The Night Before Christmas... at the Hangar (2020)

‘Twas the night before Christmas,
And all through the hangar.
Not a visitor was present,
Due to the COVID danger.
The doors had been locked;
Warning signs had been posted:
Employees Only! Keep Out!
Was the message they boasted.
But inside the shop
Things were busy as ever.
The mechanics were frantic,
As if they had a fever.
For the year-end had come,
And there were projects to finish.
Things which had to be done,
The backlog to diminish.
Then from the main door
There arose a great bellow.
A voice from the cold called,
“Ho ho ho, my good fellows.
Someone open this door,
For I need Bison’s service.
I don’t have much time,
And my request is quite urgent!”
We all knew at once;
It was our old friend St. Nick.
On tonight of all nights,
We must attend to him quick!
We bid him come in
And then gave him a mask.
“How may we help you?”
Was the first question asked.
“I have gifts to deliver,
Around the world, near and far.
But this virus slows me down;
I just as well go by car.
Every country is different.
Regulations abound!
They seem to make new ones
In each village and town.”
“There must be a way
To maintain isolation,
While ensuring the gifts
Get to their destinations.
I came back to Bison
Knowing you’d have the answer.
With your skills and your knowledge
We'll avert this disaster.
For this COVID is awful,
Why, it's worse than the Grinch.
And I know that Bison
Can get me out of this pinch!"
We ran to the door,
And threw off the chains.
And what we saw next,
Was truly quite strange.
A glowing red sleigh,
Piled high with its cargo.
Around it, seven reindeer,
It was quite the fiasco.
Santa counted the reindeer,
Then he said with a scoff.
“I don’t know how this could happen,
Guess I lost one on take-off!”
We brought in the sleigh,
And started to work.
“I have a great plan,”
JD said with a smirk.
“In the days, long ago,
We did this quite often.
All we need is some ducting,
HEPA filters, and suction.”
As he laid out the plan,
The team gathered round.
They listened intently,
As his words did astound.
Deena stepped to the lead,
Coordinating the action.
Each task she assigned,
And planned down to the fraction.
She directed the shop,
As if conducting an opus.
Guiding the whole team together,
Never once losing focus.
Shelby coded new software
To bring up-to-date,
The sleigh and its systems,
She would now automate.
Mike reviewed regulations,
And prepped documentation.
Then powder-coated assemblies
With a shout of elation.
Roel built systems for nav,
And for auto-flight.
Knowing that Santa would have
A very long night.
Jeff drew parts in CAD,
With his laser to cut.
In his precision skills,
We had all placed our trust.
Chad climbed under the panel,
A new harness to install.
His feet in the air,
Head on firewall.
Jerry put to good use,
His new air compressor.
Driving in rivets,
Like a mid-harvest thresher.
Cody built a small cannon,
With which to launch gifts,
Down the chimney to children,
For delivery most swift.
Robin cut from acrylic,
The big pressure dome,
Where once in the sleigh,
Santa would make his home.
More power was needed,
For the sleigh was now heavy.
Seven reindeer won’t do,
They just were not ready.
New engines were fitted,
And though a bit strange.
They would get Santa moving,
And give him plenty of range.
The new sleigh was ready. 
The project complete.
Santa could deliver his presents,
Without leaving his seat.
He could travel in safety,
COVID cares set aside.
All thanks to his new,
Custom Bison-built ride!
Santa thanked us all dearly,
As he sealed the air-lock.
Then he clipped his elf-phone,
Into the panel-mount dock.
As he started his engines,
The ground started to shake.
And he called each one off,
Pver the sleigh’s new PA.
Now Cyclone, Centaurus,
Now Wasp and now Wright.
The big burly radials
Belched fire in the night.
Then the Spey and the Tay,
The Garretts started their whine.
The sleek turbines spooled up,
As their ITTs climbed. 
Then a clanging rang out
From the sleigh’s warning bell,
It began to rise skyward,
It had V-T-O-L!
Advancing the throttles
And taking the sky.
We breathed a sigh of relief
To see it really could fly!
He was gone in an instant,
For the sleigh, it was fast.
As it must be for worldwide
Good will to be cast.
But then, from the radio,
Santa’s voice, clear and bright:
“Merry Christmas to all,
And to all a safe flight!”