Get ready for a sob story, for I am about to indulge some facts that not only make me wince but could make a grown man cry. I think its common knowledge that most people know that our time here in the beautiful country of Brunei is coming to an end. Due to ageing aircraft, and parts that are hard to get hold of, the British Army decided not to continue with the mighty 212 helicopter. An unfortunate time for all! This is also the end of the 7 Flight AAC or 667 SQN as it's known now.
After three months of job hunting, we accepted a Job in Newquay, Cornwall. I have never been so excited to start something new: a new aircraft, location and chapter in our lives.
On the day of getting out of a 20-day quarantine with covid, I had to move fast, book flights and arrange house movers.
This meant I now had to try and sell the sim or ship it back to the UK. Helen originally put the whole sim on for sale at $10000 (about £6000).
No takers, and I had to relent to shipping it back, no worries and secretly happy! You couldn't even buy the computer and screens for that price.
So shipping it was, I already knew that despite creating a full size 737 sim that was fully mobile, I would never fit in a UK house. This was always going to be the case for the 737 rear bulkheads:
This was harsh but was always the reality. They were enormous! They were way too tall to fit in a UK house with standard ceiling height. Out came the hammer! It took about two weeks to make both sides and less than 30 minutes to obliterate them.
Job done; the rest of the sim was coming home. That was until moving company 1 came to give us a quote. Sure we could get the sim back, but the remainder of the house would have to stay. We get a 20-foot container to ship home with. The first quote came in at around $33,000. We would need two. One for the sim, one for the house. Nope, that wasn't happening!
Solution 2, Ditch the wooden built parts (the sidewalls, ceiling and floors). They need to be updated and can be made much simpler, lighter and cheaper now. Version 4, here we come!
At first, I offered all parts for free! No takers.
Well, there goes all that effort in the dual controls, the J rails and my beautiful sidewalls and windows.
It's starting to hurt, and the old heartstrings are tugging! Man up wet pants, bigger and better is the way to go! Deal with it and v4 will be even better!
Okay, this sucks, but I have the front section and overhead. Woohoo! Wait, what? There are more problems? What could be so tricky in shipping parts of a sim back to Uk from Brunei? Oh, that will be customs duty and export licenses. WTF? I built the thing with my bare hands! I'm trying to tell the guys this wasn't an actual aircraft I'm trying to ship or parts thereof. They were having none of it. (This was only 1 company out of 4, but I bet they are the cheapest and what my company will go for)
If this becomes a reality in the next couple of days, I will have to cut all the electronics out to the component parts and ship them back as switches and Arduino boards. No space issues there, just 7 years of work down the drain. Chuckle, it doesn't sound good even typing it. But of course, it's not!
I have secretly wanted to start the whole project again, my experience in knowledge, CAD design and the new machines I intend to buy! I am already dreaming of my new full-size CNC and the biggest laser machine I can afford.
Whatever happens, it's out of my control, and really there's no point in worrying about it. I can tell you right now that finding a house to rent in Cornwall, UK, without being in the country right now, is proving more difficult than flying to the moon.
It's Saturday night, it's nearly 8 pm, and my family are waiting on me to watch a film. We have no furniture because I have sold the feet beneath them. Being here for over ten years, the amount of crap we have collected is amazing!
So let's get one thing straight! I am in no way calling quits on the 737! It's quite the opposite. I intend to restart fresh. Bigger and better with v4. Please bear with us, for the next two weeks at least. Helen and myself are rushed off our feet. The days are so incredibly long right now. Sorting the family relocation out is taking every single moment of the day. I still have to work, and yes, the sim for both of us has taken a back seat since Thursday. There are not enough hours in the day right now!
Hopefully, by the end of next week, the car will be sold, the house will be on its way (to where I have no idea), and I can sit down at the computer and answer the thousands of emails, questions, forums posts, blog comments and youtube comments.
I hope this hasn't come across as a complete whinge and whine. It wasn't my intention. However, they do say a problem shared is a problem halved. I just wanted to inform you why the comms are a little out of sync right now. Big lifestyle changes, which I hope are for the better. Once the admin is done, I have nothing to do but answer anyone's questions!
Thats all for now, Kind Regards Helen & Karl