Everyone dreamed of becoming a millionaire that day, me included. It was Friday, 13th May 2022. That morning the value of LUNA, a cryptocurrency, plummeted. According to CoinGecko, the value crashed from a recent all-time high of $119.18 to $0.000000999967 per token. A few people lost their shirts that day, but what hits rock bottom can only recover, right?
Accordingly, everyone and their dog bought into the prospect of becoming millionaires overnight.
So I blew £18.18 or $20.00 on buying LUNA, which was later rebranded Luna Classic or LUNC. When not checking the price on CoinMarketCap literally every ten minutes (a habit that I only recently managed to kick), time was spend looking at ways to spend my guaranteed winnings. The premise is that the price would recover to a respectable and feasible $1.00.
First on my shopping list was a new home. Nothing fancy, just a one bedroom apartment filled with new furniture and the latest in home entertainment. Add a totally new wardrobe (to replace my rags) and that’ll do nicely, thank you!
But I wanted that little bit extra. Something that shouts eccentricity. Something other than the mundane. Something that people will remember me by. In essence I wanted to add to the total sum of our aeronautical heritage. Spending money that wasn’t guaranteed, I had two projects in mind. Both were ambitious, but not for those qualified to build or restore either an Airco DH4a vintage biplane or a Bristol Sycamore helicopter.
Either project was guesstimated at around £400,000, but both would have significant obstacles. The 1950s vintage helicopter featured a metal fuselage and radial engine. These are relatively easy to rebuild. However the original wooden rotor blades were prone to degradation, and would need to be replace. This would be prohibitively expensive.
The other project, namely the Airco DH4a featured a Rolls Royce Eagle V12 engine, which is an extremely rare beast. However, there are alternatives, namely the American Liberty V12 engine. These are more common and were fitted to the American licensed version of the DH4.
But it wasn’t to be. The price of LUNC didn’t recover, and accordingly no one became a millionaire - not overnight and not in a year and a day. Hoping to increase my stake in LUNC, I spent most of 2022 creating NFTs which became an impossible sell. I left the scene in early 2023, totally disillusioned. Thereafter I started to design a number of miniature buildings for model railway enthusiasts, not that it’s a profitable venture, but it keeps me busy.
Thing is, a day doesn’t go by when I’m not reminded that : “You have to take a risk or you will be doing the same shit for the rest of your life!” But how to generate that sort of income needed to make things happen?
The problem is that aeronautical heritage projects are extremely niche. fundraising for cats and kittens is an easy pitch, as is securing pots of money for a local sports club or even to pay for the basics in life (healthcare and education), but to reach out to a minority isn’t going to raise the funds needed to make things happen.
One idea is to create a documentary film that could be sold to offset the cost of building an Airco DH4a. That said, making a broadcast quality film could cost more than building the replica itself. Plus self-funded films rarely pay for themselves. Merchandise might bring in a few shekels, but selling to a very select few might not be profitable enough to make a difference or even cover the costs.
Now I have thought about creating my own cryptocurrency, but so has everyone else. Plus there is a real possibility of being accused of running a scam. Creating a meme or shit coin (same difference) is relatively affordable, but how do you maintain the momentum? That’s the key to success on so many levels.
In creating a new meme coin, my primary objective would be different from everyone else’s, and not everyone will share my raison d'etre. Community is everything, as is utility. Meme coins are the means to make money. You create a coin. Hype it to the heavens, then sell. But then what? Do you place a pillow over your meme or let it suffer a slow, painful death. Do you become just another scam artist or a victim of ignorance?
In all honesty, building a replica Airco DH4a is the easy bit. There are numerous specialist engineers who can do wonders with wood and metal. And the original parts needed are available, albeit at exorbitant prices. No, the deciding factor is that kick in kickstarter. It’s about placing your head and your reputation above the parapet.
Accordingly, on 26th April 2023, I spent £14.39 registering www.dh4.org.uk. Watch this space!
*just don’t hold your breath!