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Why a picture of aeroplanes in an article titled 'silk scarves' on a website dedicated to Pembletons which are cars? Well it's a bit of a rambling story.

As you may recall we had a horrendous time a couple of years back with hundreds of new robot 'members' posting rubbish on the forum and since then I ask people, who wish to join the forum, to demonstrate they are real to try to keep out robot members. I also ask them how they found the website/forum. Quite a lot are following leads from other websites. I know that a small minority of people find this validation process a bit intrusive but I'm not willing to take the risk of the spam problem occuring again.

One guy follows a homebuilders forum dedicated to 1920's style biplanes and one of the builders had posted a picture of his workshop with his 3-wheeler parked in the background, the discussion then diverted into classic style cars and the Pembleton was mentioned. I got the link to the Flitzer Sportflug Verein International - a cod name for the Flitzer Sport Flying Association - and had a look round the site. A big mistake as I was hooked on the whole concept! There's a lovely cod history of the 'plane in the newsletters from New England - maybe we could do a similar 'history' for the Pembleton?

I just love the the character of the Flitzer. It's very small and can easily be built in a garage. I was building balsa wood compression ignition engined planes as a teenager and the construction principles are exactly the same. I'd built a model which has a 1m wing span and the Flitzer is about 6m wing span so it's only a slight increase in size ...... I started looking at the engine options and flat fours, some VW based, are about the right power but what really caught my eye is this beauty, made in Autralia, a Rotec radial engine. There are a number of variants of the Flitzer theme and one does use this engine - beautiful in my eyes.

A number of problems brought me down to earth.

Thats a lot of money, both capital and recurring, for a hobby. I already have a boat which, if the truth be known (but don't tell her indoors), isn't economic as it would be cheaper to charter a boat rather than own one for the limited amount of sailing I do. The same thing would apply to the 'plane.

You have to admit the Flitzers look wonderful! It's a flying version of a Pembleton. As a postscript; the three wheeler mentioned by the member of the Flitzer site is apple green and looks like a JZR - see if you can find it!

What's this got to do with silk scarves you might ask - well while browsing for info about VW aero engines I found a site devoted to the Fly Baby, a home built aeroplane powered by a VW engine, and Ron Wanttaja, the author of the website, has a lot of interesting articles one of which was about silk scarves!

The full article, which gives the historical background, can be found here. I contacted the author and he is happy enough for me to cut 'n paste from his article.

He has written a number of articles which might be of interest to Pembleton drivers/navigators;

The Hollywood knot

It's not really designed for open cockpits, but gives a devil-may-care look under the leather jacket.

The biggest problem with the Hollywood Knot is that the scarf ends are unsecured. Unless you make an effort to secure those ends, the scarf WILL billow in front of your face while you fly.

But, hey…… it DOES look good, don't it?

The art of tying the Hollywood Knot has been lost for generations, but I think I have rediscovered it. It's basically a modified version of the standard double-Winsor knot, with the exception that the horizontal pass of the long end is left out.

Basically, you set up with one free end of the scarf very long, and the other very short. Cross the long end over the short end, bring it up the middle, take it to the side it originally came from, then back underneath again. Tighten the knot, then manually spread the top layer out.

The top layer is essentially loose. If you put on a jacket, it will naturally form the billowy "V" shape around your neck. Without a jacket, the end hangs dashingly free.

This gives a step-by-step illustration of how to tie the Hollywood Knot. It is done as if you are looking in the mirror.

One addition, suggested by a friend's talk with a WWII aviator: If your scarf is long enough, take a wrap completely around your neck before starting with Step 1. In other words, hold the middle of the scarf in front of your neck, then wrap both ends around until they come out as shown in Step 1.

If you wear one while flying, though, make sure the ends are secure.

Finally, be advised: Hollywood Knot is a fearsome weapon, especially coupled with a dazzling smile. Use it responsibly.


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