To ship a vintage 1940’s biplane over the ocean does not entail just lifting her with a crane onto the front deck of an ocean steamer.
First that would be way too hazardous as a plane is a delicate piece of machinery with many parts sticking out of the basic structure that easily break off during incorrect treatment. Second, standing in the open for ten days in a wet, salty environment challenged by high seas and winds is the last thing you want.
A forty feet long, 31 feet high, steel container is the solution. Remove the four wing sections, the tail, part of the undercarriage and everything just slides right into that container. ‘Hans, stick your hand out in front of you. Now rotate your hand to the left and right as far as you can do. This is what will happen to the container on her journey. Make sure you store and tie down the content extremely well’, a good advice from a shipping expert that I got. So we did, with the help of many that somehow heard an inner calling.
I helped the driver close the last door of the container after we finished the job. There show goes! By truck to the port of Antwerp; to be loaded on the vessel carrying the name ‘Colorado Express’ in five days from now and arriving in the USA a week earlier than me. That would complicate the process of emptying the container as I had to rely on others generosity to do so.
A week later, fantasizing hearing the waves of the water bobbing against the skin of the vessel carrying the plane, a message from the freight forwarding company. The container missed the transport on the ‘Colorado Express’. My world fell apart. Bye, bye beautiful plans.
Reading the message once more, I saw the stated alternative for transport; ‘Rescheduled on the Delaware Express vessel to arrive at destination on August 9th’.
What? August 9th?
That is exactly the date I will arrive in the USA as well. It couldn’t be better.
So good she missed that vessel.
So good that life takes care of us and that synchronicity works.