• Going Places - Back North

    Going Places - Back North

    By Rodolfo Astrada

    Time to get moving again. In the last feature we had landed in Montevideo following the trail of a regular Lufthansa Cargo MD11's schedule. After a brief stop in Carrasco we launch to Buenos Aires where in the real world most of the cargo hauled from Germany and probably some picked up in Brazil gets usually offloaded.

    Goods coming this way from Europe and the Far East by air are mostly technology or pharmaceuticals, return flights are for the better part repositioning since we are not major exporters of high value to weight goods suitable for air freight. Fact is I have seen sometimes Lufthansa Cargo MD11's skip Dakar in the return trip, go direct to Frankfurt and that is what we are going to do next. The jump from Montevideo to Buenos Aires is among the shortest scheduled commercial jetliner flights, being only 90 nm, less than half an hour including terminal ingress and egress procedures.

    After topping tanks we make an early afternoon heavy departure from Ezeiza which takes the better part of runway 11 to become airborne. No matter, our trusty D-ALCM is a seasoned veteran in these courts, delivers without missing a beat. FSX calculated 6245 nm for this flight - just shy of max range - so taking a mean groundspeed of 470 kts we will be aloft for over 13 hours and see a full sunset and sunrise before getting to Frankfurt, plenty of time to digress. By the way, I never speed up simulation time, always actual flying time.

    As some of you may know, Uruguay is a small and young country. In fact most South American countries are young for that matter, having attained independence only during the 19th century. Uruguay in particular established its Constitution in 1830, meaning we are less than 200 years old. During these same 200 years Europe endured an almost perpetual state of warfare wreaking havoc on national economies and bearing hard on its population, which in significant numbers looked to the Americas for a better future. Uruguay and Argentina did receive large numbers of immigrants mostly from Spain and Italy, but also in lesser extents from elsewhere in Europe, sharing the urge to escape grim prospects at home. This is why the majority of Uruguayans are of obvious European ascendance if judged by looks and family names, fact being that the aboriginal inhabitants previous to the Spanish conquest were few and mostly wiped out during the civil wars leading to independence. A dark fact in our history we are not proud of.

    With the dawn of the 20th century, political stability and a modern, politically open minded government consolidated advanced social goals. Public education is free even at the university level - I got my engineering degree paying no fees whatsoever - quality public health is available for free; Uruguay got the most advanced labor legislation of its time being an early adopter of the 8 hour work day, prohibited child labor, and established universal social security retirement provisions. Being distant from Europe and its wars, and being producers of much needed foodstuff, we sailed World War I and II in comparative bonanza.

    This is still a nice place to live. Uruguay sits on a geologically stable region with smoothly rolling plains almost 100% usable for agriculture. Weather in Uruguay is mild, winter temperatures never fall below freezing except for a few continuous hours at worst so we know no ice or snow, while summer temperatures may reach briefly over 35°C at worse. And as for "mountain ranges", one of our highest hills is "Pan de Azucar" (not to be confused with its namesake in Rio) about 1500 feet high at best, located close to the Piriapolis beach resort. During WWII Germans tried to man a watch post at its top, reason being from that vantage most of Rio de la Plata marine traffic could easily be spotted, making for valuable intelligence. Allied diplomacy cut short the attempt but the concrete foundations and layout of the planned facility can still be found in the summit. Only the Battle of the River Plate in December 1939 exposed bare what war looks like up close, when German pocket battleship Graf Spee was cornered by the Ajax, Achilles and Exeter British squad. Limped to Montevideo loaded with wounded and dead crewmembers, ended deliberately scuttled just beyond Montevideo harbor where it rests up to this day. Captain Langsdorff took his life after securing safe internment in Argentina for the warship's survivors.


    2 Comments
    1. flapman's Avatar
      flapman -
      Another excellent article Roldolfo,

      Your series has convinced me to add this pairing to my long list of flight sim "to dos."
      Please continue to share these adventures!

      Like you, I also never use time acceleration. I find it can cause problems for more complicated payware aircraft, and I think the user is really denying themselves the experience of a long haul flight. Letting the simulator run for 10+ hours gives a great sense of the enormous amount of distance traveled, and just how impressive the task is.
    1. ingrast's Avatar
      ingrast -
      Thanks for your feedback flapman !
      And yes, there is a lot of interesting destinations to explore, stay tuned !
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