Thursday, December 15, 2011

video
@#$%^%!  technology!
I had this video posted twice, but it dropped off somehow,
so I have tried again
(see below)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Charlie wishes the whole world Christmas Cheer

OK, Somehow two of the same video got posted. You see the flashing lights on Charlie's blades, which sort of look like the blades are turning. For you perfectionists, yes, they seem to be turning backwards.  This is acceptable seeing how it took hours on a ten foot ladder in the freaking freezing cold to get that far. 
Just love it as it is, as we do.

Note the row of Christmas stockings over the banner with a nice silvery garland placed by a little elf named Jonnie.  The cargo hold is overflowing with presents onto the ground.  there are lighted up presents inside, with an interior light showing more of the presents. The bicycle will go to a granddaughter soon. The snow toys may get borrowed to go to our local sledding hill if we get some significant snow soon,
which has not been happening lately.
Not too visible on Charlie's nose is a great big red nose. 

 "Rudolf" Charlie brings cheer to the people passing by. We have had a lot of nice comments. 
 This is lots of fun.
If you look carefully you can see a lighted up Santa face in the pilot's window.


Yes, that is a Mickey Mouse in Santa clothing.
In the picture below you can see we put a large Star of Bethlehem far above the rotor head.

Who says a helicopter cannot be all things to all people.  Just ask the troops who lived in the field in
Viet Nam if the helicopters did not seem to everything to them at times.

From "Rudolf" Charlie and the H-34 crew:

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone.

God bless the whole world, no exceptions!

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Last week we finally got three of the rotor blades attached to old Charlie.  She is really looking like a real
H-34 now. The forth blade is ready to go, but the building is in the way.  perhaps we will attach it anyway, but simply leave it folded into the blade saddle on the tail, hangar deck style. Those suckers are HEAVY and it took four of us to lift them into place. It makes you wonder how the crew chiefs did it in Viet Nam, usually only two guys working together.  I guess they were younger and tougher than we are now, think?

Last time we had Charlie out for a Veterans Day display, we brought her back into her nest nose first. 
Now the MARINES side is showing to the street.

Fortunately, Tim Adams gave us plenty of parts to make the "picture" complete;  the only thing missing is that we need one more taper pin to secure the top of the last blade.  Anybody got an old taper pin lying around in your garage or shop?  I think we could use an ordinary bolt for this, but the real thing would be better. Tim?

The blades overlap over our local bike path by a few inches, probably illegal or something, but so far no one has complained.  They are, after all, ten feet above the ground;  it is not like some one is going to hit them while riding by. Love this small town!

The fuzzy looking stuff on the blades is Christmas lights.  They are multi-colored and flash sequentially, sort of making it maybe kind-a-like the blades might be turning.  It looks pretty good in the dark, but does not show in daylight.  We have a big smiley Santa face in the pilots window, and the cargo hold is overflowing with presents, spilling out onto the ground.  There are lighted-up presents, and overhead inside lighting so that the cargo of toys is visible from the street.  People have actually stopped by and asked if this was part of "Toys for Tots,"  wanting to know where they can drop off toys for the local children.  We refer them to the local LIONS club which has been doing a bang-up job on the  "Toys for Tots" thing here for years and years.

(For those of you who know that T4T is a Marine Corps League proprietary effort, we know that, too, but we do not want to cause any conflict here in our small town with a great organization that is doing superb job. We are too small an organization to begin to take over what they do, even if we wanted to do so).

There is also a big lighted white "Star of Bethlehem"  about twelve feet above the rotor mast.
That was another challnge to install.  See next post for pictures of that.

Another view of Charlie with the blades attached.  Those blades will have to be folded come next May for the "LOST IN FIFTIES"  parade, and again for the 4th of July parade.  It seems we can get a crew trained and ready by then.

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This is a picture of Marty lashing the last blade to the sign standard to keep the blades from turning in high winds.  We were worried that the blades might rotate a bit and the first one might climb up the roof and then whack the building. This would not be good for the building nor the blade. Thanks Marty for that death-defying act of selflessness.

There will be more pictures soon of the Chritsmas decorations, and perhaps a short video of the rotor blade lights flashing.

Last, but not least, if , in the spirit of Christmas, you can spare a dime for an old lady helicopter in this cold and dreary season, please send it to:  (Tax deductible!)

Viet Nam Veterans of America
c/o Bill Collier
402 Sandpoint ave. no. 224
Sandpoint, ID  83864

any questions or comments, feel free to email Bill at:
captwilco@gmail.com