Release that Witch Chapter 1128
Gazing at a reproachful and exasperated Tilly, Roland somehow felt his little sister was pretty cute in a way. Tilly rarely called him brother when she was in a good mood. She only did so in the presence of others or when she was really annoyed like now. Roland suddenly had an urge to tease her.
"Ahem, this isn't right," Roland thought, hastily turning his lack of attention into a hacking cough. "The plane isn't complete yet. Anna and Soraya have to make every part manually. As the war is around the corner, they have a lot of work to do. You should know it better than anyone else. I did draft the plan a long time ago, but I can't suit the action to the drawing just by myself."
As the railway continued to extend, it now took the "Seagull" three to four days to fly to the front instead of one or two. He could not really blame Tilly and Wendy for being slackened, because it was really hard to complete all the preparation work within one day. They had no choice but to wait.
As the pilot of the "Seagull", Tilly obviously knew everybody was busy. Many witches actually fell asleep straight away after they boarded the plane. For this reason, they had even added upholstered cushions to the chairs. Realizing that their most important goal at present was to defeat the demons and recover the Fertile Plains, Tilly deflated resignedly, her hands back to her sides. "I just want to test the plane sooner so that the Aerial Knights can do their jobs..."
"Don't worry. The main body of the plane is almost done. We just need a few auxiliary parts. All I need is just a little patience from you — "
"Hold on," Tilly interrupted. "You said the main body is completed, which means I can still fly without those parts, right?"
"Well..." Roland hesitated, realizing he had just slipped the information out. Princess Tilly was now not so easy to be deceived anymore, for she had learned a lot about planes. "Well... you still can, but this new model is very different from the 'Seagull'. If anything happens, Wendy won't be able to fix it in time..."
His voice trailed off in the end.
Tilly's eyes were glistening with daring and excitement.
He just could not resist her.
Nightingale giggled behind him. It appeared that she really loved to see Roland lapse into an awkward silence.
After staring at each other for quite a long time, Roland breathed out a sigh and said, "Alright. I'll ask the airport staff to get ready for a flight."
"That's the spirit," Tilly praised, her raised brows back to their normal positions, grinning.
Roland picked up the phone and said, "Remember, if anything happens during the test or you lose your control, you must abandon the plane immediately. Do you understand?"
"Of course. We can always make a new plane but can never have an excellent pilot like me again," Tilly said confidently while folding her arms. "That's what you're thinking, right?"
At the Neverwinter Airport.
There had been nothing but two tracks at this clearing before, but now this place had become a real pilot training base, which was also the forerunner of the future air force academy.
In the enclosed testing field, a silver plane was transported from the hangar and placed at the end of the tracks.
Tilly took a deep breath and said, "So this is... the plane for me..."
"Yes," Roland said while nodding. This is the 'Unicorn'. It's powered by a radial straight-five engine and can fly more than 150 kilometers per hour in theory. Even the fastest devilbeast would not be able to keep up with it."
As the first man-made self-powered aircraft in this era, the "Unicorn" looked very different from the "Seagull" the glider. The biggest difference was its huge head. To house the engine, the head of the plane was in the shape of a barrel rather than in a sleek aerodynamic shape, as though its top had been chopped off.
Also, it had a two-blade propeller attached to its head at the front, which the "Seagull" did not have. Since this was literally the first plane powered by a piston engine, it was still quite a basic model despite that the extensive research Roland had done. He believed a two-blade propeller should be sufficient considering the power was relatively low.
Finally, the plane was small in general. As the "Unicorn" was a fighter rather than a passenger aircraft, it was only nine meters' long, only half as long as the "Seagull". Nevertheless, the internal structure of the plane was much more complicated. Apart from an operation system, it was also equipped with some power units such as a gas tank and a fuel pipe. There was also room for a firing system and a second seat.
"The 'Unicorn'... You sometimes do come up with creative names," Tilly said as she rushed to the plane, but soon noticed something unusual in the flight deck. "That is where the missing parts should go, isn't it?"
There were two holes where the cockpit control panel should have been. It was obvious that the plane was not complete yet.
"That's right," Roland said with a nod. "These parts were used to show the speed and the altitude of the aircraft, which were the two most important flight dynamics parameters. We used to have Wendy to control the plane, so we didn't necessarily need them. But now, it's all on you the pilot, so you must monitor these two parameters from time to time..."
"Don't worry. I don't necessarily know how to make a plane, but I'm definitely the best pilot in Graycastle," Tilly said as she crept into the plane and settled herself into the pilot seat self-assuredly.
The "Unicorn" was technically exactly the same as the "Seagull", except that it had an additional gas pedal. Even the power levels were positioned in the exact same location. Tilly had done many mock exercises earlier, so Roland did not think there would be any problems. However, since this was essentially a brand new plane very different from the "Seagull" in terms of weight, flexibility and speed, and its mechanical system had yet to be tested, there was a chance that something went wrong.
That was what Roland feared. If the plane crashed at the onset, even an outstanding pilot like Tilly might not even be able to know how well the plane performed. Roland had wanted to create several similar models so that Tilly could gradually get familiar with the aircraft and learn on the go.
But now it was too late.
"Your Majesty, it's ready to go," the hangar manager reported.
"OK. Let's begin," Roland said and left the tracks.
"Yes, Your Majesty!"
Two workers soon inserted a crankshaft into the engine launcher and started to spin it.
Roland felt like this was more like operating a tractor than the latest weapon created by human beings. He decided to invent storage batteries and electric helper motors once they started mass production.
As the piston gradually accelerated, one worker closed the pressure-relief valve, and the oil in the cylinder was instantly ignited. The engine erupted a few loud explosions. Within a second, a few inarticulate blasts became a series of thunderous roars.
The two-blade propeller blurred into shadows and light. The plane glided along the tracks for a mere 30 seconds and took off. Under the scrutinies a group of awestruck spectators, the "Unicorn" soared into the azure of the sky.