went and after a few hours the lorry arrived at it's destination.

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The spy had no idea what was under the cover so he waited.

The load was transferred into the warehouse and everybody went home for the night.

Using the latest camera on a wire thingy ,our spy was able to look through the keyhole to see..

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He was not looking forward to the phone call to the boss.

What do you mean a decoy thundered the overweight one, spraying flecks of pastry everywhere as he yelled.

The lorry is at a big industrial bakery and it was carrying a big crate of tea. said the spy. Looks like they scuppered us.

Ok just come back said the boss but see if you can get any samples of the haggis pie I'm hearing about.

The spy didn't know he was being spied on and as soon as he left (without any pie samples) the F-K crew moved in and took the load to the barn at Gargunnock.

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On 9/8/2022 at 10:28 PM, RWG686 said:

Tragedy struck ,the aircraft suddenly entered a steep spiral dive from which it never recovered. He was killed instantly.

I'm afraid the death of Grandad Rupert was greatly exaggerated (that's the BBC for you). On entering the spiral dive (more correctly known as 'The Spiral Dive', his local inn) he imbibed rather too much of 'Deanston's Delectable', a local distillation with aromas of apple, bramble, ragwort, slurry, diesel, hedgehog and anything else they found at the side of the road. The label statement '18 year old peated single malt' was justified by the mysterious disappearance of Pete, the apprentice wort-stirrer (only his left shoe was ever found, and that was at the bottling plant). Thus fortified, Grandad left the establishment and strode off across Flander's Moss (look it up) but fell into the morass and was completely submerged. In an amazing piece of luck, so the story goes, he was rescued and taken in by a pair of wandering wolves - or more correctly a couple of Wolverhampton supporters who got on the wrong train after the 8-nil loss celebrations.

Anyway, to cut a long story not that short at all, having lost his memory due to oxygen starvation and wood alcohol in the whisky, Grandad F-K, wound up in Yorkshire (for the next Wolverhampton Wanderer's away game), founded the sport of Bog-Snorkeling - he was able to hold his breath for several hours - became All-England champion, represented the UK in the Olympics and became a millionaire on sponsorship deals from garden centres.

And that's the origin of Featherstone-Kite Investments.

Not a lot of people know that.
 

Edited by Che Guava
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1 hour ago, Che Guava said:

more correctly known as 'The Spiral Dive', his local inn

Usually occurs when the "Stick forward,cows get bigger" control input is applied too vigorously along with

far too much pedal input.

Can be countered quickly with more speed/noise from the front spinny thingy

(other positioned spinny thingies are available),other pedal and the "Stick back,cows get smaller"control inputs.

Please note though,these instructions are only to be tried out by yang Gregor during flight testing of the machine

should "The Spiral Dive"(his local inn)be encountered.

Naturally,The Landlord will not be liable for loss or damage to any flying machine or other property or damage or injury to any person or for the prevention of ingress to or egress from the flying machine caused by unauthorised use of the flying machine. 

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6 hours ago, Miggers said:

Usually occurs when the "Stick forward,cows get bigger" control input is applied too vigorously along with

Ah yes, the unique Featherstone-Kite Semi-Detachable Control Panel, where the altimeter was simply a needle on a gauge with a big cow on the left and little cow on the right (Control tower: "Roger, FeatherKite, you are cleared to 12,000 heffers, heading, err, that way, a bit)", the turn-and-bank indicator directed you to the nearest branch of Lloyds, engine temperature was just a tube from the radiator with a kettle whistle on the end, the stall warning indicated how bad the view from the cheap seats at the theatre was, while, in a misunderstanding with the Taiwanese supplier, a pair of compasses were installed, which came in handy for drawing circles to indicate your likely course.

The controls have been described as 'inspired'. All inputs were made via the TSTF system ('That Stick Thingy in Front') marked Port/Starboard and Up/Down (if it says Starboard/Port, you're facing the wrong way, if  it says Down/Up, that's more serious), while the foot pedals were attached by chain-and-sprocket to the mainwheels so alternating manual oscillation of the pedals could thus shorten the take-off run after a rather heavy lunch if the boundary fence was coming up too quickly - the addition of a little thumb-operated warning bell is a nice touch.

Edited by Che Guava
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Gregor had been looking at pictures all day. He had reached a stage in the build where he had run into some problems.

Despite reading 16 volumes of 'The Perishers' he had learned nothing apart from the fact that his engines were already painted red.

He decided to go for a pint.

It was not long before he was approached and had an envelope passed to him. This was done so well that any spy who saw the shady looking guy walk up to the table and hand over a grubby brown envelope would have thought it was too obvious for any subterfuge.

Back at base the next morning, Gregor put his plan into action because he had learned that even on the correct side of the wall there were spies for the other place.

The spy couldn't believe his luck. Gregor and the black footed ferret had gone into the cottage leaving the barn unattended. Quickly he snapped a photograph.

Not long afterwards the secretary at TOPHQ got a message with an attachment for the immediate attention of the boss.

I wonder what mood he's in she thought. She peeped through the keyhole

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Oh good she said, he'll be quite mellow. She went in and showed him the printed out photo.

He looked at it and thought that he was being wound up but it's provenance was beyond reproach.

What size of machine is he building ?  he thought. It must be huge if he's using wheels that size.

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His belly started rumbling and as if the photo wasn't bad enough he discovered that his pie box was empty.

Meanwhile Gregor carried on with his work , all the time wondering if his ruse had worked.

He had discovered that he would have to radically change the wing design. I can Stihl use them he said to his assistant.

Don't you mean still?   I know what I meant came the reply

The wings were soon off and a block of aluminium sandwiched together was used to make a new carry through box

 

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Not long after lunch a car was heard making its way up the glen

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Oh good, it's that chappie from south west notland who offered to help with security. I see he has come prepared

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Not only that, he had brought Oscar to give black footed ferret a wee break.

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So far there has been no mention of filler.

Well, let's mention it. There's a lot and it's not dry yet.

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You’ve out-Gorbed Gorbs 🤣🤣🤣. I haven’t had so much fun since the wild party in a thread Over the Road(TM), when its owner was away on holiday or some such similar excuse. Someone for some unknown reason even brought along a goat, don’t ask me why. It was a real wonder that we weren’t all banned on the spot then. Aforesaid ‘owner’ got a bit of a surprise upon his return… 🤣 :rofll:* ‍🤪

 

* Me missin’ mate Rolf 🤣, have you seen him, @Grunhertz?

Edited by Dr Loopy
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