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|Date:||7/25/2014 9:31:41 AM
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|CONTINUED FROM ABOVE
Clearance was granted and Whiskers eased the throttles forward and the craft began to move. Whiskers controlled the aircraft expertly. They made several runs from the Ramp to the terminal, down to the fuel pad, and then back to the ramp. Whiskers was clearly enjoying himself. A small crowd had gathered at the fence and watched with interest. Pete said, “Well it’s been a long day, want to call it a day? ….. Or would you like to go for a ride?”
“Really, Pete could we.”
“Sure” Pete said, “I can fly from back here and I’d really hate to disappoint all of your fans.”
Whiskers looked toward the fence and noticed that a fair number of folks had gathered. He waved and most waved back.
Pete contacted the tower and requested takeoff clearance. It was granted immediately. Pete said, “Okay, Whiskers, take us to the runway and hold short. We need to do a run up on the engines, and I want you to keep your paws and feet on the controls. Just follow me through on the control motions to get the feel.”
“Roger that, Pete”, Whiskers said.
They held short on the Taxiway and Pete explained that they were going to full military power and would be holding brakes until power stabilized.
Whiskers could feel the aircraft shuddering under the tremendous thrust, held back by the big brakes. The gauges settled and Pete released the brakes and turned on to the runway. As soon as they were on the centerline Pete called, “Afterburners!”
The engines boomed as the powerful burners lit. They were off the line faster than a high performance sports car and seconds after that they pushed deep into their seats by the building G-forces. Just off the runway, Pete retracted the gear accelerate to two hundred and fifty knots and pulled vertical. He pulled aileron and began to roll, still climbing vertically. At Ten thousand feet, he was out of restricted air space and lowered the rate of climb to gain speed, the mach meter hovered at .98 mach.
“Okay Whiskers, time to go home; follow me through on the approach and the landing.”
Whiskers complied and they landed firmly with the nose high to slow the aircraft. Back at the ramp Talley ran to the aircraft, placed the ladders and climbed up to help Whiskers out.
It had been a fantastic day for Whiskers, and as he noticed the gleam in Talley’s eyes he thought it might be even a better evening.
I left a friendly vote with purrs and hugs.
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