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Literature / The Flight Of The Silver Turtle

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The flight of the Silver Turtle is a novel written by John Fardell in 2006.

The kids Ben, Zara, Sam, and Marcia are spending the summer at 12 Pinkerton Place with eccentric professors Alex Ampersand and Petunia Hartleigh-Broadbeam. After attaching his recently-invented electric motor to a motorbike, the group decides to take it out on a test ride for a picnic at the beach. After taking a wrong turn, however, they wind up finding an old aircraft hangar with a slipway leading into the water and a sign reading "McAirdrie Aviation" on the front. Inside, they find aviator Amy McAirdrie who is in the process of building a float plane (well, technically amphibious flying boat) that can easily be piloted by a novice and can land pretty much anywhere, and the gang decides to help Amy with building it, having the idea to use the new electric motor as the plane's engines.

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After some time, the plane is nearing completion, but we find out that someone named Lerkner (who is eating a sandwich) is monitoring them and mentions something about the "Silver Turtle" project. He is advised to continue monitoring them due to the plane's unorthodox design and power source. Shortly afterwards, Ben accidentally knocks over a shelf looking for a new reel of wire, which causes a lamp on the shelf to fall and crush the audio bug that Lerkner had planted on it. This leads him to suspect that they had discovered the bug and disabled it. Ben, unaware of what he just did, finds a photo of the hangar they were in with a British plane in it and a pair of pilots standing on the slipway.


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This work provides examples of:

  • Big Bad / Nebulous Evil Organization: Noctarma. They literally have a hand in every type of thing you could consider even slightly evil.
  • Big Fancy Castle: Chateau deLamprey, the headquarters of Noctarma
  • Bungling Inventor: The first paragraph is of Professor Ampersand's latest invention, the auto-breakfast-preparer, exploding spectacularly.
  • Faux Affably Evil: The leader of Noctarma masqueraded as a friendly shoulder to cry on for Gabrielle before revealing her true nature to the kids when they land in her backyard.
  • Insistent Terminology: The Silver Turtle is technically an amphibious flying boat, not a plane, due to the fact that it floats on it's hull/fuselage rather than external floats.
  • The Professor: Professors Ampersand and Hartleigh-Broadbeam.
  • Take Over the World: Noctarma's plan once they get their hands on the Silver Turtle Project.
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