Aeronautical Gifts

February 09 2015 (Backdated Scene): May and Jericho drop a gift off at the CCU

CCU Headquarters

A converted K-Mart distribution center, now the headquarters of the CCU.



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Jericho and May dropped Lunair and Roy back where they could return to the Starfire and… well, just kind of kept going. They're now nearing New York, specifically not too horribly far from the retooled facility that Partisan keeps CCU assets at. "So what do you plan to do with this thing? Turn it over to SHIELD or…?"

May scoffs. "SHIELD would impound and then eventually either destroy it or auction it off. I have a better idea. Can you get Partisan on the horn?" She indicates the spare pair of headphones in the cockpit.

Piloting the small civilan helicopter, May scoffs. "SHIELD would impound and then eventually either destroy it or auction it off. I have a better idea. Can you get Partisan on the horn?" She indicates the spare pair of headphones in the cockpit. Thankfully they stopped for fuel along the way, but even so, this little whirly bird is running low on juice.

"Sure can." Jericho grins. He leans over and keys the radio for the little Bell 206 rather than using his internal comms to ring up Part's cell. "Whiskey Lima Foxtrot Two One, this is Alpha Sierra Papa Zero Five. Coming in a little light on fuel and would like to stop and chat. Have guests. How copy, over?"

Partisan is doing what the Partisan does, which is to say she's keeping busy. Today that'd be securing all sorts of things she isn't supposed to have underneath the subfloor of her newly restored AN-2. Conflict diamonds, a little gold, radio, guns, you know the absolute essentials to operate an aircraft when your the "Mother Fucking Partisan." She does pause for just a second at the distinctive whop-whop of a 206, before climbing into the cockpit and flipping over the battery. "Alpha Sierra Papa Zero Five, this is Whiskey Lima Foxtrot two one, I hear you loud and clear and understand your intentions are to refuel. You're cleared to the side door at your convience sir."

Pepper Potts nods to Jericho as she hears Partisan's reply, and banks the little aircraft around. She's only been to the place once before and then by car, but it was distinctive enough that May's pretty sure she can find it from the air. And sure enough, there it is. It's a few minutes later that the Bell is touching down positively delicately next to the aforementioned side door and the engines starting to wind down.

Jericho goes through the routine of flipping switches and helping shot things down for post flight proceedure. It's automatic now. He was in SOAR long enough that it should be. "Part'll appreciate this I think. You ran into her back when, um…" He stops short of saying 'you were on administrative leave.' "You were vacationing in Gotham, yes?"

Speaking of Part, Jericho's sure she'll be along shortly.

Partisan slips down from that huge Antonov, appearing as those great big almost hangar doors begin to open with an audible electric whirr. May's seen most of the aircraft in there before, including a potential item of interest. That Antonov AN-2, yeah it seems like that restoration is complete because it looks amazing. She's recovered and repainted it in a subtle mossy green and dull grey, which works in a quasi-military sort've way. Anyway she takes a moment to give the 206 a look over, before moving to snag the av-gas to refill the Bell. "Hey kids, out for a little sight seeing tour?"

May puts the headset aside as she climbs out of the little whirly bird. "Kind of not really. Picked up an impulse gift, thought we'd drop it by." Literally. Hopefully the little Bell didn't pick up any gunshot wounds during its escape. She sees the Antonov in all of its restored glory and whistles faintly. "Someone's looking all shiny and new."

Jericho grins as he slips out the other side. "As she says. We appropriated this from a HYDRA compound in the Rockies and May wanted it to go to someone who wouldn't just stick it in an impound lot and eventually destroy it." This particular Bell does seem to have been modified to accept weapons under the belly even if it isn't currenly mounting any.

Partisan pauses for a moment, peering between Pepper and Jericho for a moment before setting a hand on her hip. "You brought me a stolen Hydra helicopter as a gift, well hell thankyou. Now I feel off that I havent a gift to offer in return, uhm. Lunch?"Stepping foreward to look over the Bell with a critical eye. "Yeah go have a look if you want May, he just came back today."

May nods and steps aside to let the Partisan examine the Bell more closely while she herself goes to admire the Antonov. Now THIS is the kind of bird even she would normally only expect to see in a museum, so seeing the old bird here and in peak flying form is just a serious treat. She brushes her hand along one row of rivets before turning to look at Trent. "Oh, and if it has any gunshot holes, I'm not to blame."

Jericho laughs. "I'm not either. I wasn't shooting at the bird. I was on the sniper rifle most of the op." He grins.

Fortunately thanks to May's piloting and Lunair's explosives, there isn't a scratch on the thing. It's got two under fuselage hardpoints but is, other than that and some different avionics, an utterly normal if very well cared for Bell 206. "What do you think Part?"

Partisan gets down on a knee to peer at those hardpoints. "I think, this isnt a 206. I think, this is a Kiowa or atleast it used to be. I dont know of any 206 variant besides that came with hardpoints, but it does make it fucking useful as a deniable asset. Thankyou both, very much."That Antonov is just, is just scary fucking nice really. Carbon fiber prop, theres a radar pod on either wing, new landing lights. A nice tasteful update really.

"Gladly. I hate seeing birds put down just because their owners were jerks." It almost sounds like May is talking about a pet of some sort. Who knows, maybe she is. "Anything else interesting going on with you, Partisan?"

"Odd." Jericho murmurs at Partisan's comments. OH-58s are still in active inventory. Maybe this one is refurbished. Or maybe they just 'appropriated' it from somewhere else. It's HYDRA. Such things have been known to happen. Still, it's painted and mostly geared to look civilian when not running weapons, so it could be handy for all kinds of things. The hacker pats his wolf-friend on the shoulder and turns to head inside. "Going to get me a cup of tea. Either of you want anything?"

"Eh, not much. Got some aircraft to buy for my actual business side, probably buy a new helicopter and a new plane for myself. Been thinking of something a little more modern, I mean what with GPS and FADEC and everything else. I'm starting to feel a little behind the times."Part offers Jericho an amiable nudge, before casually sliding over towards May. "You wanna go for a spin in it sometime, I'd be more than happy to have a copilot. Jerry can't handle anything fixed wing."

"I'll take some tea if you're offering," May calls to Jericho as he moves past. Then she nods to Partisan with as close to a smile as she gets. "You tell me when. I'll be here." Come hell or high water or Hill being more of a stick-up-butt sort than usual. Man, she can almost imagine how Partisan would take to a quinjet.

"So very true." Jericho grins. The Army didn't really fly many fixed wing aircraft and he didn't deal with any of them during his time in SOAR. "Tea it is May. It'll still be hot if you two decide to take the Anatov out for a spin." He calls back, as he moves into the hanger to put the kettle on. "Oh, May I have something for you. Remind me to give it to you before you leave."

Partisan glances after Jericho for a moment. "Jerry this is an An-2, it'll do one sixty sure but mainly it's happiest puttering around at about half that. It'd take an hour just do run a circuit, granted it'll do it after taking off from somone's backyard after being hit with flak cannons for a few hours. Whilst hauling a load, and then land in roughly the same place. It just is probably the least fast airplane ever to make mass production."

"Compromise, Partisan," May offers. "Next time I have some puddle jumping to do off the books, wanna be the taxi driver?" No telling when that'll actually be, but it would be a reason to give the old bird a real shakedown flight under low-stress circumstances. She glances over toward Jericho. "Maybe we can make up a reason for a puddle jump or two."

"So I'll make her tea before." Jericho grins over from the kitchenette at the back of the hangar. It won't take him long to boil water. Selecting a tea… let's see… it's May. Green tea. He had some good stuff around here somewhere from a certain red headed businesswoman…

Partisan smirks, "Alright May we'll have tea -and- fly."Easing off to light a smoke, and then get that chopper pushed out of the way to be looked over another time. The big AN-2 gets a glance over worth of walk around, before she gets to pushing to just solo walk the huge plane outside. Those big balloon tires dont make it exactly hard though, low rolling resistance and so fourth.

May does have to get back to NYC somehow, and since the Bell is staying here… and watching the Partisan wheel the old plane out barehanded just reminds her that having weird friends is NOT a bad thing. "Let me make a phone call, get us a slot on the landing strip at Pete's." She's referring to a private air strip on the fringes of the city, that Partisan has likely used as well in the past.

Jericho comes back with a thermos full of hot tea for May and a small box, as well as a cold one for Part. He knows she won't drink while flying but she may want one afterward. "I'll get the Bell pulled over to one of the hangars while you two are out. Enjoy the flight." He knows that May and Part really love this plane.

The Antonov was made to transport everything from horses to Russian paratroopers so the plane is actually refreshly roomy inside. The seats are the old fashioned leather benches, like school busses and Soviet transports alike all used to have and they're surprisingly not that bad. The port holes are large and well spaced, and the ceiling high making the cabin feel even larger than it actually is. Right now there isn't much in there beyond a backpack, but the main event is in the cockpit. The original analog gauges and switches are infact still present, back when the gauges were hand painted affairs and the switches were made by the prolitariat not Chinese slave labor. It smells like, old books and new erasers and it's not entirely unpleasant really. The cockpit is, enormous with that glass extending outwards from the fuselage to form what's popularly known as the "greenhouse". It's absolutely easy to just stick your head in the bulge, and see straight back to the tail wheel so far behind.
Part straps in and produces a heavy checklist which she begins going through, getting anything with so much manual analog control going takes a minute. There are some modern touches in here though, Situated centrally but low is a modern touch screen screen for the Radars, and another for the GPS/GLONASS/INS system which is already booting up by the time she begins priming that enormous twenty nine litre Radial up. The superchargers begin to whirrr as they too begin their own little preflight check. Nobody ever accused the An-2 of being a sportscar, being a flying steamshovel? Maybe.

May accepts the items from Jericho with an appreciative nod. "You're not going to do some passenging, Trent? A plane like this hasn't flown in at least twenty years. It's a whole different experience." And one that May herself hasn't even experienced before. Regardless of the hacker's decision, she boards the plane and moves to try and help Partisan with the checklist. It's… a bit like trying to remember her lessons in writing Mandarin from so many years ago.

"Not this flight. Part and I, or you and Part and I can take another one later but… Part's been working a long time on this and I think someone who really, really appreciates it should go. Jericho grins. "Go on now. I'm not going anywhere. Well, probably. I need to check my connections."

The AN-2 was built without knowing what the future held, without knowing what would be asked of it. There are triple redundancies for everything, even the wings. The world's largest biplane flies just fine without it's bottom wings. It was covered with fabric and the wings made of wood, because with a sewing kit and a hand saw the forms and shapes were easy to replace if damaged in the field. Everything, from the size of the control yoke to the way everything is laid out, speaks to an aircraft designed from the outset by aviators for aviators. True enough two of the three men credited with it's design had flown assault aircraft for the red army in the second wold war, only one was an actual engineer. This is something special indeed, nobody gives this much of a shit about -anything- these days. The gauges begin coming to life as the checklist goes down to engine start, and then it goes from special into utterly surreal.
That enormous Shvetsov nine cylinder radial is actually a descendant of the Wright Cyclone, which endured supreme abuse and still got their air crews home throughout the second world war. Theres a pop, and a few coughs and the thing kicks over on the first try. Hell most modern aircraft new a few tries to get going, it's nuts. "Alright, I'll take care of take off and I'll hand him off once we've got a little altitude alright?"Part glances over to May, as she pulls her headset on. Easing the throttle slowly back, as she dumps those flaps to full and lets the engine catch up with the input. The idle vibration just, vanishes and is soon replaced by the most pleasant roar of an engine the likes of which have never been duplicated.

May lets Trent stay behind as that's his choice, and nods to Partisan as she controls the plane through takeoff. She puts on the copilot's headset to answer the Partisan. "This is your baby, you're calling the shots." She's perfectly content to watch the takeoff and observe how the controls work and the dials and readouts and everything. She's not flown anything this truly analog in a very long time.

The engine gets to "take off power" on it's own, and the front struts compress under the thrust just the propwash creates. The tail wheel lifting just a touch off the ground, before the brakes ease off and the big bird accelerates…eventually. Still in maybe a hundred feet worth of roll, the Antonov just slips free of the Earth. It's only going like thirty miles an hour, and lets be honest no airplane nor glider should be doing anything but crashing at that low speed. Yet off the AN-2 goes, without drama nor any real effort on the part of it's pilot. The leading edge slats audibly pop back into place all by themselves, as the flaps are raised. The climb rate is pretty sedate, but as it settles down around ninety miles an hour it gains altitude easily enough. "Alright, May you have control."
For such a big, wire and hydraulic plane? Control inputs are surprisingly pleasant, theres an unreal amount of downright visceral feedback. Nothing is going to be happening fast here, but the big AN-2 really never feels fat or clumsy. It feels lighter than most sail planes, and somehow more muscular than most modern cargo aircraft. It's immediately rewarding, and there is so much clear feedback that the gauges are really just there for reference. Modern cockpits are these sort've tiny things, with tiny windows but well the glass stretches well overhead and beyond and theres tons of space. It's unlike anything else, and it's completely amazing. "Take heading zero three six, our altitude will be six hundred feet. Efficient cruise sort've varies, but it's usually somewhere between eighty and a hundred this low."Part's voice is, a veritable wellspring of calm and contentment.

Melinda May takes the controls and ever so gently banks the plane toward the heading Partisan just gave her. And by the time she levels the plane out again to start cruising, she's actually honest-to-god grinning. "I could get spoiled on this." But at the same time, she can tell. This old man does sedate Sunday drives, not the kind of combat level flying or hurried ferrying about she does often enough anymore. And that's what makes this all the more appealing.

Partisan just smiles, reaching over to just open a window. Which you can do, when your cruising low and slow. "Old Russian aircraft are almost all like this, to be able to go to school to be an engineer you had to be a pilot first. So everyone who designed anything old and soviet, were pilots. They were also socialist, so the planes were designed to last and to get the job done. No worries over profit margins, nobody cared if they sold any or not."Part settles back as the big Antonov just, well even without autopilot you could probably just go root around in the cabin for a soda and return to find nothing had really happened. The Antonov is just amazingly stable, only needing the odd rudder inputs to keep it on course. After a few minutes, you don't even need to use the compass to -feel- the drift of an errant breeze. "This one was made in Poland in about fifty something, and flown across Vietnam, cambodia, Laos, god knows where else. When I bought it, I had it shipped with me to South America. It's worn floats and landed on the amazon, it's set down in wild jungle clearings. It's operated in every country in North and South America, I used to hang a hammock back in the cabin and for maybe six years this was my home."Part smiles, recling a touch as she watches the GPS and radar with interest. Those are new, afterall. "I regret none of it. He was shot full of holes on maybe twenty seperate occasions, but duct tape was all I ever needed."

May nods at that. "I can totally believe it. They just don't build them like this anymore." She's not dissing her Bus, not by any means. It's just something completely different. Like a sailboat instead of the Helicarrier.

Partisan nods softly "I asked forever ago, and you said no but I'm going to ask again. Do you want me to find a plane for you? I run an airline, I've got access to more free planes than I could ever make use of and the old ones if they arent flown just get broken down for salvage."As Part verifies a little blip on the radar with a pair of binoculars, holy shit binoculars in the cockpit! "Give us another hundred feet up, theres some canadian Geese off to our one o'clock about a mile away."Well May has like what, minutes to get that done.

May nods and gently pulls the plane up those hundred extra feet. "Well, there's still the whole problem that all of my flight certifications are through SHIELD so not really … official." Like her entire identity, if one wants to get technical. "If you're running a legal airline, I don't want you to put that at risk because of me." Now, if for whatever reason she gets to leave SHIELD employ in some way other than a body bag, she might take the Partisan up on her offer then, in a heartbeat.

"because I have the most legit papers ever? I can handle that for you May, the question isnt if you could do it. The question is if you want one or not, just don't expect anything fancy. You want old commercial or training aircraft, I have you covered no problem. I have MU-2s sitting gathering dust, and I know a guy who'd trade a six pack for a Mooney. Nothing fancy but it's flight time, and if things went sideways you'd have freedom of movement."Small planes do not infact, have to file flight plans during daylight hours. You could fly from A-B with literally not a scrap of paperwork if you wanted to, and when flying under five hundred feet even the most advanced radars tend to lose aircraft against "ground noise". It's why people like the Partisan keep small propeller planes(not the AN-2), for just such a contingency.

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