The Saga

How it all came to be.

It all started way back... Such a long, long time back. I was not yet a teenager when I decided that I wanted to build a plane. Equipped with a Swiss army knife (a prized possession at the time) and a sheet of plywood, I started to sculpt my creation. A neighbouring friend of mine, who was playing nearby, grew curious. He was always interested in weapons of all sorts, and my mighty blade clearly piqued his interest. He casually came over and asked me what I was doing. 

I enthusiastically shared my intentions with him. He thought deeply, and promptly suggested that I seriously rethink my piece of art. Clearly, I was doing it all wrong. I really needed to give the wings a more triangular shape. My plane would look so much more aerodynamic, he said. I will never forget the look on his face when I explained to him that no, I was not working on a wing quite yet. This rectangular sheet of plywood would soon become the left console panel and would host a myriad of buttons. Did I mean I was building a real aircraft? One I could sit in? Yes, yes, I did. Flabbergasted, he told me in no uncertain terms that I needed medical attention, before leaving me to my own devices. After that short but lively discussion, it did not take me long to stab myself with my prized Swiss army knife, run out of plywood, and subsequently favour shinier toys.

... Until one day, as a young adult, I finally had a little bit of money. I had amassed enough wealth to fly micro-lights. More importantly, I started building Mr Colomban's latest invention at the time. I bought the plans (#53) for an MC-30 Luciole, a more reasonable pile of plywood and a bench drill. I found new friends who shared my passion although, unsurprisingly, most around me still believed I was out of my mind. I started building nonetheless.

Picture of a MC-30 wing rib.
Picture of a MC-30 wing rib.
A Colomban MC-30 Luciole, built in the United Kingdom in 2012.

In the tiniest flat one could imagine, close to Paris, I bolted my bench drill to my bedside table. I shaped wing ribs. I grew used to eating and sleeping in dust, wood chippings and PVC foam. My neighbours, on the other hand, grew tired of my unearthly noises. I, for one, enjoyed very much these months of insouciance and blessed naivety. Until one day, life called me abroad. Unable to take my build with me, I sold it for cheap to another builder. I kept the plans and spent my last penny to book a hotel room and buy a one-way ticket to England. With a now completely empty bank account, a few pieces of clothing, a guitar, my wits and my determination to build a life, I started all over again from nothing.

My stay on the other side of the English Channel was supposed to be short. A few years at most. But here I am, ten years later, husband to a wonderful wife, father to two amazing kids and slave to a long-term mortgage. My wish to build and fly my own plane remains. It seems that my resolve to finish what I started as a child, equipped with a Swiss army knife and a sheet of plywood, is unwavering. Will I ever succeed? Who knows. But as long as the music is playing, I will be dancing... and sharing my story with whoever might be willing to hear it.