• Neil's Great Scottish Tour For X-Plane 11 Vol. 3

    Neil's Great Scottish Tour For X-Plane 11

    Volume 3: Castle Kennedy to Arran-Fictional "Brave Lady"

    By Neil Birch

    Flying To Arran With Ailsa Craig Just Visible

    Neil Birch - Scottish Tour 3

    Our next flight is up to a fictional airfield I have created on the beautiful Isle of Arran which I have named Kingscross after the nearby town. Carry out your checks, load the Castle Kennedy-Arran flight plan and check the route below.

    Neil Birch - Scottish Tour 3 route map

    Set your clock to 14.00hrs then taxi down to runway 26.

    Power up and when airborne turn onto heading 345°. Navigation is very simple on this flight, as when you have gained suitable altitude you can easily see the large dome of Ailsa Craig, so aim for it and simply relax. Cruise altitude is approximately 3000 feet while over the sea.

    After turning onto your main heading, on your right you may just catch sight of Lochinch Castle on the shores of Black Loch (only a representation).

    Lochinch Castle

    Neil Birch - Scottish Tour 3

    Lochinch Castle in the foreground with Ailsa Craig away in the background.

    Neil Birch - Scottish Tour 3

    Lochinch Castle was built in the 1860's in a "Franco-Scottish style" and is owned by the Earl of Stair, and although the house isn't open to the public, the excellent gardens are.

    On our left is the town of Stranraer, which used to be the main embarkation point for the ferries to Northern Ireland (Cairnryan).

    Leaving the town behind, and as you approach the old ferry terminal ahead (which used to be a military port), if you look over to the far shore, you may just catch sight of an old seaplane base, RAF Wig Bay or Loch Ryan. All that remains of the station today are the old hard standings. The rest has sadly disappeared into the history books.

    Neil Birch - Scottish Tour 3

    Just as we leave the shore, the town on our right is Ballantrae, and a young lady called Elsie Mackay once lived here.


    3 Comments
    1. AlyMac's Avatar
      AlyMac -
      Great stuff Nels. I'm keeping this for tomorrow morning. I just hope the weather is good as i dont want to get wet flying the DC-3 (heavy rain outside = light rain inside)
    1. AlyMac's Avatar
      AlyMac -
      Great fun Nels !! I took a few approaches but diagonally on a southerly heading, over the hedge at 75 Kts, full flap and whooooooooah old girl ! Took a screenie but I cant attach it. Love the dust effects.
    1. AlyMac's Avatar
      AlyMac -
      On a much more tragic note Arran is the resting place of no less than 7 aircraft wrecks, three of which are within just a few yards of each other at the top of Beinn Nuis.

      Perhaps the saddest of all was the fate of "Skipper and the Kids" a B-17G s/n 42-97286 of the 388th BG, 561th Bomber Squadron. Allegedly they were short of Whisky in the mess for Christmas celebrations and on the 10th of December 1944 "Skipper and the Kids" took off from Kenittishall for Prestwick. On board were 11 members of the squadron, some of which just went along for the ride to see a little piece of Scotland.

      Probably due to Scottish winter weather and heavy cloud, the aircraft commander may have decided to descend over the sea to the west of Prestwick. The aircraft hit the granite cliffs of Beinn Nuis killing all on board. The wreck not being found until Mar 3, 1945. A friend told me that the .50 calibre machine guns are still stuck into the cliff above where the wreck fell, engines and other parts are below.

      RIP
      Pilot, Captain John Littlejohn, aged 22, from Savannah, GA;
      Passenger, “Jimmy” Brown, aged 24, from Rhinelander, WI;
      Pilot, 2nd Lt Jack Merkley, aged 24, from Blackfoot, ID;
      Co-pilot, 2nd Lt Bobby Stoaks, aged 18, from Hollywood, CA;
      Navigator, 2nd Lt William Frey, aged 23, from Oak Hill IL;
      Bombardier, 2nd Lt Leonard Bond, aged 23, from St Johns, MI;
      Radio Operator, Cpl Albert Thomas, aged 28, from Findlay, OH;
      Passenger, Major “Doc” Bell, aged 39, from Cannonsburg, PA;
      Navigator, 1st Lt. Rosebasky, aged 23, from Great Falls, MT;
      Engineer, Cpl. Joe Payne, aged 20, from Monroe, MI;
      Radio Operator, S/Sgt. Wade Kriner, aged 20, from Du Bois, PA.
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