Bluebird Runs 2019

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Renegadenemo
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Re: Bluebird Runs 2019

Post by Renegadenemo »

You will be missed. Being summer the drive to Kingarth would have been ice free. The Isle becomes a UK summer holiday and a chance to see the sites that were missed last August and June and January.
Will pop up for a few days and join you for dinner and apologise in person to the wonderful people of Bute.
I'm only a plumber from Cannock...

"As to reward, my profession is its own reward;" Sherlock Holmes.

'Sometimes you gotta be an S.O.B if you wanna make a dream reality' Mark Knopfler
VdGGfan
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Re: Bluebird Runs 2019

Post by VdGGfan »

No need to apologise to us, Bill.
You did all you could to bring Bluebird back to Bute.
You can be sure of a warm welcome if and when you and the team do return.

Douglas
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William Young
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Re: Bluebird Runs 2019

Post by William Young »

Hello I hope I have this on the right thread. I have been interested since you operated the Bluebird on Bute and I have a question. Do you know why the plans to operate on Coniston water in 2019 were cancelled and if there are any current plans to try again?
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Renegadenemo
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Re: Bluebird Runs 2019

Post by Renegadenemo »

Hello I hope I have this on the right thread. I have been interested since you operated the Bluebird on Bute and I have a question. Do you know why the plans to operate on Coniston water in 2019 were cancelled and if there are any current plans to try again?
Hi William and welcome to the forum...

The honest answer to your question is that we never really found out. We were given dates in July so we kept our foot to the floor and maintained the momentum we'd gained in Bute. The workshop crew cracked on with the spanner checking while the safety crew and operations wrote the safety planning document and submitted it to the LDNPA who gave it a provisional nod of approval. We surveyed the slipway at the boating centre and found it ideal then we went out on the lake and surveyed a course so we had all the GPS data for our pilots. We were very much on target and looking forward to the next outing when we heard it was called off.
Unforeseen circumstances, we were told, but exactly what those circumstances were we never found out. We heard that the working group's planning document wasn't submitted in time but whether that was cause or effect of the unforeseen circumstances or even true we couldn't say.
There are no plans in hand to go there at the moment...
I'm only a plumber from Cannock...

"As to reward, my profession is its own reward;" Sherlock Holmes.

'Sometimes you gotta be an S.O.B if you wanna make a dream reality' Mark Knopfler
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William Young
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Re: Bluebird Runs 2019

Post by William Young »

Thank you for shedding some light on that for me. Can I ask why you chose scotland for your pre trial and not Coniston water. Was it not always the case that the trial would be held there?
Last edited by William Young on Fri Mar 13, 2020 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Renegadenemo
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Re: Bluebird Runs 2019

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That’s a big and complicated question, or at least the answer is…

In the early days we had a romantic notion of just going straight to Coniston for the Proving Trial once we had a complete boat but the more we learned the more we realised it wasn’t to be so simple.
Once we began moving the boat from her workshop to the yard and running engines in the hull it soon became apparent that even handling such a weighty lump was a fraught business and that was without all the ancillary stuff, fuel, compressed air, launch and recovery crews, safety crews, etc.
We realised early on that if we didn’t rehearse all of this we might at best look like bumbling fools and at worst end up damaging someone or something at what was supposed to be a showcase event.

Some we could train for at HQ and some we simply could not.

We were also acutely aware that there would be only one homecoming, or at least only one with a big fanfare. We knew that getting everything ready at the other end would be a big job too and the last thing we wanted on top of the bumbling fool/something broken scenario was to be committed to two weeks on site only to have the broken thing break the day we arrived and then be in need of three weeks worth of mending.

The obvious answer to this was to go train ourselves and kill as many mechanical gremlins as possible somewhere that no one had ever heard of so as not to detract in any way from that once-only, fanfared return to Coniston.

In principle the idea stacked up but we weren’t going to just run with it until all options were explored so we invited three members of the BEWG (Bluebird Event Working Group) who were tasked with organising their end and had a meeting with them in the Bluebird shop in the summer of 2017.
We were happy enough to do the crew training on Coniston if that's what everyone wanted but ultimately it was decided to go to the Isle of Bute if we could secure the necessary permits and permissions to run there so, while the workshop team burned the candle at both ends to get the boat into a condition where we could safely run her, the operations crew went off to borrow us a loch.
Some confusion has persisted about whether our crew training was supposed to be done in secret but of course that would be completely impossible in this day and age with even children equipped with the means to capture an image then wing it round the world in a heartbeat and it was never the plan anyway. The plan was to use the hype generated to slingshot the whole project into an even bigger event the following year on Coniston and just imagine how big that would have been!

It was all good to go too until it was aborted at the end of January. We could have salvaged something by all going back to Bute and keeping the momentum up but in the end we gave it up as a bad job and mended a Vulcan instead.

That’s the short version.
I'm only a plumber from Cannock...

"As to reward, my profession is its own reward;" Sherlock Holmes.

'Sometimes you gotta be an S.O.B if you wanna make a dream reality' Mark Knopfler
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William Young
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Re: Bluebird Runs 2019

Post by William Young »

Thank you for the sort version. However some points remain unclear to me. If the working group met with you to discuss the pre trial what was the rationale used to select Scotland over Coniston water? I also posted a question about how much damage the Bluebird sustained during her operations on Bute and I notice that it has not been approved. Is there any reason in particular for this?
Last edited by William Young on Sun Mar 15, 2020 1:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Renegadenemo
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Re: Bluebird Runs 2019

Post by Renegadenemo »

Thank you for the sort version. However some points remain unclear to me. If the working group met with you to discuss the pre trial what was the rationale used to select Scotland over Coniston water? I also posted a question about how much damage the Bluebird sustained during her operations on Bute and I notice that it has not been approved. Is there any reason in particular for this?
My recollection of that meeting is that it never really generated any great enthusiasm within our visitors to get us onto Coniston. We had three visitors from the BEWG and along with a few of the BBP crew we all sat in the workshop drinking tea and eating biscuits. We were told of all the difficulties of getting onto Coniston so eventually a consensus was reached that the Isle of Bute was going to be the simpler route so that's what we did.
Had we been told that all the obstacles would be knocked over and the slipway waiting for us the following August we'd have gladly gone to Coniston.

Certainly, we would never have gone to Bute had the BEWG wanted/been able to host us.

Re your other question - apologies there. I did approve and answer it then, in my wisdom, I decided such questions ought to have their own thread but being the most inept forum admin person ever I made a total hash of it, lost it, found it again then eventually decided to leave well alone and now I see it's not there at all so my bad. We're also beset with with malicious code both here and on the website that our beleaguered webmaster can't seem to shift so I'll blame that too.

Anyway, from memory you asked about our runs in the second week on Bute and whether the boat sustained any damage.

Our last runs were on Weds 15th August. Ted ran down to the far end of the loch with the intention of coming straight back but flamed out and revealed an interesting fuel problem. Then, once we'd got over that, he successfully completed a pair of low speed demo runs in the afternoon. Thursday we packed the job up and Friday we headed home.

By the time we'd got back on the water the previous Monday, Ted had the hang of cruising about at around 80mph making a lot of noise and spray and remaining just on the plane. The crowds loved it.

So far as damage goes, we famously lost a canopy but we sort of thought that might happen and had a spare, albeit in kit form. We knocked a ding in a spar fairing by running over our own control boat at walking speed and the re-used mounting bracket for the fire bottles wilted somewhat because we never thought that newly filled bottles might weigh more than the empty ones we took off.
Other than that she was completely bulletproof but then a huge amount of work went into making sure of that. She's certainly stronger, straighter and better prepared now than she was when new.
I'm only a plumber from Cannock...

"As to reward, my profession is its own reward;" Sherlock Holmes.

'Sometimes you gotta be an S.O.B if you wanna make a dream reality' Mark Knopfler
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William Young
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Re: Bluebird Runs 2019

Post by William Young »

I read on another forum that the canopy was not made of strong enough perspex and this is why it blew off. Was that true or did you ever discover what happened to cause the accident?
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Richie
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Re: Bluebird Runs 2019

Post by Richie »

Cockpit pressurisation issue caused the canopy to detach.

As for not being made out of strong enough Perspex, that’s a load of tosh.

Which forum was this ?
"You can screw a man down until he takes to drinking......take me to the fantastic place..."
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