Chubbly the aviator
An amazing secret shared only by Chubbly and his very best friend granddad Curly, a retired Royal Air Force pilot. Over the following months, Chubbly and Granddad Curly
design, plan and construct 'The Flyer' inside Chubbly's dad's garden shed. His very first adventure takes Chubbly and The Flyer to the Highlands of Scotland, where he heads in the direction of Loch Ness to uncover an old burried map, drawn and hidden over 50 years ago. Will he or will he not discover the huge old monster? Upon his return home, close to London's Heathrow airport, he explains the whole incredible story to his granddad Curly before planning his next adventure flight to France, leading on to the second book in the series of 'The Great World Adventures of Chubbly the Aviator'!
Chubbly and granddad Curly design, plan and construct the Flyer inside Chubbly's dad's garden shed, using all sorts of old bits and bobs to build the individual little bi-plane, powered by an old salvaged Briggs & Stratton lawn mower engine and driven by an old wooden propeller wall clock, which before had taken pride above grandad Curly's fireplace! Chubbly will go on to pilot the Flyer to many different places around the World, new adventures, discovering new countries and cultures, whilst uncovering all kinds of exciting hidden secrets. His very first adventure takes Chubbly to Oban in the Highlands of Scotland where he meets two new friends Mac and Aggie McDougal, after spending the night with them in their log cabin close to the airport they guide Chubbly in the direction of Loch Ness to uncover an old buried map, drawn and then hidden by Mac and his friends over 50 years ago, showing Chubbly the exact spot needed to catch a glimpse of the legendary Loch Ness monster.
Today was to be the first day for a speed trial. Tethered to the shed using the garden hose, Chubbly mounted his little aeroplane. He puffed up his cushion, squeezed into his seat, strapped himself in, and put on his gloves. Carefully following his homemade list, he checked and then re-checked every item to ensure it was performing as it should. Chubbly was a great believer in safety and precision at all times: he was horrified that anybody would just jump into a plane and set off into the sunset without performing the most basic of checks; even the best pilots sometimes forgot things that had, at times, led to catastrophic errors, such as failing to check the engine oil level or how much fuel was in the tank. Such simple things, if forgotten could well be the end of you!
Looking around and checking behind in his old bicycle mirror that he’d fitted, and shouting, ‘All clear’, he turned the key. The propeller rotated through three-hundred-and-sixty degrees and then, with a loud bang and a puff of white smoke, the old refurbished engine fired into life.
Everything shook — he had a job to see his instrument panel through his goggles!
Easing the throttle gently forward, the engine quickly became smooth. The propeller sounded like music to his ears: all those hours of hard work had finally paid off.
Chubbly had fitted the Flyer with three primary flying controls, all of which he could see from his cockpit. The aileron mounted on each wing was used for turning left and right; two elevators on the horizontal part of the tail plane were for pitching the aircraft up and down; the rudder on the vertical section of the tail plane was controlled by his feet, helping the Flyer to turn correctly in-flight, and could also be used to steer the aeroplane whilst still on the ground; he had also fitted a flap on the lower section of each wing, which helped to give more lift to the aircraft during slow manoeuvres, such as landing and take-off.
After a ten-minute run and after completing all of his pre-flight checks, Chubbly stabilised the engine and shut it down, turning the key to the ‘stop’ position. He was now shaking with both excitement and pure adrenalin, both of which were rushing through his veins.
Everything was finally ready.
Considering the time Chubbly spent in the shed, the secretive whispers passing from Chubbly to his Granddad Curly, and the clear excitement emanating from the boy, one may wonder whether or not Chubbly’s mum and dad were even aware that their son was building a plane at the bottom of their garden — but of course they were; however, they were both under the somewhat distorted impression that the project was simply an oversized model to be used in technology class — never to be flown, of course. Besides, his dad had been really busy at work recently, and his mum had been working flat-out organising a surprise seventieth birthday party for Granddad Curly.
One may ask just how Chubbly was so sure that he could disguise any noise that came from his little Flyer, and the answer to such a question had received a great deal of thought. However, as they lived so close to the everyday noises of Heathrow airport, Chubbly knew that most of his neighbours would be well-accustomed to these particular sounds, and nobody would ever question the sounds associated with building, fixing or even flying a plane!
Ready for the first ever flight, Chubbly and Granddad Curly had cleared a route through the fruit trees, which enabled them to push the Flyer from the garden shed out to the other side of the orchard. From here, they had a nice bit of open space, hopefully just long enough to get Chubbly and the Flyer airborne.
Tomorrow, Chubbly decided, would be the special day: Mum would be out buying groceries and his dad would be at work. As long as the weather held out, it would become the Flyer’s maiden flight, and Chubbly would finally be exactly where he thought he belonged — in the air.
He gathered up his dad’s old caravan awning, covering his wonderful Flyer, and said goodnight until tomorrow.
Beyond excited, Chubbly found it difficult to get to sleep that night. The thought that he would actually be leaving the ground behind tomorrow morning was completely mind-blowing — which, as you may have guessed by now, was Chubbly’s favourite phrase: it was all so mind-blowing!