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Thread: Around the world in 175 days.

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    October 22, 2017: For the next leg I will be using the General Dynamics F-16. The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a single-engine fighter aircraft by General Dynamics for the USAF. Over 4,500 aircraft have been built since 1976. The Fighting Falcon's key features include a frameless bubble canopy, side-mounted control stick, a seat reclined 30 degrees to reduce the effect of g-forces, and the first use of a relaxed static stability/fly-by-wire flight control system. The F-16 has also used by the air forces of 25 other nations. As of 2015, it is the most numerous airplane in military service. The Model I am using is the one that comes as a default aircraft in P3D V4 and is nice.

    The flight was uneventful, clear skies with 8 knot winds and a temperature of 17C/63F. Keeping at 8000 feet and 50% power I think this is the fastest leg yet, cruising at 625 knots, I did not want to go faster as I was worried about using up all the fuel before reaching Tucson 230 nm away. As it is, the flight only took 29 minutes including taxi time.

    Here are the pics:

    Ready to go.

    Glamour shots.


    Along the mountians.

    Along the mountians.


    On final.


    Thanks for reading.

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    September 22, 1924: They left Tucson and flew west over the Crater and Growler mountains bound for San Diego, California. Before the flight started the flyers had taken test flights from the Douglas Factory in Santa Monica to San Diego and back so the citizens of San Diego considered there city as the starting point for the world flight. The city had been preparing for weeks for there arrival and promoted it as the biggest celebration in city history. Although the flight officially started in Seattle the flyers knew this also and were all lost in thought as they got closer to the coast. They were a hundred miles out when the first Air Service planes intercepted them, eventually there were 25 planes as they approached there destination, Rockwell field on Coronado Island. Smith wanted all three planes to touch down at the same time so they got into a line abreast formation and all there wheels touched down at the same instant. They were an hour and a half ahead of schedule so there were only a few people on the field when they landed but it included Lt Smiths Parents and Harding’s Mother. That afternoon they were taken to a reception at Balboa park where 35,000 people where there, there largest reception yet. In his comments Smith said, “We all got a big thrill this morning when we flew over the mountains and side by side, came down and crossed a line that we had crossed before on this flight”. That evening they were taken to rooms in the Hotel Del Coronado where a party was held for Smith by his old friends and the others went to a dance. That evening mechanics of the Air Service installed new engines in the planes.

    October 22, 2017: In honor of all be brave fire fighters who are working so hard and bravely in my home state of California, I will be using Milton Shupe’s Grumman S-2T Civilian Turbo Tracker in CalFire livery. The S-2 started as a carrier based ASW aircraft in 1952 with 1200 being built, the USN retired there last one in 1972 but some are still being used by navys and air forces around the world. Starting around 1970 CalFire started using converted S-2A air tankers. In 1996 CalFire started replacing the S-2A’s with S-2E/G models that had been fully reconditioned and upgraded with turboprop engines. all were delivered by 2005 and currently 22 are in service. I also figured I needed to make a grand return to California so I got a pair of escorts to round out the flight. I really like the model Milton's team has produced, its not P3D V4 compatible but its on the top of my wishlist for them to upgrade.

    Rockwell field was transferred to the Navy in 1939 and is now part of North Island NAS. The weather was ideal, Clear with 4 knot winds and a temperature of 31C/88F. My flight was uneventful, at 8000 feet we cruised over the desert, crossing over the Mexican border for a while and coming into San Diego. There were a few clouds around the coast but the air field on Coronado Island was clear. After I landed I discovered I forgot to start the FSA client to record the flight and had to redo it (this time at x16 instead of x1). The 323 nm flight took 1.4 hours.

    Note: While the flyers may have made it around the world at this point, I have not. But like them, my mission does not end until I reach Seattle again.

    Here are the pics:

    Ready to go.

    Heading out of Tuscon.

    Out over the desert.

    Salton Sea in the distance.

    Mexico in the distance.

    Flying in formation over the Imperial Valley.

    San Diego ahead.

    All Landed.

    Thanks for reading.

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    September 23 1924: In the early afternoon they left for Clover Field in Santa Monica, home of the Douglas factor and the second city to claim to be the starting point for the flight. The scene in Santa Monica was in San Diego but an estimated 200,000 people were crowding the airport to get a glimpse of the famous flyers. An grandstand had been setup and the planes taxied to the area marked for parking where a large line of guards were waiting, Smith described the scene.

    “As we crawled out of our cockpits, the crowd went wild. With a roar they knocked down the fence. They knocked down the police. They knocked down the solders. They knocked us down. They tried to pull our ships apart for souvenirs but somehow we fought them off”.

    No work could be done that night because of the harassing crowd so they were motored into Hollywood to stay at the Christie Hotel.

    October 23, 2017: For the next leg I will be using the Tecnam P92 Eaglet. While the design dates back to 1960 the Eaglet was introduced by Tecnam in Naples Italy in 2008 to comply with the new FAA Light Sport Aircraft rules. The model I am using is by Ants Aircraft is very nice to fly. I wanted to use an LSA aircraft some place on this trip and the short hop between San Diego and Santa Monica seamed the logical spot. Weather was again nice, clear with 6 knot winds and a temperature of 32C/89F. I flew at about 1800 to 2000 feet following the coast, landing in Santa Monica after an uneventful flight, flying the 101nm in 1.1 hours.

    Ready to go.

    Climbing out of Coronado Island.

    Leaving San Diego Behind.

    Back up the California Coast.

    Good to be back.

    Flying over Newport Beach Harbor.

    I probably should not fly over LAX like this.

    Landed in Santa Monica, and no crowds to greet me!

    While I have no returned to my starting point, the like the flyers back in 1924, my mission does not end until I reach Seattle.

    Thanks for reading.

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    September 25, 1924: Next stop was Crissy Field in San Francisco, along the route Boston II had a generator failure and had to land a fair ground a few miles south of the city. The other two planes circled and continued on after Wade and Ogdon signaled they were solving the problem. They landed at Crissy field at 3:10pm to a much more subdued reception than in Santa Monica, hundreds of solders guarded the parking ramp from the large but well behaved crowd. Meanwhile, a young truck driver asked Wade if he needed assistance, they agreed to exchange batteries when they discovered that the truck used a similar one. The driver refused payment so Wade invited him to meet them in there hotel that evening, they were then able to continue to Crissy Field to join the others.

    October 25, 2017: For the next leg I will be using the Learjet 45. The Learjet 45 is a mid sized business jet made by the Learjet division of Bombadier, and the first all new design since the original Learjet. Introduced in 1998, about 642 ov all versions were built before production switched to the upgraded model 75 in 2012. The model I am using is the default one that comes with FSX, despite its age, is nice to fly and does not look that bad, inside or out, as long as you don’t look around the corners too much, and it works well in P3D v4.

    The biggest decision on this leg was what airport to fly into, Crissy field closed log ago and there are no other airstrips within the city limits of San Francisco. I considered Alameda NAS and Oakland International but decided on San Francisco International, just south of the city. Weather was Clear but a bit hazy, 3 knot winds and a temperature of 28C/82F. I headed north out of Santa Monica headed north west over the coastal mountains at 12,000 feet. At about 100nm out I contacted ATC and requested an ILS approach into SFO. The landing was a bit rough but I ended up landing safely, the 289mn flight took 1.1 hours.

    I actually live and work in the San Francisco Bay area so its always fun to come home.

    Here are the pics:

    Ready for takeoff.

    Flying over the Tehachapi Mountains.

    Past the mountians and into the central valley.

    Monterey Bay.

    San Francisco Bay ahead.

    Coming in over San Francisco Bay. I have a view of that mountian in the distance right outside by back window. If you look closely you might even see my house.

    On final into SFO.


    Thanks for reading.

  5. #115
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Klammath Falls, OR


    I was born and raised in the Bay Area! Woodside, to be exact. Always good to see another San Franciscan
    No way I can afford to live anywhere near there now, though. Kinda sad.

    Thanks for the pics, though! Always good to see that area. My father was a Untied pilot stationed at KSFO when I wass growing up. I spent a lot of times watching the planes fly in and out of there. Brings back so memories, that's for sure.

    Thanks again for yet another great post.

    Had a thought...then there was the smell of something burning, and sparks, and then a big fire, and then the lights went out! I guess I better not do that again!
    Sgt, USMC, 10 years proud service, Inactive reserve now

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    September 27, 1924: The engine change on Boston II required they stay another day in San Fransico so they slept in late, went to the theater and back to there rooms at the St. Francis Hotel. They departed Crissy Field in excellent weather on the 27th and flew to Eugene Oregon, a place Lt Smith considered a second home, and despite his request for a quiet welcome, the Governor and City Mayor had arranged large reception that drew people from all over the state.

    October 27, 1927: For the next leg I will be using the Bombardier CRJ-700. The CRJ-700 is a regional jet liner developed from the earlier CRJ-200 series. It first flew in 1999 and over 800 have ben built so far. The model I am using is the default one that comes with FSX and I think is one of the better aircraft that were packaged with it.

    Weather for the flight to Eugene was good, clear with 3 knot winds and temperature of 17C/63F. We headed north from SFO over the city, climbing to 12000 feet to safely fly over the northern California mountains, made a pass over crater lake and descended into Eugene where the one bit if excitement happened on the trip, a low cloud had placed itself just a couple miles in front of the runway so I could not make the assigned VFR landing on it, After two attempts I circled around and landed from the other direction on the runway, good thing the control tower did not complain. The 393 nm flight had taken 1.5 hours.

    Here are the pics:

    Ready to go at SFO.

    Flying over the city, trying to see if I can spot the building I work in.

    Flying over Clear Lake. Calling Clear Lake 'Clear' is like calling Greenland 'Green'.

    Flying by Mount Shasta (again)

    View of Shasta from the cockpit.

    Flying over Crater Lake, Oregon.

    Comming into Eugene Oregon.


    Thanks for reading

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    September 28, 1924: The flyers were getting nervous about making the last 240 miles. They left Eugene mid morning heading north for Seattle. As they approached the Columbia river Boston II started having problems with its oil pump so they landed at the Vancouver Barracks to see if they could repair it.

    October 28, 2017: For this penultimate leg I will be using the American Champion Scout. First produced by Bellanca in 1974 the Scout is a two seat general aviation aircraft with good STOL capability. American Champion acquired the design in 1984 and is still in production with over 500 in service. The model I am using was made by RealAir and is one of my favorites. It’s a great tragedy that RealAir closed. Conditions started out very foggy in Eugene and I ended up waiting two hours for it to clear up. By the time I departed it was partly cloudy with 8 mile visibility, a temperature of 13C/55F and clouds starting at 600 feet. I stayed below 1000 feet to stay out of the clouds until after 30 minutes of flying the clouds lifted and I had great weather flying over Portland Oregon and into Pearson Field in Vancouver Washington, the 93 nm flight had taken 55 minutes.

    Here are the pics:

    Ready to go.

    Climbing out of Eugene, Oregon.

    Over the Oregon country side.

    Finally cleared up.

    Lovely fall colors.

    Portland Oregon.

    On final into Pearson Field.


    Thanks for reading, almost done.

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    September 28, 1924: The problem with Boston II’s oil pump was quickly fixed and the three planes took off in a V formation for the final leg of there great adventure. As they approached Sand Point Field they expected a crowd to welcome them but they were surprised by the size of it. An estimated 50,000 people crowded the small airport to welcome them. As they got ready to land Lt Smith had the planes form a line abreast formation so that all three would land at the same time. As they taxied to a stop at the reviewing stand where the welcoming committee waited the crowd swarmed around them and a battery of French 75’s from the 148th field artillery regiment fired a 21 gun salute. Each of the flyers was handed a telegram from President Coolidge congratulating them and apologizing for not having the legal authority to reward them the way he would like to, the first of many telegrams and letters that poured in. The celebrations would go on for several days. At one point a reporter asked Smith if he would he do it again, he replied “Not for a million dollars. Unless I was ordered to.”

    The statisticians quickly went work, from Seattle to Seattle they had flown 26,345 miles, logging 363 hours of flight time with an average speed of 72.5 mph. They had used 15 engines, 14 sets of pontoons, 42 sets of wheels, nearly 27,000 gallons of gas and 2,900 gallons of oil.

    October 28, 2017: Wanting something more dramatic for the last leg from Pearson Field (Originally the Vancouver Barracks field) to Renton Municipal Airport I will be flying the Eurofighter Typhoon. Introduced in 2003 the Eurofigher is used by the Air Forces of Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain and several other countries, so far at least 599 have been built. The model I am using is by Dino Cattaneo and is very nice. I had nice clear weather for the last leg. I did a pass over Mount St Helens and then into Seattle. I did a pass over downtown before finally returning to Renton Airport. My first approach was going badly so I went around and tried again, this time landing safely. The 116 nm flight had take only 25 minutes.

    For my flights I used 79 different aircraft types over 90 legs. Flight hours were 149.1 over 27,397 nm with an average speed of 183 knots. I did it in 139 days, (156 if you include the initial flights from Santa Monica to Seattle) so 36 fewer days than they did, but I never had to spend time maintaining the aircraft or waiting for better weather.

    Here are the pics:

    Ready to go.

    Climbing out of Pearson Field.

    Flying over Mount St. Helen.

    Mount Rainier

    Puget Sound ahead.

    SeaTac airport with Renton in the distance.

    Downtown Seattle.

    Celebratory Lap over downtown.

    Renton Airport.


    I wanted to give credit to the source of most my information which is the book “Around the world in 175 days” by Carroll Glines which I have quoted from (and at times possibly plagiarized) quite liberally, if you want to learn more about their adventure I would recommend reading it.

    Of all the historic flights from the past it seemed as if history was overlooking this one, we all would probably recognize the names of Charles Lindbergh, Kingsford Smith or Amelia Earhart but how many would know the names of Lowell Smith or Erik Nelson. I hope I have done a little to bring this chapter of history to a wider audience. I have started writing an Epilogue but I think I have too much material for a forum post so will probably create a website, blog or wiki somewhere where I can post all this material.

    Thanks to everyone who has read and commented on these posts and I hope you have enjoyed it. It’s been a real adventure and more work than I thought it would be, especially all the writing, but I have enjoyed it. I would really like to hear what you have thought about these posts, good or bad, so please comment.

    So again, Thanks for reading
    Mission Complete.

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