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Flight of fancy for those down under

November 27, 2008

First things first – today is Thanksgiving day in the United States of America so happy Thanksgiving Day to all our US readers – it is a time to give thanks for the harvest, and in general, although this year many Americans will wonder what they should be thankful for. It is also celebrated in Canada, but rather than the 4th Thursday of November the Canadians give thanks on the 2nd Monday of October. And let us not forget the Grenadans, whose Thanksgiving Day is on the 25th October, when they celebrate the removal from office and execution of their Prime Minister Maurice Bishop! Oh well – it takes all sorts, something we should never forget.

And now we turn to Australia – I don’t know about you but its darn cold in the south of France at the moment – snow is forecast – and so we thought it would be good to cheer us up by finding some sunshine – down under here we go, beam me up Scotty!

This sounds fun – have you ever heard of a Tiger Moth? No…..well its an aeroplane – a biplane to be more precise, designed by Geoffrey de Havilland for the Royal Air Force in the 1930s and primarily used as an aircraft for training pilots. It can cruise at about 100mph and is a two seater with an open cockpit – over 8,800 were built and it has been used by airforces in the following countries: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Burma, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, India, Persia, Iraq, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Poland, Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Spain, Spanish State, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand, United Kingdom and Uruguay – they got around a bit as they say.

Well nowadays they are primarily used as air ambulances, aerial advertising, crop dusting, glider tugs and for recreational and aerobatic use. Finally we get there…… for it is this last purpose that would be a lot of fun, kind of extreme, a very nice birthday present perhaps and if you find yourself in Melborne, in the state of Victoria, in southern Australia you have a great opportunity to fly around the city for 30 minutes and even do some gentle loops, rolls and spins – the cost $275 – and I presume thats Aussie dollars.

If you want to find out more go to the companies website which is www.godo.ninemsn.com.au and check it out and watch the video below from schlutorflyer – it makes you want to reach for your goggles, feel the air rush past in the open cockpit, just imagine you are Ralph Fiennes or the beautiful Kristin Scott Thomas – yes this is the plane they used in The English Patient, an extreme classic – have a great Thanksgiving Day wherever you are.

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