Triplane Builder



Poems by Triplane Builder - William (Bill) Woodall

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F6F Hellcat

I am big and blue and my wings fold too
And my nose is humped a bit-
My gear is close to my centerline--
Look fat as even I sit.

When my wings unfold from their straight back hold,
Rotate to where they belong---
My Browings (six) in a three pack fix---
Await my big Pratt's 'song'.

From right in front you'll see my grin,
Where air will cool my oil-
My sides show where-- my exhaust does flare--
In the prop-wash whirling coil.

My pilot sits in my big cockpit-
High above my nose-
His view is fine through my big prop's 'shine'-
See's the wake and how it goes.

For carrier life is my pedigree-
I was born to this way of 'work'-
Designed to fight where no land's in sight-
And welcome the tailhook's jerk.

The Grumman "ironworks" turned me out-
I am proud to bear their name-
They did no wrong when they built me strong-
Hold up my end of the game.

My gear folds back and axles turn--
Put my tires snug in their bay-
My drag is down when we leave the ground-
And I do this night and day.

I'm mostly seen in museums now-
My "blue" is largely gray--
But way back when-when they needed me then-
Saved that fleet that came to stay!

Bill Woodall







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