Monday, 16 April 2012

Social Stopover

Irene our secretary was invited by Hans to join us all for dinner that night at the Sheraton. I said we could try and get a table at Cico’s Italian restaurant and we all ended up there for most of the night.
Rainer Schrimm was flying back to Germany that night so after giving him dinner, we arranged a cab to take him to the airport. I told him Ghuloom would airfreight his parts and tools the next morning back to Germany for him. During this visit, Hans and Michael had nicknamed him “Rainer Bahrainer
Michael said the engine had not missed a beat and the only problem was the muffler system, which would probably need some kind of re-design for future engines. The other great benefit was the fuel consumption of the Porsche aero engine. Michael said they were around 20% less fuel then conventional light aircraft engines such as the Lycoming. This coupled with the extremely low noise levels and ease of use, convinced me personally that Porsche had a winning engine in this field. The main challenge I could see would be price and getting into a very established market place controlled by the big American manufacturers, which would either make it or break it!
Well we had a couple of day’s local holidays around this time and both Michael and Hans decided to stay on in Bahrain.
We had a fax from Porsche AG daily asking if they had left and every day we replied, they were staying over yet another day! I think they stayed best part of a week in the end and I guessed the trip was catching up with them both mentally and physically, so a few days holiday would not hurt them.
When they finally decided to leave, we were very sorry to see them finally fly off, although we all wished them well and asked to keep in touch with us. We all went down to see them off on their journey to India via Oman, which would take them onto Malaysia, Indonesia to Melbourne. Then to Papua New Guinea, Brunei, Philippines, Hong-Kong, Shanghai to Tokyo. Then they were due to cross the Pacific Ocean via Marshall Islands, Hawaii to Los Angeles and Florida, then back home via Bermuda Islands, Azores, Portugal, Spain, France, Switzerland and finally back to Germany.
I told Michael we may yet see them again and he asked, “Why” and I told him the GCC Conference was on in Muscat, Oman and the Heads of State of all the GCC States would be there and they usually closed the airport under these circumstances and I was sure The Authorities would not let them land for re-fuelling. Michael and Hans waved this away and they were soon on their way.
We never heard any more from them for a few days and shortly after Irene came into the office after from collecting the mail the Post Office Box, waving a post card from Raffles Hotel in Singapore from our intrepid aviators!

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