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Thread: Around the world in 175 days.

  1. #41

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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!
    -Ponch-
    -Frank-
    PROUD member of the FlightSim RTWR Team since 2015!
    Kick the tires and light the fires! We's goin' FLYIN'!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ponchovilla View Post
    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!
    -Ponch-
    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.


    Secured.

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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.


    Secured.

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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.


    Selfie!


    I think Bangkok is in site.


    Landed.

    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!


    Landed!

    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.


    Landed.

    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.


    Cruisin.


    Nice weather now.


    The city of Sittwe, todays destination.


    Secured.

    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
    Last edited by blanston12; 08-26-2017 at 05:08 PM.

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