But He Was Part Of The Story
Monday 12 December 2022
Being Built On What Was Filton (1)
... and a multi-tasking member of the lesser aristocracy. He was the first person to hold a licence to fly a powered aircraft in the UK.
Oh, yes, and a Conservative Member of Parliament.
His flying qualifications fitted him for the chairmanship of a committee which unofficially took his name. The Brabazon Committee was charged with the task of building Britain's civil aircraft industry after World War 2.
The Committee came up with a variety of designs for civil aircraft but the priority was to develop, build and sell (worldwide) a superior luxury airliner. That plane was the Bristol Brabazon that we met in a short video yesterday.
It was planned to be a competitor for transatlantic liners, so the emphasis was on luxury, space and all necessary facilities.
The power was revolutionary but piston engined. Each of four propeller nacelles contained a huge gearbox coupled to TWO powerful engines.
The test pilot, Bill Pegg, was enthusiastic about his steed. "You drive the cockpit," he announced, "and the plane simply follows on behind!".
IT WAS A COMPLETE FLOP.
Nobody wanted to buy it.
Turbo prop airliners (e.g. The Viscount) and even jets (The ill-fated Comet 1) were on the horizon. Airlines realised that opulent luxury was out, and "pack-em-in" high capacity was the commercial future.
The Brabazon project was cancelled and the single plane built was sold for scrap.
One slightly positive outcome (or maybe not?) was that the hangars and runway were suitable for another attempt at high-luxury high cost flying.
Concorde was a commercial failure and planes were eventually withdrawn. A horrific crash did not help but attempts to rebuild a viable business were unsuccessful.
But there is a future for the Brabazon Hangars.
Ahem? Whatever happened to the London Arena? The Sheffield Arena struggled.
Which brings us, at last, to what a new "Brabazon" will eventually become!
It will need lots of public transport and plans are in hand for bus and train!
Advent Calendar Day 12
Loss and Lamentation
Can we imagine this scenario? An invader (Vlad the Mad, perhaps) has entered our country without invitation, has destroyed most of the key infrastructure and has taken large numbers of refugees back to his home territory to use as forced labour.
The Bible is very clear. God's chosen people, the Jewish race, had rejected Him in favour of pagan deities and practices, so God had simply withdrawn his support. Decline was inexorable and the Exile was seen as God's punishment for their rejection of Him.
Some may debate this conclusion, but it was widely held and widely prophesied. Jeremiah, known as a "Prophet of Doom" (perhaps justifiably?) was for ever exhorting the people to turn back to God - or else!
And when the inevitable was, well, inevitable, Jerry exhorted the people to accept their punishment, do their best to cope with exile and wait for God to welcome them back - IF they repented of their disobedience.Boney M (remember them - you must be old!) are singing from the Bible Psalm 137. This song/poem was written in Exile and illustrates the heartache of, apparently, being rejected by God.
The Promised Land has gone, Jerusalem (Zion) is destroyed, The Temple, Gods House, has been vacated by its resident and the building destroyed.
Everything is lost - there is no hope ... unless ...
In fact the Jewish nation will not get its land back until 1947.
But a different hope begins to appear in the key prophetic writing.
That hope was CHRISTmas.
It still is.
For the record, Psalm 137 is printed below.
Next Brabazon blog : Tuesday 13th December
By the rivers of Babylon we sat down;
there we wept when we remembered Zion.
On the willows near by
we hung up our harps.
Those who captured us told us to sing;
they told us to entertain them:
“Sing us a song about Zion.”
How can we sing a song to the Lord
in a foreign land?
May I never be able to play the harp again
if I forget you, Jerusalem!
May I never be able to sing again
if I do not remember you,
if I do not think of you as my greatest joy!
Remember, Lord, what the Edomites did
the day Jerusalem was captured.
Remember how they kept saying,
“Tear it down to the ground!”
Babylon, you will be destroyed.
Happy are those who pay you back
for what you have done to us—
who take your babies
and smash them against a rock.