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Thread: Around the world in 175 days.

  1. Default Around the world in 175 days.

    I have recently been inspired by a virtual around the world by Peter McLeland that he had been posting on the CBFS forum. I began to think about doing something similar, but did not want to just copy what he was doing. My research on alternatives and came across the story of the very first flight around the world. In March/April of 1924 a team from the United States Army Air Service, started there attempt to be the first to fly around the world. The aircraft they used was the 'Douglas World Cruiser', a modification of the Douglas DT-2, an early 1920's torpedo bomber being built at the time for the US Navy. It was a two seat, open cockpit bi-plane powered by a 400hp surplus Liberty engine that on average had to be replaced every 60 hours of flight time. It could be easily converted from wheels to floats and was modified to carry 644 gallons (2,438 liters) of fuel (up from 115 gallons).

    They started there adventure in Santa Monica California, the site of the Douglas Aircraft factory and flew to Seattle where the trip was to officially began. They made 74 stops, travelled 26,345 Statute miles (22,893 nm) and took 175 days, passing through Alaska, Japan, China, French Indochina (now Vietnam), India, Persia, Turkey, Austria, France, Britain, Iceland, Greenland and Canada (and several other countries along the way) before returning back to the United States. Along the way they lost two aircraft, one crashed in Alaska, one force landed in the North Atlantic and sank but all the crews survived.

    Most of my information on the trip came from the book “Around the world in 175 days” by Carroll V. Glines and will liberally quote from this book while writing my descriptions.

    In planning this first thing I discovered was I could not find a Douglas World Cruiser that was really up to the standard I wanted to use. I found one that was a FS2002/2004 model that looked pretty primitive in FSX/P3D and whose panel was way to modern, the original aircraft only had four gauges in the cockpit. Besides I don't think I would have the patience to fly this single slow aircraft for the entire trip, so instead I will make the trip around the world also a trip through the history of aviation, starting with something early from the Wright Brothers and ending with something very modern. Trying to make sure that whatever aircraft I use was still in production after all the previous aircraft were introduced. This will give me an excuse to dig into my large collection of aircraft I have amassed.

    I will try to fly the original route as close as possible. Many of the early legs will be broken up into multiple shorter since many of the early aircraft I will be using are not as capable as the DWC. When possible I will try to fly at 1x speed with real world weather. Most of the flights will be flown using P3D v3.4 but some may be flown in FSX or X-Plane depending on what works best for the aircraft/location. I worked out a plan that involves 85 stops covering 25,875 statute miles/22485 nm, we will see how many days it takes me.

    I do reserve the right to patch in the hand held GPS/Radio on aircraft not equipped, and to install a period appropriate autopilot on aircraft that are not equipped but could plausibly have been so.

    The entire trip will be recorded using the flight tracking client. I will be using the new aircraft rental feature, currently in beta test on our site.

    Having said all that, the adventure begins.....

    Note, I always intended to post these here but when I got started somehow forgot. Rather than posting all at once I will post one leg every day or two until I am caught up with my current progress. If you have seen these before I apologize.

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    March 17, 1924. The four pilots had assembled at the Douglas Factory at the airport in Santa Monica California. Over the previous few months they had completed there training, each pilot had selected a mechanic to fly with them and done a test flight from Santa Monica to ¬San Diego and back. Major Frederick Martin had selected Sergeant Alva Harvey to be his mechanic and co-pilot. Lt Lowell H. Smith had selected Lt. Leslie P. Arnold, Lt. Leigh P. Wade had selected Sergeant Henry H. Ogden, and Lt. Erik Nelson had selected Lt. Jack Harding. Lt. Nelson had experienced engine problems on his test flight to San Diego and decided to have the engine on his aircraft replaced. The other three crews loaded up there aircraft and started flying for Sacramento California, Lt Nelson would catch up with them later.

    May 25, 2017. For this first leg I was using the Wright Model B, created by First Class Simulations. Of all the aircraft I plan to use, this one scares me the most. The Model B was the first mass produced aircraft by the Wright Brothers, and when you read about the number of pilots killed flying it, in the few years it was actually used you get the feeling its a death trap. You are literally sitting in a seat attached to the leading edge of the wing with very little frame around you. The window of speeds between stalling and over speed is pretty small and the aircraft is very underpowered. I had too increase the propeller efficiency from .6 to .75 just to give enough power to get off the ground and stay airborne. This morning the weather was perfect for flying, clear, winds 3-4kn, perfect for flying an aircraft that cruises at 45mph. I did not think this aircraft would get over the Tehachapi mountains north of Los Angeles so I decided to fly up the California coast instead. So today my destination is the city of Santa Barbara, 73 nm away. The flight was thankfully uneventful, and I arrived at the Santa Barbara Municipal airport 1.4 hours later. Here are a few pics from the flight.

    Ready for takeoff.

    Climbing out of Santa Monica, the trip is finally started!

    Flying over Santa Monica heading for the coast

    Heading up the coast.

    The harbor in Ventura California.

    My destination, the Santa Barbara Airport.

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    March 17, 1924. “The three planes departed Santa Monica as scheduled but ran into low clouds over the Tehachapi Mountains so they had to zigzag through the passes”. Lt. Smith with his accurate knowledge of these mountains was assigned to lead the way.

    May 26, 2017. The aircraft I decided to use is the Morane-Saulnier H, a french sport monoplane that was produced from 1913 up until the beginning of World War 1, and in the war saw limited service as a reconnaissance aircraft. It was widely copied in Germany and was the basis for the Pfalz E.I-E.VI and the Fokker 'Eindecker' monoplane fighters, with more powerful engines and a synchronized machine gun.

    The aircraft model I am using today was created by Jean-Michel Castagne, which is greats. Another great flying day in Santa Barbara California, clear, few clouds, winds steady at 7kn. I need to fly down the coast a short distance before turning inland to get over the mountains that are north the city, after that it was an easy flight, I picked up the freeway that runs trough this area and followed it to my destination, the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport, 63 nm away, which I arrived at after 1.1 hours of flying. Here are a few pics from the flight.

    Ready for takeoff.

    Climbing out of Santa Barbara, need get some altitude to get over the hill.

    Over the hill, Santa Maria is just on the Horizon

    Pismo Beach and my destination of San Louis Obispo are now in sight.

    On Final.

    Parked at the airport, Hey there are people here to greet me!
    Last edited by blanston12; 06-26-2017 at 06:39 PM.

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    March 17, 1924. The three aircraft piloted by Major Martin, Lt Smith and Lt Wade are on there way to Sacramento.

    May 27, 2017. San Luis Obispo, California. For the next leg I decided to fly the Curtiss JN-4 Jenny. The Jenny first flew in 1915 and many thousands were produced during WW1. After they war surplus Jenny's flooded market and did much to fuel the barnstorming ear and the growth aviation in early 1920's. The model I am using was the one originally in FS2004 and was upgraded to FSX by David Grindele. When I first tried it in P3D it had a hard time getting enough speed to take off so I converted the rear skid to a steerable tail wheel, and gave it brakes while I was at it, and then it worked like a champ. Weather today in SLO was mostly clear, good flying weather except for a 17 kn head wind. My destination for today was the Monterey Regional Airport, 100 nm up the coast. Now flying an aircraft that has a cruise speed 52 kn and an endurance of 2 hours (range = 104 nm), I worried that I may not make it in this aircraft, but I read that some Jenny's were modified to increase there fuel capacity from 21 gallons to 31 gallons, I figured I could make that field modification and hope that would be enough, but I did not have to worry, I think the fuel consumption in the old FS9 model was too low to start with and neither David nor myself had noticed or updated it so I got there with plenty of fuel. I did have P3D crash on me when I was 25nm out so I had to restart and I used x16 to get myself back to where I was. I arrived at KMRY after 1.7 hours of flying. Here are a few pics from the flight.

    Ready for takeoff.

    Climbing out of San Luis Obispo

    Morro Bay Harbor with Morro Rock at its mouth.

    Heading up the California coast.

    Hearst Castle

    The city of Monterey with the airport in sight!

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    March 17, 1924. The three aircraft piloted by Major Martin, Lt Smith and Lt Wade are on there way to Sacramento.

    May 27, 2017. Took a bit of a rest in Monterey, then pulled out the Albatros D.III for the next leg of the trip. The D.III first flew in 1916 and was one of the leading fighters the during the period of German aerial dominance known as "Bloody April" 1917. The model I am using for this leg is the A2A Simulations 'Aircraft Factory' model, which is very nice. Compared to the previous aircraft I have used on this trip, the extra power in the Albatros will be very useful getting over the Santa Cruz mountains that are between me and my destination, the Oakland International Airport, 70.5 nm away. The weather was again excellent for flying, 12 kn winds with scattered clouds. Here are a few pics from the flight.

    Ready for takeoff.

    Climbing out of Monterey

    Up the coast toward Santa Cruz

    Cruising along.

    On final into Oakland.

    Landed. I would have taxied to parking but since the AC has no brakes and just a skid in back, I will stop here.

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    March 17, 1924. The three planes arrived at Mather Field, Sacramento California after 4.5 hours of flying and were greeted by the Mayor and a crowd of several hundred, after servicing there aircraft they were taken into town to a dinner in here honor given by the Chamber of Commerce.

    March 29, 2017. I was busy yesterday and could not fly, this morning I get the Avro 504K ready for the next leg. The Avro 504 first flew in 1913 and almost 9000 were built before the last variant was produced in 1932. The K model was built staring in 1917 and was widely used as a trainer and even a fighter for Home Defense squadrons. Many hundreds were sold for civilian use after the war. I will be using the 504K from the A2A Aircraft Factory.

    Weather today is wet and foggy, 700 foot ceiling and 10-15kn winds, the control tower denied by VFR take off request so I will have to go without permission. I had originally picked Oakland as a destination because from here I could do a tourist flight over the city of San Francisco before heading to Sacramento, at first I though it would be too foggy but I see the clouds over the city are not so bad. After taking a few selfies by the tourist spots I headed up the bay, staying over the water since the tops of the hills were mostly in clouds, it did not clear up till I was through the bay and over the Sacramento Delta, then it was a short flight to Sacramento Mather Airport, formerly Mather Air Force Base, formerly Mather Field. As the crow flies Mather is 58 nm from Oakland Airport but my round about route took me 1.2 hours. My scenic route took 6.1 hours of flying compared to the 4.5 in the original flight but since I broke it up into 5 parts I am now four days behind. Here are a few pics from my flight.

    Ready for takeoff.

    Maybe the clouds over SF are not so bad after all.

    Flying over the Golden Gate Bridge.

    Flying under the Golden Gate Bridge


    Finally out of the clouds!

    My destination is in sight!

    Parked at Mathers.

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    March 18, 1924. They had originally planned to fly from Sacramento to Portland Oregon but in the morning there were very strong head winds so Major Martin decided that they would instead try to reach Eugene Oregon. After an hours flying they were only 40 miles from Sacramento...

    March 29, 2017. Getting ready fly this next leg I got ready the Nieuport 24. The Niewport was a French built biplane fighter (actually a sesquiplane if you want to be technical). While its performance was not really much better than the aircraft it was supposed to replace, But it was still built in large numbers and used by French, British, Russian and American Units as either a fighter and trainer. Today I will be using the model by FlySimWare. Its a pretty good aircraft, flies well but has a nasty twist on takeoff. And its one of the few good French aircraft in my collection (I already used the other).

    The Nieuport will not make it to Eugene so instead my destination is Redding in Northern California, 126 nm away. Flying conditions today are good, clear with 10nm winds. Flight was fine but when i landed I learned I did not start the FSA client to record it, so I had to do it again (with acceleration to make up time). Flight time 1.2 hours. Here are some pics from the flight.

    Ready for takeoff.

    Climbing out of Mather field.

    California's central valley can be a pretty boring place at times.

    It does have a some interesting features though.

    Redding airport, terrain around here is a bit more interesting as we are getting closer to the mountains.

    Parked at the Redding Municipal Airport.

    That's all for now, thanks for reading.
    Happy Flying.

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    March 18, 1924: As they flew on the winds gradually decreased. Lt Wade was forced to land near Cottonwood California because a radiator leak. Major Martin decided not to land to prevent any damage to the other to planes and proceeded with Lt Smith to Eugene, they arrived after more than six hours, Lt Wade arrived three hours later. Again they were met by the city leaders and a large crowd, and were again the guests of honor at a dinner by the Chamber of Commerce.

    June 1, 2017. Today I prepared the Junkers F.13 for flight. The F.13 first flew at the end of WW1 and was introduced in 1920, it was the world's first all-metal transport aircraft and was very advanced for its day. Well over 300 were built and production continued until 1932. The model I am using was made by Craig Richardson and is available on the website.

    The flight started out as a pretty easy flight, light winds and clear skies for my next flight to Eugene Oregon, 221 nm away. I just had to get enough altitude to get over the mountains to the north. Things were going well when flying through the mountains in southern Oregon and also some puffy clouds near the top of the ridge, not wanting to loose altitude i decided to go over it, only to discover that it was not just a small cloud, it was the edge of a very large stretch of overcast. Once I knew I was past the ridge I decided it was not a good idea to be above the clouds in a VFR aircraft, so I tried to drop down in a hole in a cloud that was not really a hole, finally came out of the could at about 3000 feet only to see a 4000 foot ridge in front of me, up over the ridge, back into the clouds. Fortunately I brought a pocket GPS and when it looked like I was over a valley again I dropped down to get under the clouds and made my way the remainder of the trip at about 2000 feet until I reached Eugene, after 2.4 hours of flying. Here are a few pics from the trip.

    Climbing out of Redding California

    Heading on over the Mountains

    Mount Shasta from the cockpit, cold!

    Flying past Mount Shasta

    Southern Oregon.

    Finally under those clouds. Sorry I did not take more pics while i was in the clouds, but I was a bit preoccupied not crashing into a mountain.

    Finally the clouds are breaking up.

    Eugene Airport, my destination.

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    March 19, 1924: The three planes left Eugene next morning for Vancouver Washington, on the way they were intercepted by five JN-4s from the Vancouver Barracks Aerodrome. When they arrived they were greeted by a large crowd from the cities of Portland and Vancouver. They motored into Portland for a luncheon with the city leaders. They had intended to fly to Seattle that afternoon but shortly after departing the ceiling dropped to 500 feet and Major Martin decided they should return to Vancouver. That evening, Lt Nelson arrived in Eugene, flying directly from Santa Monica after 9 hours 45 minutes of flying.

    June 10, 2017. The aircraft for the next leg is the Fokker F.VIIa, by Jens B. Kristensen. The Fokker was the aircraft of choice for many early airlines, both in Europe and the Americas and it dominated the American market in the late 1920s.

    My Progress has been delayed by the fact that I just received a new computer to use for flight sim and I need to transfer over and re-install enough software so I could get flying again. Today flying conditions are good, 7 kn winds, ceiling 2000-4000 feet with clear terrain between me and my destination of Pearson Field, Vancouver Washington, 93 nm away.

    Ready for takeoff

    Climbing out of Eugene Oregon.

    Central Oregon.

    Clouds getting thicker.

    Make sure you avoid the radio antennas.

    My destination, I'm flying over KPDX but my destination is just beyond the river.

    Arrived at Pearson Field.

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    March 20, 1924: The morning the three aircraft left Vancouver for Sand Point Field in Seattle (now the site of Magnuson Park), arriving by Noon. Lt Nelson arrived from Eugene two hours later. Once again they were meet by Local Dignitaries and were motored into town for a Luncheon. The flyers would then spend the next three weeks getting the aircraft ready for the trip including swapping the wheels for floats, protecting all metal surface with either varnish or oil and getting there supplies in order.

    June 10, 2017: This afternoon I got ready the de Havilland DH.60 Moth by Golden Age Simulations, which I like a lot. The DH.60 was a two seat training and touring aircraft built from 1925 in many different versions until 1932 when it was replaced by the DH.82 Tiger Moth. “By 1929 it was estimated that of every 100 aeroplanes in Britain, 85 were Moths of one type or another”.

    My 114nm flight to Seattles Renton Municipal Airport was pretty smooth, most interesting thing was this was the first real flight I did on the new computer using P3D V4, with autogen turned up to the max and the screen at 3840x2160 I was still getting 60 fps, hopefully you will see a difference in the screen shots.

    So far I have had 12.1 hours of flight time compared to 13.5 by the flyers, and they arrived in Seattle after 4 days while I took 16, but I won’t have to take 3 weeks getting my aircraft ready for the next leg.

    Here are the pics:

    Ready for takeoff

    Last look at Oregon for a while

    Central Washington

    Mount St Helens, hiding in the clouds.

    I can't tell you how many times I flew under this Bridge in FS2004.

    SeaTac Airport with Seattle in the distance.

    My destination, Renton Municipal Airport.

    Aircraft Secured, time for dinner!

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