On his birthday, my brother got a radio-controlled plane as one of his presents. It was something he’d wanted for a long time and he was very happy about it.
– Wow, he said. It’s a ShinMaywa US-2. That’s brilliant.
– What’s a ShinMaywa US-2?
– It’s a Japanese short takeoff and landing amphibious air-sea rescue aircraft.
Within minutes, the aircraft was out of its box, fully assembled and ready to go. My brother carried it outside and stood it on the path. It looked like a boat with wings. Each wing had a pontoon at the halfway point. It was big and it looked serious – and fast.
– Doesn’t it need a runway? I asked.
– Short takeoff and landing, remember?
– Is it a boat or a plane?
– It’s both. The Japanese use it for sea-air rescue.
My brother pressed a button and the aircraft started up with a hiccup and a steady bass rumble. The rumble turned into a deep buzzing sound, and the plane moved forward and took off abruptly.
It climbed steadily through the air and for a moment it looked as though it were a real aircraft. Read more…
Copyright © R J Dent (2014)