Flying outback in Des Porter's brand-new 72-year-old Dragon plane is like an English lesson; ‘past-perfect-and-present-tense!' But it should read 'past-tense-present-perfect' instead. It's a beautifully rebuilt airplane, admired by airmen worldwide, and highly respected, almost lusted over by former Dragon pilots.
The plane model was built first in the UK in 1932, making this one 72-years-old at birth. Yet, with modern technology, the plane is much more flyworthy than the originals, and will last considerably longer. In all, nothing has been changed; it's an exact reproduction of the original, but more nearly perfect than them all.
Memories and flash-backs flying in Les's Dragon, VH-SNB in the 60's dust storms, desert droughts, months being away, and the blessing of isolated people coming to Christ, all came flooding back. Harks back to the 70's Richie Gunston and Mel Stevens and Rob Hopkins, and 80's singers and artists who helped build Outback Patrol.
Christian teachers who serve in remote schools now were children then, and remember the old plane; they are the parents and grand-parents now.
So, as the Scriptures say, 'Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is none like me!' (Isa. 46:9). He has a remarkable faculty of making old things new again; people as in II Cor. 5:17.
The team on patrol now includes Des Porter, Les Nixon, Peter Moss and Garry Thompson. The Dragon will fly for events, schools and meetings just like the Nixons did 40-years ago—to St. George, Cunnamulla, Eulo, Thargomindah, Quilpie, Eromanga, Windorah, Birdsville, Alice Springs, Yulara Ayers Rock, Oodnadatta, William Creek, Marree, Roxby, Coober Pedy, Andamooka, Hawker, Broken Hill, Wanaaring and Louth.
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