Swiss National Day with the 51st International Aircadet Exchange

Lani Cahill
Lani Cahill - the Escort of the US-Delegation taking the controls of a TWIKE

TWIKE on the airfield

Today they learned to fly a glider and felt the adrenaline of taking off with a winch. At 18:00, while the cadets are cleaning the planes push them into the hangar - 6 unidentified lowlevel flying objects appear on the tarmac. They look as sailplanes without tail and wings.

Loading the batteries

Soon the sailplanes are forgotten and everybody is gathering around the TWIKES - asking questions - feel the future. As soon as it starts to rain heavily, we leave in the direction of Schaffhausen, carrying the first half of the cadets - the others are following by bus and will try to twike on the way home. If it would be a rainpowered vehicle instead of solarpowered there would have been plenty of energy. We seem to sit in a submarine - the top speed is set by the work capacity of the wiper. The convoy has to wait for the last TWIKE at a gas station. Suddenly the missing vehicle is passing by without seeing us... Eric from Sweden was allowed to drive by himself what he did very well but he had to concentrate on driving - Peter Zeller on the second seat was so occupied by giving advices and tips that both of them didn't see us. At the end all reached the house of Dr. Peter Reiner, the head of the Swiss IACE Organisation. Together with other guests we had a nice but wet barbeque-party. Although it was raining and not to hot, we had fun in the pool behind the house. After dawn it stopped raining and we went up to the Galgenbuck hill, where a huge fire was set on - a traditional sign dating back to 1291 when the resistance against the Habsburgian Landlords rose. In that times it was a aid for longdistance communication. Over the famous Rheinfall a big firework was to see for a quarter of an hour. Unfortunately the exploding rockets produced so much steam in the wet air, that the fireworks where partly hidden by selfmade clouds...

The young pilots

After having a nice dessert-buffet it was time to leave back to Winterthur again. On the highway Jason Cox and I made almost a new speed record. Although the engine is limited on 95 km/h topspeed, we reached higher speeds downhill. In Winterthur everybody wanted to try to twike at own and so - many circles around in Winterthur where made. I'm sure - if it would fit in the handluggage every cadet would take home a TWIKE!

Martin Schmid (TWIKE 034), TWIKE Club Switzerland,

Link to the download section for high-resolution pictures of the TWIKE (text in German):



Update: August 20th 1998 / ms