A Plane Is Born
When my first workshop series, A Car Is Born, went down pretty well with viewers, Discovery asked me if there was another kind of kit I could build. To my utter amazement, I soon sussed out that there are more home-made light aircraft flying around than there are factory-built ones. At least that’s what I was told. It was good enough for me and for Discovery. So, it was back on the tools.
I knew didly squat about aircraft at the time and I had to make a decision about which kit to go for in a bit of a hurry. I chose a Europa for one very simple reason. The company offered a VHS video to potential purchasers. We got hold of a copy and ripped the footage to make a taster that we pitched to Discovery. Literally half an hour after we delivered our tape to the Channel, we had a call giving us the green light. That just doesn’t happen in TV. Normally execs mull things over for months pondering schedules, audience figures and the like. None of that nonsense this time. They watched it. They loved it. They said yes. Those were the days.
And, what a plane it was. Top speed of around 190 mph and a range of around 500 miles. Light, nimble and fast. Compared to the lumbering, but very safe, PA28 I learned to fly in, the Europa felt like a Mazda MX5. So much fun !