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Around the world in 175 days.

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May 15, 1924. The original plan was to fly 870 miles directly to Paramushiru, Japan, a flight that under normal conditions would take 10 hours. But there was concern as very rough weather was expected so the flyers decided to fly to the Russian island of Komandorski instead. The Russians had denied the Americans permission to fly through their territory but it was felt that the risk of being arrested by the Soviets was better than flying through the storm. Bureau of Fisheries boat Eider proceeded to Komandorski to wait for the flyers off shore, They were ready on the 12th but high winds, snow and fog prevented there leaving. Finally on the 15th Eider signaled that conditions at Komandorski were favorable and the flyers departed. “For three hours we flew out of sight of land, wondering all the time what the Russians would think when they saw three giant planes swoop down out of the sky in this remote region where even ships come about once a year”. They arrived around 2:30 in the afternoon. Eider had secretly placed buoys for them out of sight of land. As they landed a small boat came out with five people, two in uniform with rifles as soon but there was no hostility. The Russians informed them they would have to stay on the ship and could not come ashore and offered them a flagon of Vodka. The flyers settled in on the Eider for the night.


July 15, 2017: Originally I wanted to use Polikarpov Po-2 by Swingman which is a very nice plane and I thought it would be good to fly into Russian territory in a Russian aircraft, but became concerned that the flight from Attu to Komandorski was just at the limit of the Po-2’s range, then discovered that neither FSX or P3D had the Komandorski island airport. I created a seaplane airport with a water runway and a USCG cutter to mark it using Airport Design Editor by ScruffyDuck software. Since I don’t have a float plane version of the Po-2 its out.


Instead we will be using the Beechcraft Model 18. Beech built over 9000 model 18’s between 1937 and 1969 and they were used worldwide in many different roles, many are still in use today. I will be using an amphibious version of the D18s created by and recently updated to FSX native by Milton Shupe.


Weather was not the best, 300 foot ceiling with fog that kept moving in and out. I waited till I could see the end of the runway and took off and was almost immediately in the clouds. I tried to fly straight out at a consistent climb and heading until I was sure it was safe to turn west. Once up at 8000 feet we navigated to Komandorski. As the island came into view we descended through a break in the clouds and proceeded up the coast until we found the cutter, safely landing next to it after 1.8 hours of flying.


Here are a few pics from the flight.



Ready to go at Attu, but the weather is not.



Now we are ready.



Climbing out through the clouds.



Finally above the clouds.



Glamour shots.



Komandorski in sight!



Our destination.




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May 17, 1924: The pilots awoke at 4:30 am and prepared for takeoff. It was an ideal spring morning, there plan was to fly west toward the Kamchatka peninsula then south along the coast, 585 miles to Paramushiru. The weather started off ideal, but occasional fog and snow squals built up and they had to fly lower and lower until they were just skimming the water. Eventually they were flying through fog and heavy snow which became heavy rain and high winds by the time they approached Paramushiru.


The American Destroyers John D. Ford and Pope had been waiting for the flyers in for some time. They expected them two weeks after they left Seattle, it was now almost 6 weeks. The Japanese were not very cooperative, not allowing the americans to go ashore or take photographs. In addition to requiring a Japanese officer to remain on board, they were escorted by Japanese warships at all time. The destroyers had been taking turns waiting at waiting at Paramushiru, returning to Hakodate to refuel and supply. They battled fog, show, icy winds and rip times that kept the ship the ships swaying continuously like a pendulum. At one point in a storm Pope had collieded with the Japanese destroyer Tokitsukaze but fortunalty there was not serious damage. On a gray afternoon May 17, Ford was in Kashiwabara bay with the Japanese destroyer Tokitsukaze and Amatsukaze when the three aircraft arrived, they circled the ships several times before landing. They had difficulty mooring to the buoys Ford had placed because of the strong currents, riptides and fierce winds. Cold and wet they were welcomed aboard the Destroyer by Lt Commander Frost its Captain, representatives from the Japanese Navy and Army. They soon received Congratulatory messages from General Patrick, Secretary of War Meeks and the General Ugaki, the Japanese Minister of War. They were the first aviators to fly across the Pacific ocean.


July 16, 2017: Now that we have reached Asia and the aircraft have reached the late 30’s I am going to start using aircraft for than one leg at a time rather than changing every time. So we will be using Milton Schup’s Beach D18S again. There is no airport at Paramushiru in either FSX, P3D or real life as far as I can tell, so I will create another simple seaplane port using Airport Design Editor. The island of Paramushiru was taken over by the Soviet Union after World War 2, now part of Russia and is called Petropavlovsk.


It was raining when we departed Komandorski with a 2000 foot ceiling. We climbed up to 8000 feet to get above the clouds and it was an easy cruise, over the Kamchatka peninsula and into the bay where the Coast guard cutter was waiting for me. Here are a few pictures from the flight.



Ready for takeoff.



Up above the clouds.



Glamour Shots.



Lots of clouds.



Hey, thats Asia!



That bay between the two islands is our destination.



There is the cutter!





Sorry the descriptions have gotten a bit long but there was a lot happening back then and I want to make sure I told there story. They should get shorter again.

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May 19, 1924: In there narrow bunks the flyers did not get much sleep that night as 45 mph winds rocked USS Ford roughly side to side that night, the same winds kept them from refueling and servicing there aircraft the next day. They did get badly needed haircuts and were treated to dinner with ‘strong libations’ on one of the Japanese destroyers. The following morning they were off at 7:30 am for the 595 mile flight to Hitokappu bay on Yetorofu Island. This proved to be one of the coldest days flying since they left Seattle, Wade recalled often having to “stamp his feet just to see if they were still with us”.. They started in biting wind and fog, plunged in and out of snow squalls as they passed over one Japanese island after another. After more than seven hours of flying the arrived at Hitokappu bay where the destroyers Tokitsukaze and USS Pope were waiting to great them.


July 19, 2017: For the next flight we will be using the Consolidated PBY Catalina. The legionary Cat was one of the most widely used seaplanes and amphibians of world war 2, It first flew in 1935 and over 3300 were built and was used by every branch of the US Armed forces and at least 27 other nations in many different roles until 1980. Many are still in service with civilian operators. The model I am using today was created by Aerosoft and is very nice. The USN 5A I am using today came equipped with a Sperry autopilot that is much more realistic than I am used to and took some practice before I was ready to use it on a real flight. I found the rudder control on it a bit useless, instead just using the bank control to turn with and control direction.


The weather today was better than I had seen in some time, 12 kn winds with scattered low clouds. Like many islands in this area, at the end of world war 2, Soviet forces took possession of Yetorofu Island and it is now controlled by the Russian Federation and is called Iturup island. The flight was uneventful and I landed at Iturup island after 4 hours of flying.


Here are a few pictures of the trip.



Getting ready to depart at Dawn.



Head into the wind before takeoff.



Heading out.



Glamour shots.



Small island along the way.






There the cutter marking our destination, get ready to land.




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May 22, 1924: Smith had hoped depart early the next morning but here old enemy fog prevented that. They visited the local village and were invited on board one of the Japanese destroyers where invited to watch a Sumo match. Weather was again unfavorable the next day but by the 22nd they were able to depart. They had wished to depart at midnight but fog prevented them leaving till 5:30am, they encountered light fog as they flew along the mountainous islands, 495 miles to the Village of Minato on the north east corner of the Japanese main island of Hanshu where USS Ford waiting for them.


July 22, 2017: Again I am flying the Aerosoft PBY, this time flying Jacques Cousteau’s converted PBY-6A. Weather today was overcast with a 1200-2000 foot ceiling. Still trying to use VFR rules I stayed at around 1000 feet for most of the flight. The engines on the a bit more finicky than most sim aircraft and I was trying to be careful with them but for reasons I can’t explain the right engine kept shutting down on me and I probably restarted it a dozen times trying various combinations of the settings trying to keep them running, some worked better than others but I never found the right combination as it shut down again as I was on final. I flew to the airport at Omitato which is on the bay where they flyers landed. I should have landed in the bay as the airports 2000 foot runway was a bit short for what I needed and overran the end before coming to a stop. I landed after flying 361 nm in 2.8 hours.


Here are a few pics from the flight:



Ready for takeoff.



On our way.



Staying low.



Making our way around Hokkaido island.






Around the last ridge on Hokkaido, and the engines are running again!



Our destination is in sight!



Landed, just got to the place I wanted to park before both engines decided to quit on me.

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June 1, 1924. The base at Lake Kasumigaura was a major supply point for the trip and the site where they planned to overhaul there aircraft and get them ready for flying in the tropics, Including replacing the engines and installing larger radiators. The Japanese had planned two weeks of events, but the Lt Smith, concerned that they were at least 30 days behind schedule asked for the celebrations to be compressed to 48 hours. A Japanese admiral hosted them to a traditional Japanese dinner, the flyers were very impressed by the geisha girls who served the meal. After ten days of mechanics and diplomacy they were ready to leave at 5:30 am on June 1 for Kushimoto, 305 miles away in ideal weather, As they passed Iro point they plunged into a severe rain storm that became a mild typhoon, that became more severe as they landed at Kushimoto, where USS Pope was waiting for them. A welcome party tried to come out to the ship to greet them but the weather was too rough and the flyers retired for the night on board the destroyer.


Still wanting to fly a Japanese aircraft over Japan I decided to fly the Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero. The A6M first flew in 1939 and at the time it was introduced it was considered the most capable carrier based fighter in the world with excellent maneuverability and long range, over 10,000 were built. The model I am using today was made by Aeroplane Heaven for JustFlight and I think it is the best FSX/P3D compatible Japanese aircraft model from that era available.


It was pretty overcast when I took off, I had to stay under 1500 feet for most of the flight to stay below the clouds. I decided to fly to Nanki-Shirahama airport which is the closest airport I could find to Kushimoto. I followed the coast for a while, climbed over one large peninsula, then weaved around the various islands as I headed toward my destination. Then at some point I zoomed out on the GPS to see how far I had to go and realized I had made a fairly serious navigational error. At some point in my planning process I had recorded the code for the destination airport at RJDB where I should have used RJBD and I was at this point about 140nm off course. I could continue on to Kanoya which is the destination for the next leg, which is almost as far as going back to Kushimoto but instead headed for the closest airport which was at Matsuyama. I had flown 405 nm in 2.6 hours, at least 100nm further than I planned.


Here are a few pics from the flight:



Ready for takeoff.



Yes, we are ready.



Fireworks over Tokyo. They must be celebrating our trip.



Mount Fuji showed itself.



Brief period of good weather.



Glamour Shots.



Just before I realised I was headed in the wrong direction.



Secure at Matsuyama

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June 2, 1924: By morning the storm had subsided and they went ashore to meet with the leaders of the town. They were presented with souvenirs and decorations “enough to start an Oriental museum” according to Arnold. Some of the decorations were only given to the pilots but Lt Smith asked that they be given to all six of them since “We were simply six American airmen flying around the world together” and the Japanese agreed. By noon they were off into a stiff head wind for the 360 mile flight to Kagoshima, the southern most city in Japan. Along the way they flew over may steamers, junks and fishing boats. They also flew over the destroyers Perry and Steward that were patrolling the route for them. While flying along the coast of Kyushu island Boston’s engine began overheating so Wade landed the plane in a well protected harbor, while the other two plane circled overhead Ogden filled the radiator with salt water and the three planes continued Kagoshima where the repair ship USS Black Hawk was waiting for them. A large crowd with at least 2000 school children were waiting for them on the beach, many waving home made flags, The flyers went ashore briefly where a few short speeches were made and souvenirs handed out.


July 29, 2017: For the next flight I will continue to use the JustFlight A6M2 Zero. Because of my navigational error on the previous flight I was now in Matsuyama instead of Kushimoto and only 175 nm from Kagoshima. Weather was better today, 12 kn winds with scattered clouds at 3000 feet. The flight was pretty easy, I flew down the east coast of Kyushu island at about 3000 feet. As I got closer to the haze started to build up. I turned inland near Miyazaki where there were some heavier patches of fog to fly over/through but as I got to Kagoshima the weather cleared up and I was able to make a safe landing at Kagoshima airport despite touching down a little short of the runway. In the fast A6M2 the flight time was only 57 minutes.


Here are a few pics from the flight.



Ready for takeoff.



Climbing out from Matsuyama airport.



Glamour shots.



Kyushu island



Getting hazy.






On final, yes I am a little low.




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June 4, 1924: They stayed aboard Black Hawk the next day while they waited for the Navy ships to get into position at Shanghai. On the 4th they awoke to excellent weather, the water was so calm and the winds so light that there heavy aircraft had great difficulty getting airborne. Lt Smith was not able to get Chicago in the air, he waved the other aircraft on toward China. He taxied back to the mooring and spent the rest of the of the day swimming under there plane repairing a strip of metal that had torn away from one of the pontoons. The next morning Black Hawk sent two motor boats to kick up the water so Chicago could get airborne and follow the other two aircraft toward China.


Boston and New Orleans continued in the best weather they had experienced since they left Seattle, As they approached the Yangtze river they could see thousands of junks, sampans, river boats and large steam ships all trying to avoid each other. Several miles of water front had been cleared for there landing space, Once they landed and battled the rapid river currents to tie their craft up to the buoy’s, an excursion boat containing hundreds of Americans and Europeans came to welcome them and give the flyers a historic reception, a huge crowd of people were on shore clamoring to meet them. After they flyers finished their work on the planes they were taken to the luxurious Hotel Astor in downtown Shanghai. Smith arrived the next day to the same reception.


July 30, 2017: For the next couple legs I will be flying the Douglas DC-3. The DC-3 started life as an enlarged 14 bed sleeper version of the DC-2 but it revolutionized air transport in the 1930s and 1940s, it could carry more passengers in greater comfort than ever before, over 600 were built before world war 2 and more than 16,000 were built during the war, about 2000 are still in service around the world today. The model I am using today is version 3 of the C-47 made by Manfred Jahn and team and is one of my favorite aircraft. My flight from Kagoshima to Shanghai started off with low clouds and 4 mile visibility, Flying at 3000 feet over the hills to the west and out over the East China Sea. The overcast changed to scattered clouds and the rest of the flight was pretty easy as we cruised at 5000 ft into Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport. The 459 nm flight had taken 2.9 hours to complete.


Here are a few pic of the flight.



Ready at Kagoshima.



Take off.



Heading out over the hills.



Clear weather.



Glamour Shots.



First sight of China!



On Final.



Parked, Pudong International Airport

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June 7, 1924: The original plan was to fly to 600 miles to Amoy (Xiamen) but not wanting to try to take off with a heavy load of fuel in the crowded harbor Lt Smith worked out with the destroyer captains that they would take off with only five hours of fuel and fly 350 miles to Tchinkoen bay where one of the destroyers would be positioned for refueling, they would then continue Amoy. On the morning of the 7th the harbor master was not able to clear a path. All three planes had to abort there first takeoff attempts to avoid colliding with a unheeding sampans Smith and Wade finally saw an opening and took off, but when Nelson in New Orleans tried again he had to swerve right to avoid a Junk, then plunging up river at high speed had to pull up hard to avoid a large sampan, missing it by inches. Flying along the coast they arrived at the destroyer off the china coast after four and a half hours of flying.


August 1, 2017: I will again be flying Manfred Jahn’s C-47. Best I could figure Tchinkoen is actually Yueqing Bay, and the closest airport is at Wenzhou, about 25 miles away. Even then P3D did not have that airport but I found a simple scenery file on Flightsim.com created by Kevin Wynn that would meet my needs. The weather started out nice, 18kn winds a few clouds at 2400 feet. Temperature read at 93F/34C. Took off from Shanghai and headed south along the coast at 5000 feet. The clouds built up as I approached Wenzhou and I dropped to about 1500 feet in the rain to stay below the weather before dropping into the Wenzhou airport for a safe landing. The 201 mile flight took 1.7 hours.


Here are a few pics.



Ready for a dawn takeoff.



Climbing out of Shanghai.



Heading out over the coast islands.



Glamour Shots.



More islands.



Weather ahead.



Our destination.




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June 7, 1924: By 2:45 they were refueled and back in the air. Flying down the coast they could see hundreds of villages along the shore and thousands of sampans filled with families and animals. The weather was excellent and there planes were responding perfectly. At Amoy the destroyer USS Preble was waiting. They had great difficulty keeping the many small boats away from the planes. Only after an officer in a motor launch, capsized a few sampans running straight at the boats only to swerve at the last minute to swam the boats did they keep there distance.


For the next couple legs I plan on using the Vickers Wellington. The Wellington was a British twin engine medium bomber that first flew in 1936. It was mostly used as a night bomber but also for anti-submarine patrols. Over 11,000 were built and was the only British bomber to be produced for the duration of the war. The model I am using today is made by First Class Simulations. I will be using the Coastal command Mark X version. I chose this version because it was the only one in the package painted for daylight operations.


The flight was pretty easy. A few clouds at 3000 feet, I spent most of the flight at between 5000 and 2500 feet dodging clouds, flying along the coast to Xiamen. The Wellington made short work of the flight, doing the 250 nm flight in only 1.3 hours. Here are a few screen shots.



Ready for takeoff.



Heading down the coast.



Dodging clouds.



Coastal Islands



Glamour Shots



First view of Xiamen!



Our destination.



Landed, but for some reason there are cars driving through the airport, think I will park somewhere else.

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June 8, 1924: The flyers wanted to get off early the next morning but curious locals again crowded there boats around the planes, again the navy came to there assistance but it was not until 10:30 in the morning that they were able to get off. They were warned they would run into a typhoon on the 310 mile flight to Hong Kong but they took off into darkening skys, They flew into winds and lightning, at one point they were hit by 100 mph tail winds but it did not last long and they emerged out over a calm sea, fog forced them down so they were flying just over the tops of the hundreds of boats of all descriptions in the waterways. The number of boats increased as they got to the crown colony of Hong Kong, as they few over they bay they could see a vast number of boats and anchored in the middle was a navy destroyer. They could not see there yellow buoy’s but were signaled to go to the other side of the bay, where the Standard Oil Company dock was located in a small cove. The landed there and with the help of there machine shop they spent the rest of the day working on there aircraft.


August 4, 2017: Again I am using the First Class Simulations Vickers Wellington. I actually did this flight twice. I wanted to fly into the old Kai Tak airport so yesterday I did the flight and landed at Kai Tak but ended up crashing into an invisible building while taxing to parking and I aborted the FSAirlines client before it recorded the flight so it would not save it as a crash. I restarted the flight today, compared with the scattered clouds of the day before today it was clear and I flew at 5000 feet along the coast. Clouds started to appear as I got closer to Hong Kong, after yesterdays ‘accident’ at Kai Tak I proceeded to the new Chek Lap Kok International Airport and made a safe landing. Most of the pictures are actually from the previous days attempt as the weather is a little more dramatic, but the last few are from today’s. Here are the pics.



Ready for takeoff, the airport manager really needs to do something about these AI cars running all over the place.



I managed to avoid hitting a car or truck on takeoff.



Heading out over the bay.



On our way.



City of Hong Kong!



Fog ahead, better get lower.



Our destination.



Landed and secured.

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June 10, 1924: It was extremely hot as the flyers got there planes ready for the flight to Hai Phong, there route would take them over the Lanzhou peninsula that separated the South China Sea with the gulf of Tonkin, it was the shortest distance but it was covered by jungle that contained more tigers and leopards than any other place in China. Also for a sea plane any mechanical problem would result in a crash in the Jungle. They traveled down the coast and over the peninsula. They flew at around 500 feet and could see the locals scattering in all directions as they passed over. Wade wrote of the flight, remembering all the tiny islands that “rival our thousand islands if not surpassing them in beauty”. They landed near the mouth of the Red River at sundown. A group of french men and women came out to welcome them, one particular Frenchman tried several times to come aboard Chicago to give a welcoming speech, but Smith not done working on the engine pushed the boat away each time. When the crews were done servicing there aircraft they finally came ashore and that Frenchman was still waiting for them, turns out it was the French Governor General who wanted to invite them to a formal reception. Smith apologized for any unintentional discourtesy and accepted.


August 5, 2017: For the next couple legs I will be flying the Grumman G-21 Goose. The Goose first flew in 1937 and was intended as an eight passenger commuter aircraft for businessmen in the Long Island area and Grumman's first aircraft to be used in airline service. It was used in world war 2 by the United States and many other nations as an effective light transport. About 345 were built and at least 30 are still airworthy. The model I am using for this flight is the one that comes default with FSX. I know many of us discount the default aircraft but this one I has always been one of my favorites and I think it as good as many payware aircraft out there.


My flight to Hai Phong was uneventful. Weather was warm, few clouds at 2000 feet with 10 kn winds, and those clouds cleared half way into the flight. I followed the coast till I reached the Lanzhou peninsula and crossing over to the gulf of Tonkin proceeded down the coast to Hai Phong. The default airport there was just the runway and the tower so I taxied off into the grass and stopped, it probably would have been more fun to landed in river that was close by. Here are a few pics from the flight.



Ready for takeoff.



Heading out over Zhujiang River Estuary



Glamour shots.



Lots of pretty islands.



More islands.



Not sure if this is supposed to be river sediment or polution.



City of Hai Phong and my destination.




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June 11, 1924: The next day they all had trouble getting airborne in the calm waters of Hai Phong's river, they zigzagged down the river trying to avoid all the Junks and sampans that kept trying to get in there way, they all got off but it took wade 12 miles at full throttle before the pontoons would break loose. The 410 mile flight to Tourane French Indochina (Later Da Nang, Vietnam) was looking like it would be an easy one as they flew over the rice fields, jungles and out over the Gulf on Tonkin, but 30 miles off the coast Chicago's engine started to overheat, Smith quickly found a quiet lagoon where they could land and add water to the radiator. They were off again but 30 minutes later there engine started to pound ominously, again they searched for a safe place to land and found another lagoon 3 miles inland. This time they found a broken connecting rod sticking out the side of the crank case. After seeing Smith signal that the engine could not be repaired both Wade and Nelson landed to give what help they could, they gave them all the food and water they could and promised to get a new engine to them as soon as they could, so New Orleans and Boston took off and proceed to Tourane to get help, leaving Smith and Arnold stranded on this small lake, far from any visible habitation.


August 6, 2017: Continuing in the Grumman Goose, my flight from Hai Phong to Da Nang was much lest eventful than Smiths. The weather was good, a few clouds at 1800, 4kn wind, warm with temperature of 31C. Staying along the coast of the Gulf of Tonkin, I cruised at about 2400 feet until the city of Da Nang was in sight. Rather than landing at the airport, I decided to put this sea plane to good use and landed in the River in the center of the city. The river was only 2 miles from the airport and the FSAirlines client would record this as landing at that airport. The 299 nm flight took me 2.4 hours.


Here are a few pics from the flight:



Ready to go at Hai Phong.



Climbing out of Hai Phong.






Rear view.



View of the coast.



Front view.



My destination, lets land in the river instead of the airport.



Landed at Da Nang.


For some reason I did not take any interior shots, sorry about that, good thing I did so on the last flight.

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ANY RTW is a big undertaking. I'm glad to see that you're doing it in style and with a narrative with excellent historical background. I'm sure we're all waiting to see what you've got up your sleeve as you press on around the globe. Keep it up, and as I always say,


Fair skies and following winds!


Fair skies and following winds,


PROUD FS RTWR Pilot since 2015!

Kick the tires and light the fires! We's goin' FLYIN'!:D

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ANY RTW is a big undertaking. I'm glad to see that you're doing it in style and with a narrative with excellent historical background. I'm sure we're all waiting to see what you've got up your sleeve as you press on around the globe. Keep it up, and as I always say,


Fair skies and following winds!



Thanks Ponch! The encouragement and comments are very welcome!

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June 15, 1924: Wade and Nelson arrived in Tourane hurried aboard the destroyer USS Noah, Onboard was Lt Lawton, advance officer for this region and M. Chevalier, representative from the Standard Oil Company. They checked there maps and determined to Lagoon Smith had landed on was outside the city of Hue. After conferring, Nelson and Chevalier proceeded by car to Hue find Smith while Noah would sail to Saigon to bring back a new engine for Chicago. Smith and Arnold had spent the rest of the day battling thirst and too much curious locals. After arriving in Hue, Smith and Chevalier proceeded by car and then by boat until about 3am they reached the Lagoon where Smith and Arnold waited exhausted. At daylight they arranged for Chicago to be towed, 25 miles up river to the city of Hue. By the 13th, Noah had returned from Saigon with a new engine and it was driven by truck to Hue along with Harding, Ogden and four volunteer sailors from Noah, The old engine was disconnected from Chicago and the new one installed, after a taxi test Smith and Arnold were back in the air for the 60 mile flight to Tourane, the entire episode from landing in the lagoon to getting back in the air had taken only 71 hours.


August 11, 2017: One thing the flyers did not do on this trip was cross the Equator, which is one thing that gave Australian Charles Kingsford Smith one of his claims to fame when in 1929 he finished the second around the world flight and the first that crossed the equator. While the flyers were working to help Smith and Arnold get out of the Jungle, I think I will make a short excursion to the City of Pontianak in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, which is 976 nm from Da Nang and whose airport is about 8 nm south of the Equator.


For this longer flight I getting ready a Boeing model 299 better known as the B-17. First designed to a 1934 requirement for a multi engine bomber, it ultimately lost the competition for that contract because the prototype crashed but its clear superiority let to 13 more being ordered for evaluation and eventually over 12,000 being built between 1938 when it was introduced and 1945 when production ended. Despite having a smaller bomb load and shorter range than the more numerous B-24’s it proved to be more durable and much better liked by the crews that flew them.


For my flight to Pontianak I will be using a B-17F by Aeroplane Heaven, which is very nice. The weather for takeoff was not bad, few clouds at 1500 feet, very light 1kn winds and temperature of 37C/99F. We flew at around 2500 feet along the coast until we were near the city of Vinh Tan, where we turned south out over the South China Sea. We stayed at 2500 feet until flying into a thunderstorm when I climbed to 8000 feet to try to get out of the worst of the turbulence, proceeded to Supadio Airport for a safe landing. Here are a few pics from the flight.



Ready for a dawn departure.



Climbing out of Da Nang.



Heading down the coast.



Nice profile.



Out over the south China Sea.



First sight of Indonesia.



On Final.




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June 16, 1924: Nelson and the others had arrived back in Tourane just before nightfall. They were all up early the next day and were in the air by 5am. The weather was favorable but Boston had troubles with its generator, not having an extra Nelson rigged up a second battery and a switch so one battery could be used for a while then the other. They arrived over the Mekong River at 1:30 and landed at the French Hydroplane station on the Saigon River, just north of the city of Saigon.


August 12, 2017: Again I will be flying the Boeing B-17. This time will be flying the G variant, also by Aeroplane Heaven. I made a detour the day before to Pontianak Indonesia and today’s flight will take me back to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, formerly known as Saigon. The weather was not as favorable as when I arrived. Scattered clouds at 1200 ft with less than 4 miles of visibility, 3 knot winds with a temperature of 23C/73F, fairly cool for just south of the Equator. I stayed at around 800 ft to stay below the clouds and follow the coast until near Singkawang City we turned north west and back out over the South China Sea, The weather soon cleared up but we did have to dodge some thunder clouds along the way. We came in over the Mekong river and delta, as often happens the clouds built up as we approached Ho Chi Minh city but we were able to make a safe landing at Tan Son Nhat International Airport. The 680 nm flight had taken 3.7 hours.


Here are a few pics from the flight::



Ready for takeoff.



Flying along the coast of the island of Borneo.



The weather has improved a little.



Out over the South China Sea, dodging clouds.



Comming in over the Mekong Delta.



Hi Chi Minh city in the haze.



My Destination.




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June 18, 1924: As they continued there adventure the flyers did not bring there dress uniforms with them in there cramped aircraft, instead they would usually they would be lent cloths by the officers on the Navy ship that was there to help them. They would borrow shirts, socks, pants and ties, but not Jackets, since those would have Navy insignia on them and they were members of the Army. In Saigon this led to a less than friendly reception from a very french waiter at a street side cafe who despite there explanations, would not serve them because they were not wearing jackets. There destination for the day was Bangkok Siam (Thailand), They could have saved 100 miles if they had flown across the souther part of Indochina (now Vietnam) but felt continuing along the coast while longer would be much safer with the many lagoons they could land on in emergency. To avoid the long take off runs in the crowded rivers they decided to not leave with full fuel and fly 410 miles to Kampong Som Bay (Cambodia) before continuing to Bangkok. They flight was uneventful, they landed in the Kampong Som river which was protected from the high winds and were refueled with the help of the crew from the destroyer.


August 15, 2017: I had originally wanted to use Virtavia's Heinkel He 111 but discovered the empty weight was was off by about 1/3 so the FSAirlines tracking client would not accept it unless I fixed it, plus it is one of the worst I have seen for nosing over when you hit the breaks. Not wanting to mess up the flight characteristics by increasing the weight I switched instead to the Hawker Hurricane. The Hurricane is one of those legionary aircraft that should need to introduction, it first flew in 1935 and formed the bulk of the RAF fighter force in the early parts of the second world war, over 14,000 were built before production ended in 1944. It accounted for 60% of the victories in the Battle of Britain and it served in every major theater of the war. I am using the Just Flight Battle of Britain package and am using a Hurricane Ia, which looks and flies great but I had a big problem with fuel usage during the flight. The weather was not bad, 6 knot winds, broken clouds at 1500 feet, Temperature of 30C. I intended to follow there path down the coast of the South China Sea and around but as I approached the mouth of the Mekong river I noticed I was already down to 80% fuel, I reset the engine to a lower power setting and turned due west across the countryside to head directly for Sihanukville, Cambodia, the closest airport to where I think they originally landed. By the time I reached the west coast of Vietnam I still had 100 miles to go and was down to 25% fuel. Looking for the closest airport I landed at Rach Gia airport, refueled and was on my way again. The clouds got a bit thicker as I approached my destination but made a safe landing and taxied off the runway to stop in the grass with 50% fuel remaining. My 200 miles of flying had taken me 1.7 hours.


Here are a few pics:



Ready at sunrise



Sunrise over Ho Chi Minh City.



Flying along the coast.



Low on fuel, landed at Rach Gia



Refueled and off again.



Flying along the coast in the Gulf of Thailand.



Just a little rain.



Landed at Sihanukville, Cambodia.


Thanks for reading, hope you have enjoyed these so far, as always your comments are always welcome.

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June 18, 1924: After refueling at Kampongson bay they flyers continued along the coast of the Gulf of Siam for 245 miles until they reached Bangkok and landed in the Menam river. Again they had to dodge junks, sampans and houseboats to get to there moorings. The heat and humidity wad debilitating as they serviced there craft. They continually had to try to protect the cruisers from being rammed by wayward boats until the Siamese police strung a circle of boats around each cruiser.


August 16, 2017: After the fuel problems with the JF Hurricane decided to switch to something else for the 268 nm flight to Bangkok Thailand, the Messerschmitt Bf-109. The 109 is another aircraft that should need to introduction, first flown in 1935 it was one of the most advanced of its day with all metal construction, an enclosed cockpit and retractable gear. Serving in the Spanish civil war and then world war 2. Almost 34,000 were made and it was in service until 1965. The three top German aces of the war all few the 109 and between them had 926 victories. The aircraft I am flying today is also from the JustFlight Battle of Britain collection and is very nice. In Sihanukville I switched planes and was off again for Thailand. Weather was not the best, Clouds at 1500 feet and light rain, I continued up the coast of the Gulf of Thailand at 1000 feet, gradually the weather improved and I climbed up 2500 feet as we continued our easy flight landing at Don Mueang International airport after 1.4 hours of flying.


Here are a few pics:



New plane, full fuel, ready to go.



Climbing out.



Not the prettyest, but flys well.



Coast of the Gulf of Thailand.



Island hoping.






I think Bangkok is in site.





Thanks for reading, off for a road trip so no more flights for at least a week.

As always your comments are welcome.

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June 20, 1924: The flyers were given a tour of the city of Bangkok which included many temples and palaces, the king was out of town but they did meet the ranking prince. They were offered the opportunity to view a beheading bee but they declined that. Some of the flyers took advantage of the comfortable Royal Hotel of Bangkok, while the others decided to sleep on the Destroyer. The next major stop was to be Rangoon Burma, they decided to fly to Tavoy to refuel. A direct flight would require a 130 mile flight over the Malay Peninsula, the safer alternative would be to fly along the coast and around but that would require another two days of flying so Lt Smith decided to take the risk. The flight over the peninsula was not as easy as they expected, In trying to fly over one ridge New Orleans kept getting hit by dangerous down drafts that caused it to turn around try again.Several attempts were made before they finally made it over. After 200 miles of flying they arrived at the Tavoy, Burma where the destroyer USS Picard was waiting for them.


August 20, 2017: For the next leg I got ready the Lockheed L-18 Lodestar, The Lodestar was an enlarged version of the L-14 Super Electra, which was an enlarged version of the L-10 Electra. The Lodestar had two more rows of seats compared to the L-14 which gave it similar per seat cost to the DC-3 with better performance. Over 600 were built between 1940 and 1957. They aircraft I am using was made by Milton Shupe and is very nice, but it’s not V4 compatible. Tavoy is now Dawei, Myanmar. Weather for this leg was not bad, 4 knot winds with a few clouds at 4000 feet and a temperature of 28C/82F. The flight to Dawei was uneventful except that P3Dv3.4 crashed on me twice before I could finish the flight. I few most of the flight at 4000 feet and had to weave though the mountains near Dawei to stay below the clouds. My 141 nm flight took only 48 minutes.


Here are some pics:



Ready for dawn takeoff.



Flying over the Thai country side.



Just a few hills/mountians to get through.



Glamour Shots.



Weaving through the mountians.



Dawei ahead!



Our destination is in sight!





Thanks for reading.

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June 20, 1924: The stop at Tavoy was only to refuel. While the sailors of USS Picard where helping them refuel a monsoon wind suddenly engulfed them with high winds and rain. As there were no sheltered coves nearby, Smith signaled the others that they should all take off. As they were taking off Boston was hit by a big wave that caused one of the wing wires to break, Wade decided it was better to fly to Rangoon rather than risk landing. In New Orleans two wing wires broke and Nelson decided it was better to taxi back and fix them, this took half an hour and they were then on there way behind the others. They landed in the Irrawaddy River in Rangoon where the destroyer USS Pruitt was there to assist them. They found the river as crowded with boats any other they had visited. Arnold fell in the river as he was reaching for the buoy, Smith not noticing had to taxi away quickly to avoid being rammed by a boat but soon saw he was missing and taxied back so he could climb back on the pontoon.


August 20, 2017: For the next leg I got ready the Lodestar’s military cousin the Lockheed PV-1 Ventura. The Lodestar was developed into the Ventura as a replacement for Lockheed Hudson’s in service with the RAF, and was later developed into the B-34, B-37, PV-1 and PV-2 for use as both light and patrol bomber, A total of 3028 were built. The model I am using today is also one of Milton Shupe’s and is very nice but also not V4 compatible. The weather started off nice, 4 knot winds with light rain, a few clouds at 11000 feet and a temperature of 25C/77F. After switching planes we took off from the Dawei airport along the coast at about 2500 feet. The clouds got heavier as we headed north, eventually having to drop to 1500 feet to stay out of the clouds, near Mawlamyine turned west out over the Gulf of Martaban. Once we reached the mouth of the Yangon river up to the city of Yangon (formerly Rangoon). The clouds had built to the point where the city seamed fogged in but using the GPS to navigate we found the airport and made a safe landing. The 206 nm flight had taken 1.4 hours.


Here are a few pics of the flight:



Ready to go.



Heading out over the coast.



Glamour shots.



Along the coast of the Andaman Sea.



Low clouds ahead.



The city of Yangon.



Finally the airport.





Thanks for reading

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June 25, 1924: The river traffic at Rangoon nearly ended their flight that night, a large river boat under full sail, apparently sailed by a careless helmsman was heading right for the cruisers, but the Navy was there to save the day. Sailors from the destroyer that were guarding the planes boarded the wayward hulk, clipped the helmsman in the jaw and took charge, The resulting collision ended up being fairly gentle but New Orleans required five days to repair the damage before they could leave for there next destination. They left on the 25th for Akyab, Burma and the Bay of Bengal. En route they flew through one of the heaviest rain storms they ever experienced. They arrived in Akyab seaport and hurriedly refueled, they wanted to leave as soon as possible as the area had the distinction of averaging over 400 inches of rain a year but they got a message that the moorings at there next stop were not ready so they would have to wait till the next day.


August 22, 2017: For the next flight I got ready the de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito. The Mossie was another of those legendary aircraft that should need not introduction. It first flew in 1940 with an airframe made almost entirely of wood and when it was introduced was one of the fastest aircraft in the world. It was used as a bomber, day and night fighter, photo-recon and fast transport for up to one passenger. Over 7,700 were built before production ended in 1950. For this flight I will be using an aircraft with the colours of the RAF India and was produced by JustFlight and Aeroplane Heaven.


Akyab Burma is now Sittwe Myanmar. Weather for the flight started off less than promising. 4 knot winds, broken clouds at 1500 feet and 30C temperature but pretty hazy/foggy, with only 4 mile visibility. I headed mostly west at 1000 feet until I reached the coast, as we approached the shore the clouds let up. Climbing to 2500 feet to get over the coastal hills we turned north and followed the coast in great weather until we reached Sittwe, making a safe landing at there airport. The 269 nm flight took 1.3 hours. Here are some screen shots.



Ready for takeoff.



Low clouds over the city.



Weather improves at the coast.



Turning north to Sittwe.






Nice weather now.



The city of Sittwe, todays destination.





Thanks for viewing, as always feel free to comment.

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June 26, 1924: Despite the heavy rain at Akyab the flyers were in the air at 7am for Chittagong Burma. They noticed the rain was heaviest at the shore so they ended up flying 15 miles out in the Bay of Bengal. They landed in the Chittagong river and were quickly refueled by the destroyer USS Preston. They were soon in the air again bound for Calcutta India. This was going to be a more dangerous leg as they had to take a compass heading over the delta of the River Ganges, known to be inhabited by Tigers and Crocodiles, If a plane went down it might take months to locate. They spotted the Hooghly river and followed it 80 miles to the city of Calcutta, then the second largest city in the British Empire. They then flew sixteen miles north of the city, to an area they hoped would have less boat traffic, landed and tied up to moorings used by ocean going ships. Here they would overhaul there craft and swap the large floats for wheels on there journey.



August 24, 2017: The next couple legs were the last before they switched from sea planes to land planes so I wanted to use an amphibian so I chose the Grumman G-44 Widgeon. The Widgeon first flew in 1940 and was designed for the civil market, smaller but similar to the Goose. During World War 2 it was used as a small patrol and utility aircraft by the USN, Coast Guard and Royal Navy. 317 were built before production ended in 1955. The aircraft I am using today is by FlySimWare in civilian colors.


We started at Sittwe airport with a 7am departure for Chittagong Bangladesh. The weather was great, clear below 20,000 feet, 4 knot winds and a temperature of 29.7C/85F. We followed the coast of the Bay of Bengal north at 3000 feet. As we approached our destination it suddenly became quite cloudy with 3 mile visibility. We found the mouth of the Chittagong River and landed.


Normally I do 8 images per flight, since I am combining two legs I did 6 from each, here they are.



Ready to go in Sittwe Myanmar



Kutubdia Island.



Flying along the Bay of Bengal



Glamour Shots.



Suddenly Fog.



Landed in Chittagong Bangladesh

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