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Recreating FS9 Default Historic Flights

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

I started this project in the FS2004 General Forums with the topic titled Pre-Programmed Flights in FS2004 in the following thread.

https://forum.flyawaysimulation.com/forum/topic/23275/pre-programmed-flights-in-fs2004/

Basically I've been using the default flights as a means of finding new flight sim adventures that are not of my own making. Please have a look at the link above to read about what I've done so far.

I've decided to include more screenshots in this report, so I think the topic belongs in this section of the forums.

I have gotten behind in my on-line interests due to the holidays and helping several relatives set up new computers. (Sigh) The upside is I get to use them from time to time and both have high speed connections.

So I will now share a bit more of the London to Australia Race of 1919.

I've adopted flying the Vimy at double speed and still come away with great awe for how long it takes to cover the various legs of this long journey. I imagine that the long flights over desert landscape had to have been a real challenge on the pilot's endurance. And even with three other men aboard, it must have seemed quite lonely in some places such as in the following shots of the leg to Karachi.

After a night's rest I got an early start for Delhi and while waiting for clearence to takeoff had a nice look at a modern airliner and found myself wondering how far it had come in the few hours since its takeoff. He might have in fact departed from Australia and made it to Karachi in one hop. It will be a handful of days yet for me to reach Oz.

The beauty of the coming dawn lifted my spirits.

Flying across India, gave a welcome reprieve from the desert and had me looking forward to plusher and greener scenery that I suspected I'd find in Southeast Asia. I was rewarded with a very nice moon rise on the way to Calcutta.

The next morning I had a similar reward by taking off before dawn as I headed for Sittwe.

Here I am the next day arriving at Yangon

This trip has afforded me many learning experiences. In realizing how important time relative to true ground speed is in gps-less navigation, I realized that I needed to get a better handle on it. Procurring detailed maps of my upcoming routes made it possible to divide the trip into tenths, then compute (reusable spreadsheet) distance remaining and eta for the 10 checkpoints along the way. Its very helpful when you are watching for an airport and need to rely on the clock to let you know when you are in the vicinity vs having passed beyond.

I found the Songkhla, Thailand area quite beautiful even in FS9 default scenery.

The last leg in this installment is to Singapore. I found some pretty scenery along the way and once again had to do a night landing after searching a bit for the correct airport. The Vimy has no landing lights so its nice that I have lighted runways from time to time - much better than the original adventurers would have had in 1919.

Pro Member Chief Captain
CRJCapt Chief Captain

Great shots and you're a true adventurer for flying the Vimmy the way that you do. She's a hard beast to fly especially without elevator trim. Smile



Last edited by CRJCapt on Thu Jan 18, 2007 4:03 am, edited 1 time in total
Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

CRJCapt wrote:

Great shots and you're a true adventure for flying the Vimmy the way that you do. She's a hard beast to fly especially without elevator trim. Smile

I have to tell ya CRJCapt that when I looked through the list of historic flights with the mindset to do them all, I groaned hard inside when I saw the numerous long flights with the Vimy. But I've learned a lot on this last journey to Australia. I think I could redo the Atlantic crossing with it and come much closer to the historic landfall on the Ireland Coast than I did. I was 250 miles N I think. Plus I've gotten better at handling it. Climbing is definitely a challenge. But I've started only putting the necessary amount of fuel + 100 gals on board so that I can at least do a bit of vertical when I need to. In my next installment will be some shots of me "just having to" get a look at a lake inside a volcanic crater in Indonesia. The peak to the side of the lake is 12000 ft and the lake was around 6800.

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

I forgot the updated map...

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Welshflyer Chief Captain

Sorry for the delay on this Spiderwings, just caught up with it, superb screenshots by the way,History is a wonderful thing and when you re-create it, we begin to perceive what these adventureres acheived!As you state, apart from the adventure, the mind numbing boredom and not knowing if you would reach your destination must have been terrifying.
Then again, they probably never contemplated failure!

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks Welsh... it has been fun and quite a learning experience.

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Early the next morning I was off on the 9 1/2 hour leg to Bandung, Indonesia

As I approached the city I recalled that Greekman72 had landed here in his Around the World Tour, so I thought I'd compare how it looked in his screenshot compared to my FS9 experience and swung around to the SW to make the same angle of approach as he did in the following shot. A lot to look forward to with a better system someday, but FS9 does capture the overall flavor of the place fairly well... even at my mid-level settings.

The next morning I flew to Surabaya then on to Bima. Preparing to leave Surabaya around 11am, I was struck by the clear blue Indonesian skies and felt a feeling of a pleasant flight ahead.

For the most part, I'd stuck pretty much to the straightest line between the historic landing points for this trip. Occassionally that made the trip harder perhaps than it was for the original flyers - such as crossing the Alps into Italy or crossing high deserts of southern Iran when I could have kept to the coast in both cases and avoided the difficulties of having to gain altitude in the Vimy. But in those cases, I wasn't sure what the original adventurers did, so I took the straightest line possible.

On the flight from Surabaya to Bima, the straightest line would have keep me down to sea level most of the way. But as I approached the islands of Lombok and Sumbawa, I noticed the shapes of several mountain peaks. In fact I noticed that many of the tall mountains in this part of Indonesia looked a lot like they might be old valcanoes. But those ahead of me looked even more so - three peaks, each with a small lake in what must have been volcanic craters.

So, as I left the NE corner of Java, I veered right of the straight line to Bima and headed directly for the first old vocano - slowly climbing to 5200 feet to fly low over one and then another lake in the tops of two mountains. The one to the east had a small village on its western shore and I thought it looked like a lovely place to visit if I had such resources to do so in real life.

Careful not to lose my precious altitude, I headed for Sumbawa to the east. I soon realized that I would need to gain even more altitude to get a look at the crater-lake on its tall mountain. I fought hard for another 1600 feet for the Vimy but was rewarded with a wonderful scenic adventure as I found access into the crater and circled the rather substantial lake.

I didn't realize it at the time but the following shots of the sun setting as I flew on to Bima would be my last sunset shots with FS9 on the medium level scenery settings.

As I searched the darkness for the Bima Airport, I realized how much I missed the lighted runways of Singapore several nights earlier. Depending on your monitor, you may or may not be able to see RW 31 ahead.

The next day I continued to enjoy the beauty of Indonesia as I flew on to Dili. Again I didn't realize that that would be my last flight with the same old mid level settings on my flight sim and as I had no particular adventures of note, I failed to snap any screenshots on this leg.

Finally on December 1st on my sim calendar - just 21 days after leaving London so many miles behind now - I was about to make the final flight of the Race to Australia. And with a bit of symbolic irony, it would be my first flight in 2 2/3 years of real-calendar time with FS-9 that I would jack up all the settings to their max. How come now? Well, I had gone ahead an upgraded my RAM from 256MB to 1 (or maybe 2)* GB and its like having a whole new computer!

*1 or 2 GB? I purchased 2 512MB chips. But now my system says I have 1.99GB. I don't know why and neither does the computer store I purchased them from. Any ideas?

Well at any rate... here is my last shot with the mid-level settings as I am about to take off from Dili and head for Darwin.

And here is the same spot with the new settings. Quite a difference! And I'm hoping that the graphics card I have on order will even make it better.

As I climbed out of Dili, I was amazed at how many houses were on the hillsides which had been rather bare the day before.

6 hours later as I approached the city of Darwin, I was anxious to see the scenery difference from when I had visited there several years earlier on my Around the World Tour.

Here's how it looked on February 9, 2005 as I toured the city in the Vega 5C

And now with the old Vimy and NEW settings!

And so the long journey ends after 21 sim days (spread between Nov 20 and Jan 19 on my real calendar).

This part of the FS9 historic flights is over now. But with that end comes the start of flying with greater scenery and more AI traffic.

And....

... some fun in new aircraft compliments of my Christmas present of The Wings of Power I as head back to London and the next historic flight.

Here is the final map of the London to Australia Race.

And here is the overview map of all the default Kiosk and Historic Flights I've done so far.

Coming up next? Look forward to a few screenshots with the B-17 on the direct route back to London.

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VegasFlyer Chief Captain

Amazing shots SpiderWings Exclamation Great job Exclamation Thumbs Up! Cheers!

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Welshflyer Chief Captain

Superb shots Spiderwings,nice to hear of your PC upgrades, it's about time i did mine again it's really slowing down now! Looking forward to seeing your shots of the WOP B-17 in the next part of your journey! Very Happy

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

With the long London to Australia Race now duplicated, it was time to make the tranistion flights back to London where we would start my next historic flight.

Using the sim's flight planner, I determined the shortest route, calculated fuel ranges for the B-17, and found 4 airports along the course line, where we would stop for rest and refueling.

In the "A Bit o' Lace" we left Darwin (and the trusty old Vimy) behind and gained more altitude on the climb out than I'd achieved on the entire trip down. And with my additional memory, I was able to step up the quality of my screenshots a bit.

Climbing out of Sandakin on day 2

It was very good to return to modern navigation. Xichang, China provided an exciting exercise in trust on our IFR approach as the cloudy weather allowed for no sight of the airport until the very last moments.

On day 3 we flew from Xichang to Karaganda, Kazakhstan and were treated to some very nice scenery along the way along with a return to winter.

Stormy weather reaffirmed my appreciation of IFR as we approached Karaganda, into a somewhat confusing pattern.

After taking off the next morning I duplicated a photo taken over Karaganda on my 2004 visit soon after starting to use FS2004. Here are the old and the new shots showing the difference I can achieve with the expanded RAM in my PC

We were then off to Tver, some 80 miles NW of Moscow. Here we are crossing the southern Ural Mountains.

Closing on Tver, we decided to deviate south of the flight plan to revisit Moscow and compare some pictures of Red Square from our 2004 trip.

A while later we nearly dusted the snow out of the tree tops while on short final at Tver.

Anxious to return to London, we got off to an early start on the final day. Waiting for a Transworld flight to land gave us a minute to enjoy the thin sliver of the rising moon.

Tver's cathedral stood out nicely in the city lights.

With dawn following us west, we were treated to a great performance of the Northern Lights

The course line went directly over southern Denmark so we descended for a close look at a couple of towns where our ancestors once lived.

With the improved RAM in my computer, I had the air traffic turned all the way up and I found myself sharing a final approach to Heathrow's RW 9L with a faster moving 737-400.

The following picture shows a recreation of the same approach after installing my new video card (GeForce FX5500) after having landed in London. Most of the differences are subtle but nice. Fewer jaggies. A better blending of ground scenery. And best of all 9.5 frames/sec versus 4.5.

Here are some more pictures of that approach, each followed by a recreation with the new video card.

So now I'm back in London preparing for the next adventure with the historic default FS9 flights. And you can just imagine my excitement realizing that its another race in the Vickers Vimy - this time from London to South Africa!

Pro Member Chief Captain
Welshflyer Chief Captain

Stunning adventure and screenshots spiderwings, a job well done! Looking forward to the next one!

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

The next historic flight to recreate under the preprogrammed flights on FS2004 is the 1920 Race from London to South Africa which would be much like the last adventure to Australia since this would also be with the Vickers Vimy. I groaned a bit at the prospect, but realizing how much I'd learned on that trip and how my piloting and old time navigating skills improved I decided to stick to my goal of completing ALL of the historic flights - even in the old, slow Vimy.

The first part of the trip retraced the same route from London to Lyon, then to Torino, Rome, and Taranto, Italy. But then I got to see a slightly new part of the world in flying over to El Beida, Lybia and then toward Cairo where I would again encounter one of the stops on the London to Australia Race. And... it seems that I will also be roughly following my route down to South Africa from my long world tour.

What would be different about this trip from those just mentioned is the greatly improved level of scenery, aircraft, and graphics due to my recent expansion of RAM and the addition of a new graphics card. That is evidenced in the following shot of me departing Heathrow, along with the second shot of an interesting corridor at Gatwick, and the new water details as I approach the English Channel

As I passed west of Paris, I couldn't resist taking a slight detour into the city to compare the new scenery with the old. It is much better now. The following shot doesn't really speak to that but is just an interesting perspective from someone visiting a prominent landmark who snapped the shot when they heard the noisy engines of the Vimy overhead. I guess it wasn't too difficult to track down the pilots of that old aircraft because the shot was in my email already when I landed in Rome the next day.

Here we are about to complete the first leg approaching Lyon.

On the London to Darwin trip, I'd opted for a route through the Maritime Alps into Italy. This time the agenda called for me to do it again on my flight out of Lyon - destined for Torino. From the earlier experience I knew not to take on a full load of fuel. That strategy worked quite well clear to Moutiers where I was tempted to make a landing on the quite short runway. But prudence guided me around that temptation as I didn't want to take an hour gaining back a few hundred feet of hard fought for altitude.

I'd managed more altitude this time, but I still had great difficulting finding a low enough pass through the mountains. Having followed the canyons to Moutiers had put me on the west side of a higher divide than on the last trip through these mountains. I was a good 2000 feet higher than when I found a pass in the next canyon to the east on that trip. I was determined to find a route - this time without having to dump fuel down to 6%.

But two hours of looking and fighting for every foot of altitude lightened the load and eventually I found passage through the very first pass I'd tried.

Safely on the ground in Torino, I was able to appreciate, once again, the improved scenery achievable on my upgraded PC. However, looking down RW28 in the older (2nd shot below) wasn't too shabby. But the number of buildings in the city was much greater now. The 3rd shot below shows a cathedral, the likes of which I'd noticed in several other cities since my upgrade - but never before the upgrade. Its a lovely building and I'm always happy to see one from time to time.

The leg to Rome took me on a straight line that was out in the Mediterranean for a good distance that once again tested my ability to hold a compass heading without the benefit of modern navigation tools such as a gps. The lack of wind that day made it quite a bit easier and I was able to enjoy nice views of the Italian penisula as well as the Isle of Crete in the distance on my right. And my own shadow way down below.

Rome was much richer in scenery than on my previous two visits. My tour over the city had me looking for the prominent landmarks now partially hidden by the greatly increased number of buildings. The castle in the middle of the Tiber River - prompting me just now to do a bit of research on line. Here is a link to a pretty neat web page with an interactive map and 360* camera shots of various places in the city. http://www.panoramicearth.com//?europe/italy/rome.

Castle from my point of view.

View of the city from near Urbe airport

On the next leg to Taranto, I was high enough to spot a pretty lake near the top of a snowy mountain.

Later, while waiting for my turn to take off from Taranto, I was able to be impressed with the large size of the Vimy compared with several Mooney Bravos.

Then, when my turn finally came, I became puzzled by a Caravan on final at the same time I was being cleared for takeoff. I went ahead and took off without incident. He was apparently told to go around.

Crossing the Mediterranean to Lybia provided me with another chance to hone my abilities to hold a compass heading. The new scenery level provided me a few useful hints as I noticed the reflections of sunlight on the water below. The last part of the trip had me using stars in much the same way.

The next morning I was enchanted by the long shadows of the aircraft as I taxied for takeoff at al-Bayda.

A while later I enjoyed a nice view while approaching the Mediterranean near al-Tamimi.

Later in the day I was on yet another leg to Giza across the Nile to the west of Cairo. When I saw the great pyramids a short distance to the south, I postponed my landing and took an aerial tour.

The traditional shot.

A view back toward Giza and Cairo

Which brings me up to date on the latest adventure.

Guest

Excellent journey and a great transition as you upgrade your hardware .
Just in case you haven't already , in the sim's display settings under the hardware tab it's best to have antanilising UNCHECKED and transform and lighting CHECKED .Also have render to texture CHECKED , this should double your frame rate .

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Anonymous wrote:

Excellent journey and a great transition as you upgrade your hardware .
Just in case you haven't already , in the sim's display settings under the hardware tab it's best to have antanilising UNCHECKED and transform and lighting CHECKED .Also have render to texture CHECKED , this should double your frame rate .

Thanks for the tip stranger. I'll check those settings and maybe it will make some difference in my next group of shots... too late for these today.

I Hope you'll continue following this. I appreciate your nice comments. It seems like readership has fallen off rather dramatically and I'm questioning rather to continue or not. But will for now.

8 flights in 3 days got me to Giza, Egypt on February 7th. On February 8th I got in three flights heading south. The first was to Asyut, Egypt

Then it was off to Aswan

The third flight took me over what was probably my favorite part of Egypt on my World Tour - Lake Nasser. It was a big surprise on the world tour. On arriving at Aswan earlier I'd spotted an interesting bridge and after taking off I decided to go over for a closer look and a bit of daring flight that I've resisted in the historic flights to this point.

As the day turned to evening, I was rewarded with a great sunset - with added beauty thanks to my new graphics card and increased RAM.

After dark I landed at Wadi Halfa, just into Sudan. Here's my progress so far on the London to South Africa race recreation.

Pro Member Chief Captain
VegasFlyer Chief Captain

That's a Twisted Evil hell Twisted Evil of a plane to fly. I tryed it a couple of times but gave up very fast.

Anyways, your posts are great. Very nice shots and great comment Exclamation Keep up the good work. Cheers!

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Anonymous wrote:

Excellent journey and a great transition as you upgrade your hardware .
Just in case you haven't already , in the sim's display settings under the hardware tab it's best to have antanilising UNCHECKED and transform and lighting CHECKED .Also have render to texture CHECKED , this should double your frame rate .

Hey Guest, I checked my hardware settings and had them checked like you do except I had the Target frame rate a bit higher (50) which isn't ever gonna happen on my new system where I'm getting 6-15 which is pretty good from what I had. I also had the Filtering set for Bilinear, hardware rendered lights at 8 instead of 4 and the Global max texture to Massive instead of high.

I've put them like in your image and have flown a little bit comparing screen shots in the same time and place as my first sunset shot over Lake Nasser above. I'm not seeing any difference yet but the Vimy might not be the best vehicle to test such changes. I'm going to keep the settings like yours and just see how it goes as scenery changes etc.

Do you by chance know what some of the different setting elements actually do? I'd sure like more insight into that if you do know. Thanks again for the tips.

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

VegasFlyer wrote:

That's a Twisted Evil hell Twisted Evil of a plane to fly. I tryed it a couple of times but gave up very fast.

I agree and I've groaned many times as to weather I really wanted to do all the historic flats bad enough to do those with the Vimy. But I have to tell you I have learned so much with that plan. First of all - old time navigation and how important keeping track of passing time is. Second, it never gets too high so you are keeping a close relationship with the ground and that has provided some interesting challenges along with some pretty scenery that you miss at even 10,000 feet. So I really do recommend it even if you have to crank up the sim rate to 2 times as I do. Thumbs Up!

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Welshflyer Chief Captain

Spiderwings, another excellent set of screenshots with great narration!
Sorry for the delayed response but i am having serious posting issues with this site at the moment and am having to go through internet explorer which is a whole new experience for me.
By the way is that your wheels in the water causing that spray at Aswan? Very Happy

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Welshflyer wrote:

Spiderwings, another excellent set of screenshots with great narration!
Sorry for the delayed response but i am having serious posting issues with this site at the moment and am having to go through internet explorer which is a whole new experience for me.
By the way is that your wheels in the water causing that spray at Aswan? Very Happy

Yes, thats a bit of water kicking up. Naturally, you'd never get that close to the water in real right? Well... on the news here in Utah just a few days after that fly under the bridge, there was a story about a prominent Olympic athlete that lives in our region that had been in a small plane with two of his friends over Lake Powell in southern Utah. They'd been sightseeing the beautiful lake and were too close to the lake surface. So when they made a turn, the pilot didn't throttle up enough to compensate and dipped the wing tip into the lake and the next thing they knew they were hurrying out of a quickly sinking plane into 40 degree water.... 1 1/2 miles from shore. Luckily all three survived the cold water and one night out in the wild at just below freezing temperatures with hypothermia and no fire or coats which is extraordinary.

But it gave me a pretty neat insight between sim fun and what the realities could be.... although its rather obvious anyway. Interesting nonetheless.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Welshflyer Chief Captain

Wow! They are three very very lucky people, somebody must have been looking after them!

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

The morning of February 9th found us waking up under the wing of the Vimy parked on the end of RW 6 of the remote and isolated Wadi Halfa airstrip. This would be our 10th day out from London.

As I was doing the pre-flight walk around, the site of another aircraft at the far end caught my eye. I hadn’t noticed it on our landing approach in the dark last night. There was no one in sight and the others in my crew were still having a hard time waking up so I decided to have a little walk and investigate. I wasn’t sure from here, but if the aircraft at the far end was what I thought it was it would be pretty amazing to see parked along side this tiny strip in the middle the Sudan.

I was astonished on several counts as I stood next to a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, covered in a good layer of desert dust but otherwise in seemingly good shape. I climbed up onto the left wing and was brushing dust from the windshield when I noticed movement in my peripheral vision. I turned to see an old man - presumably the airport manager based on the red and gray Boeing ball-cap atop over his black face adorned also with white whiskers. As there were no buildings around, he had literally come out of nowhere.

“She’s a real beauty isn’t she?” he spoke broken English with a strong, probably local, accent.

Long story - short. The Blackbird had landed with mechanical problems about a year ago. The pilots, not finding anyone around had apparently wondered off in search of help and/or communications and also apparently became lost. They never returned. In the meantime, this old man, indeed the airport manager, and resident mechanic had given the Blackbird a good looking over and replaced a broken fuse. But he hadn’t dared even start the engines to see if that fixed the problem or not.

Well... he thought since I was a pilot that I could surely start her up “just to see if it worked”. Apparently this wasn’t a busy airport. Could I have been the first pilot he’s seen since the Blackbird’s landing?

Something in his tone, and perhaps in the old rifle slug casually over his shoulder led me to believe that his request for help starting up the SR-71 in return for waiving the overnight parking fee for the Vimy was not really open to negotiation. So... soon enough I was sitting up front, he right behind me with rifle on his lap, and had the engines spinning up to speed. Before I could find and reset the parking brake, the bird eased forward and I naturally turned it down runway to keep it out of the sand on the other side.

“Take her for a ride” the voice behind me said in what I again took to be more than just a humorous, if not entirely insane, suggestion.

Since, I had spent so much time in the Vimy over the last several months, the prospect of something with a little more umph was intriguing. (And the real simmer inside the story-me has been needing to spend some time with some of the aircraft I’ve been downloading. The historic flights project has put such experimentations way on the back burner. So perhaps you won’t mind me sprinkling in another aircraft here and there along the way.)

And besides, I still had not found the parking brake so the Blackbird was gaining speed already. Oh well…this will give me a chance to wake up the guys who still hadn’t stirred from their sleeping bags in spite of the noise of jet engines at the far end of the runway. These guys have been spending too much time at Heathrow. If they didn’t here us coming toward them, they’d surely wake up after I pass close and then point this girl skyward!

I did just that. Pointed the Blackbird up at a steep angle after crossing the end of the airstrip. And I didn’t have time to even think to look back. I had my hands full trying to keep this thing steady as the speed continued to rise through 680 knots on the way to 50,000 where it started to slow down… just a bit with each additional 10,000 feet.

The sky got darker and darker blue as we climbed and I wondered just how high she’d go and if my passenger was still with me. The altimeter pegged at 99,999 but even at 130 knots we still climbed a bit further. Before I could muscle the bird into a turn or push the nose down, we came to a sickening stop and I felt weightless for a few seconds as the aircraft dropped backwards.

Soon the nose dropped and passed the falling tail end on its way down and I thought I’d be able to get things under control again in short order. I anxiously watched the airspeed indicator which climbed ever so slowly through 30.…. 50.….. 70.…. Eventually 110. I should be able to fly this thing now! And perhaps I did… sort of. But for every second when I thought I was getting her to do what I wanted, she’d soon spin left or right, or the nose would flip up or down for no apparent reason and we went on a roller coaster ride like I’d never dreamed of.

Luckily we had plenty of airspace and as we got into thicker air I was able to steady the craft a bit. But I was having the dickens of a time keeping her from climbing back to the sun.

But I was gaining confidence and I soon had her under control. I found the gps and decided to see if I could fly her back toward the airport - keeping her high for now and wondering if the guys were looking for me yet.

I made it back over the airport but was directly over it and didn’t get a good look down. I made a wide turn to set up for another high pass. I did okay until I was almost set but then the Blackbird shot back up into the high thin air and I lost control again. I eventually did make it back for a good pass over the airport.

If you look real hard you can see the airstrip on the ground below the contrail - in the 2nd and 3rd shots below.

I didn’t know it at the time but the guys on the ground got a shot of us going over.

My friend in the back seat tapped me on the right shoulder and I turned to see his hand with the thumb pointed down. So I guess the fun was over and I should consider how hard this thing would be to land.

I cut the throttles, looked for flaps, didn’t find any, but I still made a smooth, long descent, sweeping way to the south, while keeping the airport’s location on the gps. I knew I was well out of sight of my guys on the ground and that they’d be looking for me to eventually come in lined up with the runway. I had a different idea and thought I might just surprise them as they strained looking in the wrong directions.

Well to the south I started a very low approach that would take me directly over them on a cross runway pass. They would not even hear me coming until I was right on them.

They’d see the dark flash passing. Then the engines would scream into their ears as I flew away and made one last climb.

It went well and back at 60,000 feet I let the bird slow and do a tight inward loop back toward the ground. Regaining speed, I keep control this time, and soon came in for a rather smooth landing. The old man was a bit green and shaky as he climbed down and swaggered off into the brush for a place to puke, waving his arm behind him giving me the impression that he’d seen more than enough of me. So we all climbed aboard the Vimy and were soon on our way to Khartoum and I was bombarded with questions from my crew.

The Vimy was pure drudgery after the exhilarating flight in the Blackbird. But at least I knew what I was doing as I carefully held my 168* heading.

Two and a half hours later, the sight of the Nile near Karami reminded me that I wanted to divert about 100 miles east toward Abu Hamad to look for our Cessna 182s that we had crashed back in 2004. I turned to the northeast and pulled out my snapshot of the crash site.

An hour later we spotted the highway between El Ganaet and Abu Hamad and searched the land between it and the Nile until I finally spotted our old 182.

There she was, just as we’d left her. Windows had been smashed out. The radio and electronics had been bartered to the guy we bought the new plane from and he removed those the day we returned for our belongings. The wheels had been stripped and a bit of sand had drifted around the nose with a fine dusting over all the flat surfaces.

We circled by and then headed 180* toward our original course line to Khartoum. We found the Nile and then easily made our way to the airport at the confluence of the Blue and White Niles.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Welshflyer Chief Captain

Excellent adventure Spiderwings! Talk about contrasts,from the fastest plane in the world(that we know of), to one of the slowest.That next flight must have dragged! Very Happy A pleasure to view.

Pro Member Chief Captain
VegasFlyer Chief Captain

Welshflyer wrote:

Excellent adventure Spiderwings! Talk about contrasts,from the fastest plane in the world(that we know of), to one of the slowest.That next flight must have dragged! Very Happy A pleasure to view.

Yes Thumbs Up!

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Exiting the runway at Khartoum, I noticed an F-16 parked on the tarmac to our left. Seeing it, made me think of a lot of flight goals for after I finish my current flying project - recreating all the historic flights in FS9. And since I'd just had a taste on non-Vimy flying back at Wadi Halfa, I wondered if I might get another here.

Note to readers: Please forgive me for taking a few diversions from the historic flights from time to time in order to experience some other aircraft that I've been wanting to get to for a long time. I've concluded that the historic flights will take quite some time to finish and I'm committed to it. But I’ve decided to fit in some of those other goals during that time.

The historic nature of the current project got me thinking about my own flight history (simulated).

I've just spent the past couple of weeks going back through my logs and flying notes for the past 20 years of flight simming to get a more accurate accounting of my flight hours. In the process I decided to make a comprehensive list of all aircraft I’ve flown to date and to include all other aircraft I've had available, but have not yet flown. Following is a small part of that list.

And so it is that while "finding it difficult to sleep this night at Khartoum,” I started digging through the contents of my flight brief case. Perhaps some might be interested in what I found. Perhaps it will stir up some fond memories about the “old days” of flight simulation as well. At the least, it will tell a story of just how engrossed one can get into flight simulation.

Around 1987, I got a copy of MS FS 1.0 for our 3 year old Mac. It was all on one 400k floppy disk. As simple as it was, I had so much fun just flying around San Francisco (the scenery went to Reno, down to Modesto in Central California, Monterey on the coast and up to Pt. Reyes and Chico to the north) that aside from the WWI scenery I didn't know that there was also scenery for Los Angeles, Seattle, New York-Boston for several years.

I didn't have any documentation to tell me that or to help me learn how to fly. So I had a great time learning by trial and error. I even discovered a bit about VOR's, NDB's, and ILS (I didn't know it was called that then) and was able to line up with runways miles before they came into view.

Getting that far on my own was a bumpy road with a lot of crashed Cessna 182RG’s and Lear 25’s. For the longest time, I was so intimidated by the task of landing that I was my own worst enemy. I figured it would naturally be easier to be close to the ground by the time I got to the airport so that getting down the last few feet wouldn’t be all that hard. I would come in low and shallow to such a degree that I couldn't see the airport until it was too late if I wasn't (by pure luck or chance) lined up with the runway. It took a year or so to learn to approach two or three thousand feet above the airport thereby allowing me to see where it was and what I had to do to make it to the runway. Landing became much easier... but still pretty challenging. Does that sound familiar to any others when you were just starting out?

In those Mac days between 1987 and 1994 I failed to keep logs or notes for most of my flights. However, I did come across some pages documenting some of the more memorable ones. I found 90 such flights with the C182 and Lear 25G for a total of 143 hr 45 min.

I'm sure there were many more flights and hours in those years before we got our first PC. Lacking much specific information, I did find the pictures above in my old binders to give you a feel for v.1.0. We’ve come a long ways!

I got my first PC in 1994. Anticipating the change from Mac I’d already purchased MS FS v4.00 and some scenery add ons. Here’s a snapshot I took today down at the old computer after all these years. Wow! How did I ever manage with that mouse?

I also purchased some other brands of Flight Simulators, and used some of these more than others. Maybe some of you will remember them as well.

F-15 Strike Eagle software still has the shrink wrap around it today.

Airline Transport Pilot always looked promising but I never really got it to work for me.

I know I used Chuck Yeager AFT also, but can’t find or recall too much about it… except for Chuck making comments about my flying abilities… or lack thereof. I do recall learning that “Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing!”

MS FS4 was my mainstay on the new PC. The picture I display above shows “dramatic” improvement over FS1. At least it has color - but that’s probably more of a statement for the new computer. FS4 had the same aircraft as FS1 with the addition of the Sopwith Camel and the Schweizer Sailplane.

I eventually got an addon called Sound, Graphics & Aircraft Upgrade that gave me 4 more aircraft - Concorde, P-51, Meteor Racer and an Ultra light. The P-51 replaced the Cessna 182RG as my routine plane of choice - it was by far my favorite ride and would be for years to come.

Somewhere I got the F/A 18E Hornet, F6F-5 Hellcat, F4u-4 Corsair, and A6M2 Zero for FS4, but I can’t figure out now where I got them. I was now up to 18 aircraft available and all flown. I did some flying in all and chalked up a bunch of hours that I now logged in real Pilot Logbooks I purchased at the local airport.

I also found myself using Stunt Island by Disney very much as well. I didn’t care for the flight dynamics as much as those in FS4, but I loved that it had 49 aircraft, 38 of which were new to me.

The aircraft on the box looks a bit better than in the actual program.

One of the things I enjoyed doing now was to perform flight testing on various planes. Inspired by one in the Chuck Yeager AFT program I developed a Test Pilot Log Sheet and tested about 30 different planes. I usually found the programmed flight characteristics to match what I learned in various documentation. Playing test pilot was quite interesting and a lot of fun.

By the end of 1994 I had a total of 64 different aircraft types available to me. Of those there are still 14 that I’ve still not flown. (I reduced that number from 16 by recently flying the Blackbird and F-16 here in Sudan.) I was well into my second Pilot Logbook having flown 320 flights and logged 237hr 32min.

By the end of 1999 I was almost through my 4th Pilot Logbook with 768 Flights and 697hr 33min. This doesn’t include my flights and hours before 1994 so I realize now that my numbers need adjusting.

I’d moved onto FS5.

Then I got away from the flight simulator for a couple of years. The very weekend before the 911 tragedy I’d seen a marked down copy of FS98 and purchased it.

But I really didn’t do any structured flying until November 19, 2001 when I took of on Flight #1 of my World Tour which I’m reporting in another forum.

http://www.flightsimulationforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=553&start=0

The World Trip became the definition of my flight sim life for the next 4 years, 7 months, and 15 days. In 2004, I adjusted dates to that point from real to a more compressed and appropriate simulation dateline for the adventure. That change puts the start of the trip on September 12, 2003. On July 7, 2006 (real and sim date) my wife and I landed back at our home airport after 610 flights and 2195hr 27min. Here again the numbers don’t include any flights or hours prior to the trip. So I need to make even more adjustments to my official totals.

By the end of the trip, I had accumulated 139 aircraft via different software over the years plus 74 downloads. FS98 had provided me with three and FS2004 provided 14 new aircraft. FS2004 also provided me with much better scenery.

After the World Trip I looked for a new way to give direction to what flying I’d do. I found it in this current project of recreating the historic flights, along with the default Kiosk flights in FS9.

That pretty much brings us back to “tonight” in Khartoum, ready now for some sleep finally. With corrections made, I’ve now completed 1566 flights and logged 3649hr 44min. To this point I’ve acquired 178 aircraft types which includes 113 downloads plus some purchased aircraft such as Wings of Power. With the Blackbird and the F-16, which were among the oldest in my inventory, that I flew today, I’ve logged time in 99 types.

The oldest on my list that I’ve not yet flown are the A-6E Intruder, MiG-25 Foxbat, MiG-29 Fulcrum, and the Mirage 2000 which I got with Stunt Island. As I’ve not yet been able to find downloads of these for FS2004, maybe I’ll have to sit back down at that old PC and fly these in Stunt Island. But since that program doesn’t include the real world, that tactic will have to be delayed until I get done recreating all the historic flights during the first 100 years of manned flight.

As you can see from this post, the world of simulated flight has come nearly as far in the past 20 years as the real world of flight has in 100 years.

The FS9 screenshot posted above was before the recent memory and video card upgrade to my current computer. Here are a couple of comparison shots a flying buddy back in Chicago took today and has just emailed to me here in Khartoum.

I’m sure FSX is even better. If anyone reading this would care to do so, I’d be much obliged if they’d grab an FSX shot with the Chicago Skyline and post it here in a reply.

Well now its time to get some shut eye before climbing back into the Vimy for a flight down to Juba tomorrow getting back to the business at hand.

Oh… why have I been so restless tonight? Well its because of a bit of a scare I had today while getting my first stick time in an F-16... yep… the same one you saw in the very first picture of this post. I’ll tell you a bit more about that in my next post. But just for a preview, here’s a shot of me quickly leaving the old Vimy way down on the tarmac below along with a bit of the flight log for that adventure.
Current flight log pic



Last edited by Steve (SpiderWings) on Mon Mar 19, 2007 11:46 pm, edited 1 time in total
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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Okay, here is what happened with the F-16 earlier today.

Takeoff was definitely a bit more exciting than what I’ve been experiencing in the Vimy. If you look closely, you can actually see our trusty old bird way down below on the tarmac.

As I swung back around at 932 kias, I should have noticed the fuel down to 75% already, as well as having my eyes fixed on the Vimy below.

I settled down to the business at hand. I wanted to see how fast and how high this awesome jet would go.

Then it was time for a speed check…. 2204 kias isn’t too bad but….. WHERE DID ALL THE FUEL GO?!!!

Some quick thinking - convert 2200 kias into a bit of altitude.

Knowing nothing about the gliding ability of the F-16, I turned for home, crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

17 minutes later, 80 miles closer to home, and 55,000 feet lower things were looking fairly grim.

However, except for some major egg on my face….

Several hours later, after having the F-16 trucked back to the airport, I just couldn’t shake the curiosity about where 1200 gallons of fuel had gone in just 26 minutes. I just had to take her up again and get some answers.

I found out several things.

1st the fuel goes fairly well until you kick in the afterburners to get to max speed. Then its as though the bottom of the tank just opens up. This time however, I stayed closer to home, and when I saw the fuel zeroing out I shot upward again - to 89,000 feet this time and not far from the airport.

And I made it back with no problem and was even able to roll off from the runway before losing all of my momentum.

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Okay, thats quite enough of a break away from the real project here. Its time to get back to the trusty old Vimy and move a bit closer to Cape Town. I've talked way too much in the previous two posts, so I'm going to be more quiet and just let the pictures tell the story of the next to flights: Khartoum to Juba and then on to Kisumu, Kenya.

I will also apologize for making multiple posts. Its been a long and busy week and I just had a lot I wanted to share.

I will say that the first of these two trips was the longest flight so far. Over 10 hours. And its always a delight to spot the beautiful Nile river along the way.

On the way to Juba, the clear weather we've been enjoying turned a bit stormy. The side wind and poor visibility made more of a challenge out of compass navigation and ded reckoning. But we made it pretty close to our intended course.

Approaching Kisumu, we found the eastern part of Lake Victoria to be a very pleasant site.

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Welshflyer Chief Captain

Spiderwings this is a stunning historical journey, not just through the historical flights,but through flightsim as a whole.Your attention to detail and logging of your flight hours is astonishing (wish i'd thought of it) and is to be commended.When you mention does anyone remember starting out and being too low to see the airport,oh yes, i still do it Embarassed . Ah, now the fuel in the F-16 and where does it go, if you remember i had to punch out of a starfighter for doing the very same (it had the gliding characteristics of a brick). If you want a really nice A-6 Intruder for Fs2004 i recommend the model by Kazunori Ito(found at simviation) and about a thousand different texture sets all over the usual download sites Very Happy !
This is a superb journey through flight and flight simulation history, thank you for recording it and sharing it with us.

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks Welsh. Glad to see someone relating to my own experiences - its the best part of the forums - finding people (unlike my family) who finds all this interesting. Wink I'm downloading the A6 right now... thanks for the pointer. Looks like he has several others I might want to try out.

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Readership has really dropped off here. Maybe this tour is getting old. But for now I'll keep plugging away, hoping that its getting some looks.

The next leg is from Kisumu, Kenya to Musoma, Tanzania. As I plotted the course ahead of time I was happy to see that we’d be looking at Lake Victoria often along the way. It is really quite large - you can’t see across it and it looks like an ocean. It may seem even larger when flying along it in the Vimy.

Just out of Musoma, something dark passed between us and the sun for a second and I looked up to see a neat aircraft passing us. Minutes later we watched her land on the water near the very airport we were heading for.

Since there was still plenty of daylight after we landed and parked the Vimy, I decided to take a walk down the hill and have a closer look at the float plane. After just a few minutes talking, the owner asked if I’d like to take her up for a spin. As soon as I was in the air I fell in love with this powerful and acrobatic racer.

I climbed to its ceiling then dove to see how fast it would go. Such a sweet ride! This has become one of my favorites. Thanks Ralph Pegram.

Then I decided to put on a little show for my crew at the airport.

With the setting sun I decided I’d better return this great plane to its owner. I had a bit of a scare when I cut back on the throttle to settle onto the water. If you cut the fuel too far the engine quits!

The next morning, we headed off early for Rosa, Zambia. Two and a half hours out, the familiar scenery reminded me of my 2004 pass through this country and a giant mysterious canyon we’d flown in. Knowing it was likely off to our left a hundred miles or so, and that it was so vast that I’d surely see it if we got close, we decided to see if we could find it in the Vimy.

I almost missed it but something back and to the left caught my eye. We were very lucky not to have missed it completely with our limited navigation tools.

Even being painfully aware of the slow climbing ability of the Vimy, I couldn’t resist going into the canyon for a closer look. And the further we went, the more I wanted to continue down into the canyon.

The Vimy is slow, but sometimes that’s good. We had a wonderful experience in the canyon, getting down below sea level, hearing the echo of the engines of the canyon wall, finding the Vimy able to climb out fairly well afterall. And I even got up the nerve to make a 180 turn to start heading back.

We saw a couple of things that makes me want to return for further exploration someday. After finally clearing the canyon rim it was time to head back toward our course and hope that we’d spot landmarks that would confirm our position there.

Luckily we found an unmistakable landmark and knew we were back on track. And just in time as the light started fading. In fact , the growing darkness made us miss seeing our intended airport. Luck was with us again as we bumped into the next town and it had a nice airport.

And oh…here’s the answer to that confusing shadow picture earlier.

I need to get back to being more brief in my reports. Sorry about that.

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Welshflyer Chief Captain

Your reports are just fine Spiderwings, informative , hugely enjoyable and a really pleasurable experience! Keep them coming.
BTW what did you find in the canyon that was interesting?

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks again for your encouraging and complementary remarks Welshflyer. Such words fuel the fire to continue on.

What did I find interesting in that canyon?

I planned on just tucking that tid-bit away for some time in the future, but your curiosity inspired me to put it to use now. Have a look.... (posted in this and the other forum we frequent)

https://forum.flyawaysimulation.com/forum/topic/26872/another-flight-challenge-by-spiderwings/#166890
http://www.flightsimulationforums.com/viewtopic.php?p=21995#21995

This was fun.

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Overshooting Rosa last night was a mistake I don’t want to repeat. We were just lucky to bump into Kasama and find an airport there before total darkness was upon us. The navigator and I resolve to do better in terms of marking time and estimating average ground speed so that we don’t repeat that error again. The map for our next leg to Kabwe has a number of landmarks which will help. We took off at sunrise, found our landmarks quite well and had no problems arriving, other than being a bit late due to slower speed than anticipated.

For the next leg to Lusaka, I decided to compare my world atlas to the flight sim generated map I usually use. The sim map doesn’t show cities and highways but does show geographic terrain features which are usually valuable if close to the route and if recognizable from any altitude at all. Altitude is a double edge sword while navigating with old methods. Being high helps see things and their relationship with each other, but also has the effect of “flattening” hills below. We made it to Lusaka with no trouble and as we landed my heart jumped several beats because of what I saw waiting for take off clearence. An A6E Intruder!

As we taxied to gate three I caught a glimpse of the Intruder climbing out. I was disappointed in not arriving sooner so I could get a closer look at what was the 14th aircraft in my sim-life livery but one I never flew. It’s the earliest of all livery aircraft that I've not yet flown. So imagine my delight when an hour later the Intruder was back on the ground here at Lusaka and taxied right into gate four next to us! After a short chat with its owner, he said I could take it up with him as co-pilot if I’d cover the cost of fuel. We might be using old-time navigation but I'm still using up-to-date credit cards and so the flight was on.

In three and a half hours I burned up $750 in fuel, got to test the Intruder’s cruising speed 474mph at 55% throttle, then up to 668mph flying level at full throttle. Then we went up to find its ceiling. Its rated at 42,400 feet but I wonder if that’s with 100% fuel, because I climbed right past that and up to 65,581 feet with around 40% fuel. I know the Vimy climbs much better with less fuel so it figures anything would. But I don’t think I’ve ever had the Vimy up to its 9,000 rated ceiling. Guess I’ll have to try that.

Very nice model Kazunori Ito! She's a great plane. Very sensative to the movements of the stick. I had a lot of fun with it.

For each flight, the navigator and I spend a good 30 minutes marking our course on a local area map. We divide it into segments that we can time ourselves with to figure ground speed and ETA. I also make a pretty good flight plan which shows the distance, heading, estimated time, and fuel needed. The flight plan is a great tool and I always look at it just before takeoff to make sure I know what our intended heading is so I can make the most efficient turn to it unless ATC directs us otherwise. However, it pays to be careful when looking at the plan for that information. 231 and 213 look a lot alike but have rather different effects when you steer to one instead of the other. On our leg to Livingstone, I made just such an error and we were having a very hard time confirming our checkpoints. Luckily Lake Kariba helped us realize the mistake and we adjusted accordingly.

Upon arriving at Livingstone, I was hoping that we could find Victoria Falls this time since I’d recently been able to max my scenery settings. But there was still no sign of the famous falls. Maybe they are on FSX - has anyone noticed?

Progress map

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Welshflyer Chief Captain

Beautiful shots as always Spiderwings and a great adventure, it's a shame about the falls thought it would have been a great sight to see the Vimy cruising above them!

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks much Welsh!

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

As we get closer to our final destination the flights seem to be getting shorter. That’s good and bad. As we’ve gotten tired the short flights are welcome, but making a flight plan takes just as long for a short flight as for a long one. So with shorter flights comes the opportunity of getting in more in a day, but also creating a lot more planning time as well. There is a temptation to relax a bit on the flight planning for these short flights thinking that it may not be needed. But its better to be safe than sorry so I’ve decided to continue what we have been doing.

I’ve not had any more chances to fly other aircraft for a few days now. Maybe its just as well as the trip is winding down and the PR pressures are building as we make our stops along the way. The days of the Vimy are finally coming to an end. We’ll surely find something interesting to fly back to the states in after saying our final goodbyes to the old historic plane that has been very good to us even if she doesn’t go fast or high… she has never failed us.

We leave Liinvstone, Zambia for Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

My wife and I had been to the same airport at Bulawayo on our world tour several years ago and left for Botswana on that trip just as we do on this trip. However this trip takes us into that country on a more southerly route so the crew and I will see more new country as we make our way to Palapye. The weather in Africa has been clear and hot to this point and even now as we depart Bulawayo. But we were soon to see our first rain for quite a while and while the coolness of it would be welcome, the limited visibility and light wind would surely test my navigation skills. While we would get momentarily off course, I’d make some good landmark identification and find our way to our destination.

Later, as we looked at this image from our recon/tracking satelite, you can almost tell where we encountered the weather and the effects it had on my ability to hold the proper course line. Even though its watching us from above, we so strictly adhere to only the old navigation methods during the flights down below.

The third and final flight in today’s post takes us into South Africa - the last country of the London to Cape Town Race. The rain has stopped by the time we take off from Palapye for Pretoria, but broken clouds fill the sky and challenge my navigation skills again. The clouds also make for cooler temperatures and provide for some very pretty scenery. I'm especially impressed by vast farmland on both sides of the Limpopo River which forms the border between Botswana and South Africa.

Here’s our latest progress map. The next will be my final post for this particular historic recreation. Just three short flights remain.

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Welshflyer Chief Captain

Welcome to South Africa Very Happy ! Another set of great screenshots Spider with excellent commentary. I have really enjoyed this historical journey thanks for sharing it with us. Just three to go and you can have a well earned rest.

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks Welsh. Actually I saw a Mirage.... not up north in the African deserts but in Johannesburg. Last night it provided a reprieve from the Vimy and allowed me to cross off one of the oldest on "planes to fly" list. I have two older still that I've not found downloads for. The MiG 25 Foxbat and the MiG 29 Fulcrum. Have you found these anywhere? Thanks for continuing to follow this topic.

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CRJCapt Chief Captain

Clapping Great adventure and a hard aircraft to fly. Good screen shots.

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

CRJCapt wrote:

Clapping Great adventure and a hard aircraft to fly. Good screen shots.

Thanks CRJCapt. Actually she's not bad at all to fly except for the low speed and low altitude. And the low altitude is kind of fun because as you see from the screen shots, it keeps you in good view of the scenery. I've learned a LOT from flying this plane. In this post you'll see that her slowness is also good because I've started not paying enough attention to my navigation, or weather has caused problems with visibility and therefore helped us stray off course. But because the Vimy is so slow its hard to get too far away. Wink

The first flight is from Pretoria to Johannesburg.

Since we are getting close to the end of our time with the Vimy, I've decided to show a few close up and interior shots. I used to think this was such an ugly plane and still admit its not one of my favorites, but it is interesting and you might enjoy some closer looks at her. The crew are in good spirits - they know the long trip is coming to an end in the next day or so and they are also looking forward to some fan fair at the larger airports ahead. The weather is great, and the scenery is pretty.

We still have some daylight left after arriving at Johannesburg and an opportunity to fly another very different (from the Vimy) aircraft was presented by the French Air Force that was on a lay over there. Now here is one that IS hard to fly CRJCapt!

The next morning we awake to see a light rain, but it doesn't look too bad and decide to take off for Bloemfontein. We also think this should be our last day for this long journey. The flight to Bloemfontein is uneventful for the most part. We have a little difficulty with finding landmarks and sticking strictly to the compass course but are able to find the airport with no real problem. However, by the time we do, we've already decided that this flight would be as good as any to see if we could find out just how high the Vimy can go. Her extremely poor climbing ability, even with a light fuel load adds considerable amount of time to the flight and might threaten our chances to make it clear to Cape Town later today.

As it is only 11:00 am when we leave Bloemfontein for Buefort West (our second to the last flight), we are still hopefull of making it on to Cape Town before dark this evening. However, I get us off to a bad start by looking at the wrong number in the flight plan mistaking the miles for the flight as the compass heading. We realize the mistake when we recognize a lake from the map that is north of the course line. The navigator plots a correction which takes us back to the original course line with little trouble of loss of time.

But that just seems to set the tone of this flight. Perhaps our compass is off. I always error to the left of the course when I'm doing it "right", but not far to the left. We can usually spot the destination airport when we've covered the appropriate distance measured in flight time. However, on the rest of this flight I drift even further to the left (south) and then the mistake is compounded by misinterpreting what we are seeing compared to the map. Even after correcting one such problem, I make the same error yet again. The low visibilty due to the weather doesn't help matters.

This flight is a good one to show the "desired" technique of old-time navigation along with some of its pitfalls. The main thing we do right is to keep our heads and then use some logic to get back to where we hoped to find the airport. It almost worked. I really need to be more careful managing the clock to figure our distance covered.

I know that I said this would be the last post for this trip, but as you can see the day ran much longer than I anticipated. Next week, I'll surely be done with just one more flight - to Cape Town - to do. I'll probably also include my trip from South Africa back to the United States. I've not yet decided on what plane we'll use for that. We'll just have to see whats avaiable in Cape Town. I hesitate to post the progress map this week but here it is. We are almost done.

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Welshflyer Chief Captain

I really enjoyed this report Spider, really great screenshots showing the aircraft and scenery at its best especially the cockpit shots. Great shots of the Mirage, nice of the French to let you fly it Very Happy ! It got a bit tense with the fuel situation but you pulled off a beautiful landing (despite the telephone poles) and managed the situation well, then borrowing some fuel to finish the flight in darkness and even managed to find your destination, a job well done. Looking forward to the final flight.

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Welshflyer wrote:

I really enjoyed this report Spider, really great screenshots showing the aircraft and scenery at its best especially the cockpit shots. Great shots of the Mirage, nice of the French to let you fly it Very Happy ! It got a bit tense with the fuel situation but you pulled off a beautiful landing (despite the telephone poles) and managed the situation well, then borrowing some fuel to finish the flight in darkness and even managed to find your destination, a job well done. Looking forward to the final flight.

Final flight? Me to! As much as I've learned with the Vimy I hope I have no more historic flights with her. Glad you enjoyed the drama with the fuel. Totally unplanned as I was really trying to get the flight done quickly enough to do the final to Cape Town. I was confident of landing the Vimy just about anywhere, she lands nice and soft... under power. I was surprised at how heavy she got when the fuel ran out. I was very lucky not to see a bunch of fire and smoke... well I guest just dust since there was no fuel to burn.

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

As we awake the next morning, anxious to put in the last flight of the long journey, our spirits are dashed by a steady rainfall. Visibility is limited but we can see the mountains on the edges of the valley through the rain and decide we will give it a go. I'm sure that if we just keep looking ahead for the next tree or hill or fence post on our compass bearing and move from one to the next we'll be fine. The cooler air from the rainfall will actually be a plus after so much heat in the long flights down Africa. We've plotted our course on a good map of the area and hope that we'll be able to make out some position confirming landmarks between the clouds and rain.

I quickly realize that the compass bearing technique is not going to work and ask the navigator if his maps show a highway to Cape Town. They don't, but given the heading we started out on, I decide that the one I see is going to either Cape Town or the coast on either side. When we see the coast, we can compare it to the map to see which way to go to the city if thats how it goes. The pictures and their captions will tell the story of this challenging but fun adventure. Sorry for so many screenies on this flight but it was truly fun and since its the last on the jouney and the last for the Vimy I hope you will understand.

After about three forths of the trip we happened upon a valley and got a good view of the lake within it. We found it on the map and we were right on the course line. As you'll see later in the satelite-following images, we got after landing, that this was really just lucky. But as soon as we knew where we were, we had to depart significantly from our desired heading to Cape Town in order to get around some tall mountains that I wasn't sure we could make it through.

You can see now that we made it to Cape Town and its time to bid the old Vimy farewell. I've learned more with this plane and the historic flights with it than with any other single aircraft except perhaps the original Cessna 182. But if I knew then what I've learned from the Vimy I would have been much better off.

Here is the final map showing this trip along with a world map showing all the other default trips made so far as well as the transistion flights between them.

Thanks for following this recreation of the 1920 London to Cape Town race.

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

After several days rest and accommodations to the press regarding the recreation, we finally head back to the USA. We considered several options for aircraft but decided on one that we’d seen on the tarmac upon our initial landing in Cape Town. The Avro Lancaster Mk.III. With that decided, the navigator and I spent a considerable time plotting our course home.

We headed out at first light.

The first flight was to Walvis Bay, South Africa

Flew through some mountains near the South Africa – Namibia border to get some good pictures

Our first landing in the Lancaster

From there we flew halfway across the Atlantic to Ascension.

During the night we flew on to South America and made our first landing at Sao Luis, Brazil

As the following dawn arrived we were on our fourth flight in the journey home and enroute to Santo Domingo, Dominican republic and to an airport I've been to in real life.

Our fifth and final flight was to Daytona Beach, Florida where we landed after our second nightfall of the trip.

In the morning I'll look into the next historic adventure.

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CRJCapt Chief Captain

A great adventure with great aircraft. Clapping

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Welshflyer Chief Captain

Spiderwings, i'd just like to compliment you on a fantastic achievement of an epic journey.Everything from your screenshots to your excellent commentary and your fantastic navigation skills on the last leg in such appalling weather were a pleasure to view, thanks very much for sharing this adventure with us.
P.s, i'd posted on this earlier but it seems to have disappeared into cyberspace, as do at the moment your lancaster screenshots as soon as they turn up i promise i'll post Very Happy .

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Welshflyer Chief Captain

Sorry for the back to back posts but no sooner than i had posted the last they turned up, isn't she a beauty and what a sound, great screenshots talk about the old and the new Shocked a Lanc overflying a Space Shuttle now that's what i call a flight sim experience Very Happy . But if i've got to be honest my two favourite aircraft of all time have got to be the B-17 and the Avro Lancaster, not just because of the looks and the sounds but because of what they stood for, two great nations standing side by side in a fight against evil, and the sacrifices many young men made for this cause!

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks Welsh and CRJCapt... its my pleasure. I won't be starting my next historic adventure for about a week as I'm out of town until next Wednesday. Enjoyed 4 great airline flights getting here and looking forward to 3 on the return.

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

I continue to persue my goal of flying all the default flights in FS2004. The map below shows where that quest has taken me so far. Yellow lines are the default flights while the gold are transistion flights to the next adventure. There is some overlapping of some of the yellow lines due to similar routes.

The eighth adventure in the Century of Flight historic flight re-creations is to duplicate the May 1920 barnstorming tour from Florida to Ohio by Tex Marshall and his wife Katherine in a Curtiss JN-4D Jenny. Like others to this point, I continue to rely on old time navigation methods - following landmarks, dead reckoning, and the use of maps. The journey has 15 legs. Perhaps, like Tex, I will have to stop traveling from time to time to perform some revenue gaining barnstorming.

Daytona to Jacksonville

Jacksonville to Savannah

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Welshflyer Chief Captain

Spiderwings, you've caught some stunning images there especially the sunset shots, but i've got to admit to #2 being my favourite, a classic take off and turn away from the airfield. You've perked up my interest now as i've never flown this aircraft, but now i just might have to give it a go Very Happy .

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks Welsh... your opinion is always appreciated. I like that shot also. I'm really happy to see how nice the aircraft looks with my new memory and video card compared to before. It would be nice to spruce up my scenery inventory a bit but since I fly all over the world, I'd have to get quite a few add-ons I think.

I'm glad I've got you thinking about flying the Jenny. Its slow and low but you really get the feel of flying with wind blowing past and bugs on your goggles. Be careful of the stall speed on take off. She acts like she's climbing but at 45 she wants to point downhill pretty quickly. Too quickly if you are low.

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VegasFlyer Chief Captain

Stunning images Spider! Some of the best I've seen from you. Jenny is one of the most beautiful aircrafts and sure is fun to fly it. Great job! Thumbs Up! Very Happy

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks VegasFlyer for the kind words. Glad I'm getting a bit better. Mostly I'm having more and more fun as I think you can see in my pictures.

Funny thing... before upgrading my computer I wasn't too fond of the Jenny and groaned even the other day when I realized in putting away the Vimy that my next adventure was to be in the Jenny. It handles a little better I think because of the upgrade... but mostly she looks very nice in the new screenies.

And... as much as I kinda groan about these old slow planes... I'm learning so much from them and with the Jenny in this adventure finding its a pure flying joy. She handles well and floats onto the runway light as a feather... and lets me come in at odd angles on short final and still lets me nail it on the center line... most of the time. I'm finding it most rewarding doing this series of default flights for reasons like that.

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

I feel I should apologize for the number of screenshots for this post. But I kept finding some one fun adventure after another and hope you’ll enjoy the stories that I hope my screenies have captured. I got a little silly trying to be funny in several.

Leg 3 of 15 Savannah to Sylvania, Georgia

Leg 4 to Augusta

Leg 4 to Edgefield, South Carolina looking to earn some cash

Leg 5 at Edgefield - Barnstormy and Rides

Leg 7 to Athens, Georgia

Leg 8 to Atlanta

Leg 9 to Chattanooga, Tennessee

Leg 10 to Kingston, Tennessee (part 1)

Leg 10b to Kingston (part 2)

Leg 11 to London, Kentucky

Map of progress so far - 4 legs left to Findlay, Ohio

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Welshflyer Chief Captain

Shocked Shocked Absolutely astounding! Probably the most enjoyable screenshots i have ever viewed, the barnstorming and commentary with Mrs Jones made me laugh out loud Very Happy and the under bridge flying was a pleasure to see.Would'nt want to be around when the sponsors catch up with you after getting their very expensive Jenny a bit damp though Rolling Eyes . Very nicely done Spider and thanks for sharing these great shots.

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks for the kind words Welsh. Glad you enjoyed it. I had a lot of fun with these legs of the trip.

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

On leg number 12 to Lexington, Kentucky, I took advantage of the Jenny's low altitude disposition, and how very well she handles there, to have a closer look at some of the details in FS-9’s default scenery now that I can use the highest settings.

I flew low up I-75 to have a look at the signs along the way.

I continued to look for and find my checkpoints to make sure I was still on course, sometimes climbing a bit to have a better look around….

… before going back down for a closer look at the scenery details. I found several other signs with pictures of aircraft. Out on the highway I’d seen the Wright Flyer and the Spirit of St. Louis, which I’d later realize had a bit of serendipity in their presence on this particular journey. In several cities I found this sign with what appears to be the deHavilland DH--88 Comet and I started to wonder if there were more signs out their with yet more aircraft.

I also flew low to look for additional barnstorming opportunities. In the process, I realized the “chicken” fast food restaurant I’d found once in New Jersey was actually quite common along my current route. But now I started finding different kinds of fast food places.

Not finding any bridges on this leg, or any barns with open doors to fly through, I decided the office workers in downtown Lexington might enjoy a close visit by the Jenny.

Then I went looking for the airport, continuing to adhere to my rules for using only 1920 navigation which meant I had to make a visual identification of the airport before contacting the tower and getting permission to land.

Leg 13 of 15 was to Cincinnati, Ohio

Arriving there, I found a treasure trove of barnstorming-like opportunities.

On the Ohio, I nearly repeated my misfortune back on the Tennessee, but luckily kept the prop dry this time. Otherwise, my trip my have ended here instead of after the final two legs yet ahead.

After the four beautiful bridges on the Ohio, I decided to continue my new tradition of barnstorming the downtown area. I’ve found that the spaces between downtown buildings always look too small on approach. But when you get there, they are usually plenty wide for the agile Jenny.

Leg 14 was to Dayton, Ohio. Realizing that this was the final day of the barnstorming trip, I stayed low and continued looking for barnstorming opportunities and found some more kinds of fast food restaurants for my growing mental collection. I think it might be fun sometime to make a picture inventory of various scenery items by category. But I’ve got plenty of other things to do first so that is just a thought.

As I arrived at Dayton and thought again about the name of the airport I was looking for, I remembered a significant fact about the history of flight and was once again happy that my sim journeys had taken me to a place of significance. The Wright Brothers were from Dayton and that is where they built their flyers.

With that knowledge I took off toward evening, heading for the final stop on this journey, Findlay, Ohio. But the city of Dayton was on the front part of the trip and I wanted to have a close look to see if there were any tributes to the Wright Brothers included in the sim’s scenery. I looked for, but didn’t find their home or their bicycle shop. However I did find my first sim-scenery fire station.

I didn’t even find any indication of the Wright Brother’s Memorial that I saw on the map. But I did find a highway sign picture of the Wright Flyer nearby, and, the air force base that I believe must bear their name.

By then I started worrying about getting to Findlay before dark and got back on course.

But I was still nagged by the realization that the fun barnstorming was coming to an end and went down for one more visit to a local farm...

… or two…

… and a “Barn” for humans….

Then got back on track with the idea to arrive at destination near sunset. However, I still couldn’t help exploring along the way, finding more interesting scenery details, and yet another bit of Flying History. Interesting that the founders of flight lived just down the road from the first man to set foot on the moon.

That thought was a fitting end to this very fun journey. With the end of the day, came the end of my barnstorming (for now.)

Here is the final map of this historic re-creation.

And here is the latest world map showing all the default Kiosk Flights, and the Historic Flights to this point… thru 1920, as well as the transition flights from one adventure to the next, including the current flight to San Diego where I will find an NYP Ryan waiting for me. I’ve decided that this world map is quite full, so I’ll start a new one for the re-creations after 1920.

The next historic re-creation will be of a 1927 cross-continental flight from San Diego to St. Louis by Charles Lindbergh in his NYP Ryan Spirit of St. Louis. In keeping with my tradition during these re-creations I went to my inventory of sim aircraft and selected the oldest one that I still have the software for that I’ve not yet flown - Ken Mitchell’s Boeing B-52 Stratofortress. After flying the old Jenny, this would be quite a different experience, and I found myself wondering just how fast and how high this old bird would go. Given its name, I checked and found out that the Stratosphere starts at about 6 miles, or 31,600 feet. I realized that not only will the B-52 be able to fly well up into it, I’ve actually been there myself on a recent flight to Washington, DC and back at around 39,000 feet.

Although I’ve flown some large jetliners, I was totally unfamiliar with the B-52 and had a little trouble getting this model working. I never could get the panel to come up and had to import sound from the 747. With no panel I had to use ctrl E to start the engines, which I quickly found to be quite a handful for the small airport at Findlay.

With consideration to the short, 6,000 foot runway, I opted for only a half load of fuel, 28,643 gallons, not knowing how far that would get me. That proved to be a wise decision as I likely wouldn’t have had enough room with a full load - even with the B-52’s very impressive power.

The EIGHT Pratt & Whitney TF33-P-3/103 turbofan engines quickly lifted us to FL280 and I just kept asking for, and getting IFR clearance for additional altitude, up through the service ceiling of 50,000 feet to an impressive 58,800 feet before the huge bird started stalling and I settled back down to FL480 for the rest of the trip.

Even from that high, it was a great feeling to finally return to the Rocky Mountains and the Western United States that I’m most familiar with.

It was a real relaxing trip, for a change, to have air traffic control guide me the entire way, even though I had to keep climbing and descending as they reminded me I was either 300 feet over or under my assigned altitude. Without a panel, I wasn’t able to find and/or engage the auto pilot.

About 70 miles out ATC started bringing me down and guiding me to the North Island NAS.

On final approach to RW 18, I crossed over the north end of San Diego International - Lindbergh Field whose name was most appropriate as I also saw his Spirit of St. Louis sitting there on the tarmac.

Given the impressive speed of the B-52, I had grown quite nervous about getting the big aircraft back down onto a thin little piece of earth we know as the runway. But her flaps are very effective and it proved to be no big deal. Her brakes did a good job and I easily made the taxiway.

I’d taken off at 7:20 am in Findlay and was shutting down at 8:15 am in San Diego. With two time changes figured in, it was about 3 hours. Such a difference from the long journeys of my recent experience. Even still I found myself anxious to catch a ride over to Lindberg Field and check out the NYP Ryan which I’d had some great flights in several years earlier on our around the world trip.

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Welshflyer Chief Captain

Great journey and superb screenshots Spiderwings, you really showed the Jenny in the way she deserved, it's a shame you had problems with the panel on the B-52 as it really is an astonishing aircraft, even in flightsim. I had a funny feeling that the Spirit of St Louis was'nt far away Very Happy . Looking forward to seeing the next historical adventure!

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks Welsh. The Jenny was more fun on that trip than ever before. And the B-52 was pretty great also. Hopefully by Monday I'll have some more to post. Hope you get your new system up soon.

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VegasFlyer Chief Captain

These are the best shots and comentery I've evr seen. SpiderWings you are a true artist. Your historic flights should be made a sticky because they represent all that FS9 can give you. While reading and looking into these marvelous shots I've learned a few historic facts that I've never known before. I aplaud your patiance and persistance in doing such tedious job as it is recreating all these flights. Once again great great job Spider! Thumbs Up! Thumbs Up! Thumbs Up! Thumbs Up!
Cheers!

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks for your very kind words VegasFlyer. I'll take the compliment about the commentary cause I do like doing that more than most people... but you are too kind in saying they are such great shots. I can't even compare the quality of my shots with so many others here. However I do hope that the little notes on some of them (which I know isn't really a great artistic element) makes them more enjoyable and informative.

As for the effort being tedious and requiring patience? I will admit to spending a fair amount of time working on my flights... but I really have a good time every minute of it. I'm very pleased to read that you have learned some things with this trip. I actually learn many of those things for the first time myself in making the flights. As is the case with Neil Armstrong's home.

I always fly with my road atlas at my side since I love geography so much. And as I fly and check the map I often see little red spots of interest and thats where I learn a lot.

Thanks again for your comments and for following along. Such makes it all the more fun.

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

In 1927, Charles Lindbergh set a transcontinental speed record in two flights with his Spirit of St. Louis. Here I am recreating those flights and trying to better his time of 21hours 15minutes. The first flight is from San Diego to St. Louis. I think the story is mostly told in the pictures and their captions.

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CRJCapt Chief Captain

Clapping Marvelous job, the Spirit of St. Louis is a hard aircraft to fly. Nice pictures.

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VegasFlyer Chief Captain

That's one great trip you've made. Great shots and even better comment Exclamation Well done Exclamation Very Happy

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks guys. My next re-creation is also in the Spirit of St. Louis. Might do it this weekend.

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Ravie Trainee

congrats on ur accomplishments spiderwings

having just read through this entire story line i have a feeling ill be copying ur exploits sometime soon Very Happy ill keep you all updated on my progress
i cant undertstand how u have managed to fly those missions Very Happy some achievement mate

well done again

Rav

Guest

SpiderWings wrote:

Anonymous wrote:

Excellent journey and a great transition as you upgrade your hardware .
Just in case you haven't already , in the sim's display settings under the hardware tab it's best to have antanilising UNCHECKED and transform and lighting CHECKED .Also have render to texture CHECKED , this should double your frame rate .

Hey Guest, I checked my hardware settings and had them checked like you do except I had the Target frame rate a bit higher (50) which isn't ever gonna happen on my new system where I'm getting 6-15 which is pretty good from what I had. I also had the Filtering set for Bilinear, hardware rendered lights at 8 instead of 4 and the Global max texture to Massive instead of high.

I've put them like in your image and have flown a little bit comparing screen shots in the same time and place as my first sunset shot over Lake Nasser above. I'm not seeing any difference yet but the Vimy might not be the best vehicle to test such changes. I'm going to keep the settings like yours and just see how it goes as scenery changes etc.

Do you by chance know what some of the different setting elements actually do? I'd sure like more insight into that if you do know. Thanks again for the tips.

Its been a while Spiderwings sorry for the late reply . I see you've taken the daredevil sport of barnstorming ,excellent recreation and presentation .

About the settings , When I first got fs9 I searched the internet for the best setting to have and the general consensus was to have the setting in the above screenshot .
I'm sorry I can't tell you what each setting does technically but after experimenting they are the best balance for me . Particularly having TRANSFORM AND LIGHTING CHECKED gave me an extra 10 fps ,also by having ANTI ANTI ALIASING UNCHECKED gave me another 6 fps .
From what I see the GLOBAL MAX TEXTURE setting controls the quality of texture of the aircraft interior and exterior (I realise this setting does have the word Global in it but I only notice it's effects on aircraft) .

Meylan .

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks Rav.... that will be awesome. Some of the flights are indeed grueling in terms of speed and I admit to bumping up the ratio to 2x a lot of the time. You have to have a soft touch at the increased rate. I also want to tell you that I've learned soooooooo much from these flights. Even though the briefing tells you you can use the sim map and the gps, I have chosen not to because I wanted the same challenge as the original flyers. And because of that I've learned a lot.

Thanks again Meylan for your insights. Since then, I've had to play a bit more with the settings.... especially when getting into the larger cities and when I want a lot of IA aircraft (which I like to do). And then I forget to set them back again sometimes. I'm going to review the original post next time I fly and make sure I'm getting the best I can. As delighted as I was when I first upgraded, its amazing how soon you wish you had more... and MORE and BETTER again and AGAIN! Laughing Actually, I'm considering getting high speed internet which will change my life significantly if I can swing it on our tight retirement budget.

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

After a night’s rest at Republic Airport on Long Island, New York, it was time to continue eastward with the Spirit of St. Louis. This time to re-create Charles Lindbergh’s 1927 non-stop flight from Farmingdale, New York (Long Island) to Paris. I hesitated to do this flight again as it was also included in the FS9 default “Kiosk” group of flights. And I’d also made a second Atlantic crossing in the Vickers Vimy for the re-creation of a 1919 flight.

But on each of those, I failed to navigate quite as well as the original flyers. For the first Lindberg re-creation, I’d missed Ireland and the entire English Channel, making landfall at Brest, France. I missed it again with the Vimy, but this time well to the north in Scotland. So I decided to do the Spirit of St. Louis New York to Paris flight again with the resolve to try extra hard to hold my compass headings steady while making the hourly adjustments of 1 or 2 degrees to the south to account for the constantly changing relevance to magnetic north.

As with all the other historic flights I would again opt not to use the modern navigation tools, GPS and the simulator map showing current position in flight, which would have not been available to the historic flyers.

I did use the sim map to make planning charts prior to takeoff however. I used the flight planning feature to give me the Great Circle line - shortest line between the New York and Paris. I divided it into 10ths and calculated my estimated fuel and heading at the end of each segment. I also made notes from the flight overview given by the sim and noted the various hourly course corrections in red.

I prepared a more detailed map of the first portion… to Newfoundland which would have landscape to check my navigation against.

While taking off from Republic Field (KFRG), I did have one advantage over Lindbergh who had a grass field that was soggy and slow from over night rains. While I had the rain, I did have the benefit of a faster hard runway.

But like him, I had a tail wind. With that, and a full (450 gal) load of fuel, the Ryan NYP was quite reluctant to leave the ground behind.

As you can already see from my brown in flight notes, I quickly realized that my fuel was being consumed at a faster rate than I’d computed on my chart of 10 segments.

This had also been my experience in my first Spirit of St. Louis crossing and I had stopped in St. Johns for refueling. But I was determined not to do that on this flight - thinking if it worked out for Lindy, that I should be able to make it work for me as well. My only hope was that as the fuel was consumed, the aircraft would become lighter and therefore require less fuel per hour.

As I started the 1700 mile crossing of the Atlantic I began making periodic calculations comparing percent of distance traveled (based on time) to percent of fuel used.

Like me, Lindbergh must have not looked forward to a long dark night out over the ocean. But perhaps, like me again, he was able to use the stars to help hold his compass headings.

One good thing about flying east is that the night is a bit shorter.

I spotted land several hours earlier than expected and started to appreciate that in terms of fuel. But that happiness gave way to anxious confusion as the mass of land curved to the west, south of my position. If I’d hit my target, the southern tip of Ireland, that would not be the case. Also if I’d arrived at the SW point of England or the NW point of France, it would not be the case again. I knew I was well off course and searched my charts for islands that I encountered.

It turns out I was 250 miles north. In looking at the planning chart, and recalling the 30 knot tail wind, even though I was trying to adjust for it in my timing, I realize now that I was making much better time than expected. That straightened out my Great Circle curve a bit making landfall further north.

I set a correction course for Paris. Even though it was not as planned, it proved to be an enjoyable and scenic one. And I was no longer worried about having enough fuel.

Crossing the English Channel, I realized the long flight was nearly at its end and that I would better Lindbergh’s time in spite of my longer route.

I had a close encounter with other traffic as I approached the city.

And then the city of Paris was in view. Before landing, however, I had to duplicate Lindbergh’s flight around the Eiffel Tower… and a few other things.

And then it was time to get back down on the ground, after 29 hours and 16 minutes. With the help of a good tail wind (programmed in the default flight), I’d beat Lindbergh’s time by 4 hours and 14 minutes… even with my navigation error, and the tower having me go around for another approach.

Here is the updated map showing the last two re-created adventures. I‘ve now got to find a ride back to Santa Monica, California for my next.

I believe this is the last flight with the Spirit of St. Louis in the historic re-creations. I learned a lot on these last two trips with it. When I first flew it years ago on my around the world trip, I always took off and landed with the spot plane view from behind, except for one exciting time in Ascension. But I never thought I’d come to take off and land it fairly comfortably from within the cockpit view as I did several times on these trips. Once again, I become more convinced that these historic recreations are making a much better pilot out of me - although I've still got a ways to go in using time and calculating wind effects to determine distance flown. Plus I’m having a lot of fun!

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VegasFlyer Chief Captain

Thumbs Up! Thumbs Up! Thumbs Up!
Clapping Clapping Clapping

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks VegasFlyer! Glad to see someone still following all this!

I want to go ahead and present the transition trip back to the USA now as well… or at least the biggest part of it… to my home in Vernal, Utah for some much wanted rest and relaxation before continuing on to Santa Monica and the next historic re-creation.

As has become the custom, I chose the oldest yet to be flown aircraft in my livery. This time it was the C-130 Hercules by Vlad Zhyhulskiy and I’m very happy to report that it is wonderful to fly as I will indicate in my screenshots and report of the long trip back. My only disappointment with it was that it didn’t produce a contrail at high altitudes.

Using a modern aircraft for this flight meant I could also enjoy the luxury of the GPS and an IFR Flight Plan. The planner indicated that I could only get about 2100 or 2200 miles per load of fuel, so I had to look for airports close to the Great Circle Line to Santa Monica. The planning went well to the west coast of Greenland in two flights. But then I couldn’t find any airports with long runways (although now I think the Hercules could handle shorter) close to the short line route and I made plans to swing south looking for some in Southern Quebec, and South Dakota with a planned stop at home in Utah.

As I flew toward the first stop in Iceland, I started marking how far I went on every 10% of fuel. I also enjoyed some great scenery.

Over Northampton, I could look west the Bristol Channel and knew that WelshFlyer’s home was on its north shore.

England and Scotland were beautiful even on a slightly hazy day.

While flying over the North Atlantic for Iceland, I tested the Hercules’ operational ceiling… around 44,000 feet, 11,000 higher than a 737 we spotted going the other way.

When I got to Iceland I realized the flight planner had given a dismal range for a full load of fuel and decided we could easily make it to our planned stop in Greenland without fueling here.

I found Greenland to be amazing. It was my first time flying over a large portion of it, having just seen a couple of coastal areas previously. After crossing the ice sheet, I was pleasantly surprised by the beauty of the fjords and hills between them on the west coast as we made our descent into Sodre Stomfjord.

Having come so far, on the first flight, I decided to forego the plan south and stick closer to the Great Circle Route which would take me very close to home. In fact, I calculated that a full load of fuel would just barely get us there… even with the 40 knot headwind we’d experienced all the way from Paris. The fuel would be close, but I knew that we’d make it to the areas with good long runways for sure.

The four Allison T56-A-15 turboprop engines on the C-130 make it possible to climb out very steeply and quickly. Once under way we once again enjoyed the scenery of western Greenland and I highly recommend an IFR summer flight into Sodre Stomfjord.

The path took us over Nanavut, Northern Quebec, Hudson Bay, and Manitoba in Canada.

While crossing the border into the USA, I was starting to worry about the fuel lasting.

By the time we reached Wyoming, the state just north of my home in Utah, I was very much worried that we wouldn’t be able to make it clear to Vernal. But I remembered how the Hercules had seemed to float on its previous landing and I just knew that if I cut the throttle as much as possible to keep from losing altitude too quickly… had 8,000 foot mountains ahead… that I just might be able to make it. Northeast of the Wind River Mountains and 163 miles out, we had 4% fuel. I divided that number by 4 and anxiously watched the miles click slowly off on the GPS. By the time we were down to 3% fuel, we had covered more than a fourth of the remaining distance. So it looked doable and we went for it, thinking it would be a shame to land at Rock Springs or Dutch John so near my goal.

I left the gear up and flaps retracted until the very last minute.

And we made it with 21 gallons to spare!

I’ve not yet finished the transition trip to Santa Monica. I’ve decided to divert quite a bit from the remainder of the straight line course to retrace (in reverse), some of the flights Greekman72 recently made in Utah, Arizona, and Nevada as part of his World Round Tour. I want to take screen shots with FS9 default scenery of the same places he did with FSX. You can see his tour at another great forum at this link which will take you to page 22 of his trip - the section I will be reverse-flying in my next installment here.
http://www.flightsimulationforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=83&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=420

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VegasFlyer Chief Captain

What a relief when you have GPS and a fast aircraft, ha Question Wink
very nice shots, and thanks for the heads up about Greenland! Very Happy

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Ravie Trainee

its been challenging spiderwings i decided to jump ahead of you.. mainly because i couldnt wait to jump in the Dehavilland Comet.. wished i hadnt now !

first leg of this rave to australia is very challenging only just enough fuel and my weather was challenging to say the least!

and that plane is a devil to taxi and land !

first leg report will be posted shortly

Rav

p.s. i;ve learnt alot already!

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks VF... would love to hear back from you if/when you get to Greenland.

Thanks to you also Ravie. I just checked your first flight and as I said there I'm loving it. Glad you got the bug to do those historic flights. And I hear ya about that Comet being a handful. I'll be anxious to get back to it now with my additional RAM and see how it goes. One thing that this project has done for me over and over again is gotten me to get better at and more comfortable with some aircraft that intimidated the heck out of me. Flying the Spirit of St. Louis without ever leaving the cockpit view from St. Louis to New York was one of the biggest confidence builders ever. I highly recommend that as a challenge to anyone.

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

A lot has happened since my last post which had me transitioning from Paris to California for my next historic flight. I landed at home in Utah for some much needed simulated R&R (real life doesn’t cooperate) and was on the ground there for 10 days. During that “time” (being relative especially in simming) I got DSL at my house and that got me downloading more aircraft which have had my attention on testing them and keeping up on my Aircraft Spreadsheet and All Types Photo Catalog.

And then when I did get back in the air, I got diverted by several other projects. One was to match up with some of Greekman72’s recent shots on his world tour leg between Las Vegas and Salt Lake City to make some comparison shots between his FSX and my FS9 and allowing for a visit to recent historic flying. Those will follow.

The other project started about 15 minutes after taking off from KVEL (home) as I approached the highest point in Utah… Kings Peak. I’ve spent years in real life looking at maps, dragging them around on highways on both sides of the Uinta Mountains to see if there are a few spots you can actually see Kings Peak from. It is usually lost in a group of other tall peaks and since it sits back in the center of the range its not usually visible from roads and highways below. So as I flew over it, I paused and had a look around. The sim unfortunately goofed up in its interpretation of aerial photos in making the scenery here. It has Kings Peak (13,528) being slightly shorter than South Kings Peak 1.25 mile away. When I look at google earth I can see how the software made the mistake.

Anyway that pause at FL400 over the Uinta Mountains got me really appreciating the level and relative accuracy of the scenic detail for the mountains of Utah and it got me making a series of 360 degree panoramic collections of shots from various points over the state of Utah. Its really been an eye opener to me to be able to use these to look around my state and see just how far you can see in all directions from 40,000 feet… and its helping me finally learn the names and positions of all the mountain ranges in Utah so that now when I travel the highways I can be much more knowledgeable about what we are seeing. So the sim has once again proved to be more than a game, but a tool for learning.

This project is still on-going (60% complete), but when I’m done, I’m going to put it on CD’’s (maybe DVD’s if I get a burner) and if anyone really would be interested in seeing my state in such a way, I will be happy to work out a way of getting it to you… with no intention of making any money on it of course.

Anyway…I got a bit diverted on that LONG pause over the Uinta Mountains.

But now I’ve actually completed my trip to California and have begun the next historic trip.

Left home airport, KVEL, Vernal, Utah early and grabbed some shots of the surrounding area. Its much prettier in person. It is desert in the low lands but that has a special beauty of its own. The day of the flight was a bit hazy.

Here are some shots of the highest spots in Utah. Not the Alps or the Himalayas but they are quite pretty… the sim has the timber clear to the tops which is not true. If you google earth do a search on Kings Peak.

I decided to climb a bit and get a higher perspective on the mountains…and everything in all directions. Here is a sampling of the 22 shots it takes to do one 360 degree panoramic group from just one spot. My Utah collection of such groups will have them from over 36 spots. The map below shows the center point of this group.

Approaching KSLC, Salt Lake International it was time to start looking for matching shots to Greekman72’s. I’ve got his permission to show his shots here. His will be just ahead of my counterpart photo in each case. Mine is the C-130 and his is the V-35 of course.

Here we go…. FSX compared to FS9...

I just did a touch and go and then proceeded to look for more of GM’s angles in the Salt Lake Valley. I’ll put them in a new post as I think the problem with long pages might be a function of how many posts are on each page rather than number of screenies. So I’m just testing.

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Yikes it added that post to the same page! I don't dare post anymore or no one is going to look at them. This new computer I at today is bogging down and not able to show all the images even after several minutes of loading time. I think the 2Gig of RAM is full. Could that be? 241 shots on the page now.

Guess I'll hold off on posting the rest of my screenies for now.

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

That was the 15th post for the page... I've counted several pages and think 15 might be the max per page. If so this will be at the top of page six.

Edit:

Walla! The page from hell is ended. I'll make shorter posts and will be using jpg instead of png and perhaps that will be the fix.

Thanks to Radar for some ideas for this problem.

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Sorry for the back to back to back posting but it gave me the answer to my problem of the long pages.

To continue now, here are shots in the Salt Lake Valley… GM’s with FSX in front of mine with FS9. I wasn’t able to be absolutely sure on my match for several of these as you’ll see.

GM came into Salt Lake from Wendover on the Utah-Nevada line… here I go in the opposite direction.

I spent a good deal of time trying to find this funny little hill in the desert somewhere between Wendover and Fillmore, Utah. I used topographic maps and google earth and finally found it. When you see the difference in FSX scenery and FS9, you’ll see why it was so hard.

Holden, Utah. GM coming. Me going.

Here’s one that really got to me. I feel I know my state very well but I couldn’t figure out for the life of me what town this was with the freeway running th rough it like that. I could (and still can) only think of two possibilities with the mountains to the north of the towns…St. George and Richfield. St. George would be well of his course. And I had had the impression that the town of Richfield was further from the freeway… but that is a good example of perspective and how it changes with elevation. That little space above the nose of the C-130 is the area that I was thinking of being bigger on the ground that it looks in the air. Its Richfield, Utah Vegetation textures on both versions match rather well.

When I saw the next GM shot, I was sure it was Bryce Canyon National Park even though that was off his planned course. I spent a lot of time flying and looking in that area before finally finding the correct spot, looking quite a bit less beautiful in FS9. it’s the NE shoulder of Boulder Mountain near Torrey, Utah. We've even camped at the base of the rocks in from of the V-35's nose.

The next one was one of the easiest for me to recognize. The Henry Mountains in SE Utah. I’ve seen them a few times from the ground and there is no mistaking them from the air… in real life or on the sim. The “ground cloud” had me going for a bit. But when I saw the area in FS9 I realized that its just the way the sun has the desert with vast sections of exposed sandstone lit. FSX definitely has some great detail.

GM didn’t get any shots of Lake Powell, one of my favorite places on this earth. Its surrounded by desert… hot desert… but its waters are beautiful and clear and cool…. Providing some great boating adventure and fun.

With that I leave Utah for NW Arizona and some spectacular country… which both versions do quite well with. That’s the next post.

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Welshflyer Chief Captain

Great comparisons and shots Spider, this page loaded like a "bat outta hell" (someone should write a song about that it's a catchy title Very Happy ). Glad to see you solved the problem! Very Happy

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Very glad to hear that Welsh. Now I'll lay awake tonight thinking of words to the new song Bat Outta Hell. I'm sure the Beattles woulda done it if we'd asked them.

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VegasFlyer Chief Captain

SpiderWings wrote:

Very glad to hear that Welsh. Now I'll lay awake tonight thinking of words to the new song Bat Outta Hell. I'm sure the Beattles woulda done it if we'd asked them.

Too bad Joh Lenon is not among us, he would've made a super hit song. Great shots SW, and great commentery too. I flew accross Utah 2 weeks ago enrote to Las Vegas from Denver. Amazing scenery! Cheers!

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

The best part is that down on the ground there are soooooooo many neat places to see and discover. Growing up, I thought that it had to have pine trees all over it to be pretty scenery. But I've really grown to love the desert areas also. You'd be amazed at some of the things found in it. Well not you VF as you live in the desert and have surely seen what I'm talking about. Have you ever been out to Red Rock Canyon west of your city?

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VegasFlyer Chief Captain

I'm quite new to Las Vegas. I know about Red Rock Canyon, I've been in Red Rod Casion and Hotel but not at the actual site. Since my mom works on selling tours to Grand Canyon and all that kind of stuff I can get a free helicopter tour of Grand Canyoun which I can't wait to go on to and a free bus tour of Grand Canyon. Other possibilities are Area 51 and lots of other interesting places. To tell you the truth it's pretty cool living in the desert, since I love scorching heat and clear blue skyes! Wink

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

I'm with you on the clear blue skies... but the scorching heat is definitely a downer for me. We do most of our outings in the fall, spring, and winter.

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Welshflyer Chief Captain

Oh you lucky, lucky people Very Happy , it's the middle of July and it has'nt stopped raining for a month here Sad !

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VegasFlyer Chief Captain

Welshflyer wrote:

Oh you lucky, lucky people Very Happy , it's the middle of July and it has'nt stopped raining for a month here Sad !

Lucky you, I still haven't adapted to this desert climate. Back in Europe, when it's hot for a couple of days you now there will be a downpour sooner or later! Wink

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Welshflyer wrote:

Oh you lucky, lucky people Very Happy , it's the middle of July and it has'nt stopped raining for a month here Sad !

You think "lucky" but we actually haven't had any rain here for at least two months, maybe longer because I can't remember if it has rained at all since April. We could sure use some of your water over here. Rolling Eyes Plus I love a rainy day... but a month of it... I don't think so. Blink

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

I start the second section of retracing Greekman72's Las Vegas to Salt Lake flights with one of my all time favorite shots ever. It is GM's Bonanza V35 over Marble Canyon at the upper end of Grand Canyon National Park. The one following, by me with FS9 just doesn't compare in this case.

So you don't get confused, remember that I'm heading the opposite direction than GM did. I'll also put in extra shots of my journey between those that match his.

The next six are GM departing, and me arriving Grand Canyon airport - all taken within just a few seconds of each other respectively and from several angles.

I didn't land at Grand Canyon as GM did. The C-130 moves along a little quicker I think. Instead I decided to circle back and climb up for a better view of the canyon. It doesn't seem as large from up there. Still, you should be able to recognize the same areas as in the previous few shots taken closer to the ground. I've been to the Grand Canyon a number of times, but this high altitude perspective was really enlightening.

In this next shot you can see a lot of the canyon that can only be visited on the river... or near it as GM did flying down in the canyon. In the distance you can see Lake Mead near Las Vegas. Have a good look at how narrow and twisted this part of the canyon is so you can better appreciate some shots to come... of me trying to match GM's feat of flying within the canyon... but me in the Hercules.

Same location looking back to the commonly viewed section of the Grand Canyon.

And now... here I go... from FL400 to just a few feet above the bottom of the canyon! Doesn't look too bad does it... so far?

But then... it gets a bit hairy.

The C-130 proved to be quite agile but there were a couple of times I had to use its excellent climbing ability to belly up to a canyon wall and climb out in order to make a turn or two.

But I was surprised to be able to fly 95% of it down inside the canyon. The Hercules is amazing and if you want a rush and a challenge, give it a try through the lower part of the Grand Canyon. Its a lot of fun! Hint: Its a good idea to have a second window open with a top down view so you have an idea ahead of time of whats around the next bend.

I did make it to McKarren Field at Las Vegas. And there, got my final shot to compare to GM's excellent shots.

But I still needed to get to Santa Monica... but not until spending the evening in the city of sin. I didn't gamble in the traditional sense. Instead I decided to try a new aircraft, one that couldn't be more different from the C-130, and have a tour of the Las Vegas Strip.

A couple of hours later, I left Las Vegas in the dark and completed my transition trip to Santa Monica where my next historic re-creation awaits.

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VegasFlyer Chief Captain

Here's my opinion on your work

Thumbs Up! Thumbs Up! Thumbs Up! Thumbs Up! Thumbs Up! Thumbs Up! Thumbs Up! Thumbs Up! Thumbs Up! Thumbs Up! Thumbs Up! Thumbs Up! Thumbs Up!
Clapping Thumbs Up! Thumbs Up! Thumbs Up! Thumbs Up!

Great job Spider! Very Happy

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Drew B (belgeode) Chief Captain

sweet mother of pearl that was good. I am amazed by those FSX pix... those beat the pants out of ground environment!

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks most kindly VF!

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Welshflyer Chief Captain

Great shots and an excellent comparison once again Spider. As it shows in your shots it's "all there" in FS9 but just not as crisp and clear. Very nice shots and a great piece of flying with the C-130 in the Grand Canyon. As for that last whirlythingy......... Shocked Shocked ,rather you than me Very Happy .

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Since it was so late and dark I didn’t get any screenshots landing in Santa Monica. But here I am waiting for clearance to takeoff on RW 21. Destination San Francisco via Bakersfield, Visalia, Fresno, and Oakland.

I’ll be recreating a typical 1929 Maddux Air Lines 5 flight route in the Ford Tri-Motor.

Already, I’ve rediscovered the need for a refined skill. The Tri-Motor is a bit difficult to taxi and I have to really have a fine touch on the differential breaks to keep it on the taxiways. Hopefully by the end of the run, I’ll be much better at it. This first take off should be interesting… at least until I get enough speed to get the tail up.

The slanted windshield frame really plays tricks with your mind as you try to keep the plane straight.

Luckily, the Tri-Motor gets into the air rather quickly at moderate speed… around 40 kias… so I didn’t have much time to drive her off the side of the runway.

Once in the air, she’s really easy to fly. Have to work at pitch a bit though. Here’s a look over my right shoulder, back to the airport.

Then I just pointed her up the compass heading to Bakersfield. Just hold that and look for checkpoint landmarks.

I don’t know if it was just general haze blowing in off the ocean or if it was the notorious LA smog, but visibility could have been much better.

I didn’t find any performance specs on the Tri-motor so I decided to do some testing of my own to determine maximum level speed and maximum maintainable altitude. Altitude first.

Found it at 11,500 just as we arrived over Bakersfield.

Had a good time diving on a left downwind for RW34

After a quick stop to let a few folks off and board a few more, we were off for Visalia. My altitude testing had put us about 45 minutes behind schedule.

Anybody know what the deal is with this airport east of Wasco?

I continue to adhere to the navigation tools of the period. No GPS. Needing to have a sharp eye and a pair of binoculars to find the correct airport.

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VegasFlyer Chief Captain

Way to go SW, those are fantastic shots and as always great follow up comments. You're back on a roll! Very Happy Thumbs Up!

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Welshflyer Chief Captain

Great shots and commentary as always Spider, i especially like the binocular shot Very Happy , nicely done!

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Drew B (belgeode) Chief Captain

Absolutely outstanding flight there... That is a beautiful plane too... almost makes me wanna get one in rl just because lol.

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks guys. Its nice to have a little bit more modern aircraft that what I've flown in to this point... on the recreation flights.

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Drew B (belgeode) Chief Captain

I dunno Spider I could go either way... while yeah the modern convenience of things like GPS makes flying and navigating easy... I have a soft spot for those old barnstormers of yesteryear.

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

belgeode wrote:

I dunno Spider I could go either way... while yeah the modern convenience of things like GPS makes flying and navigating easy... I have a soft spot for those old barnstormers of yesteryear.

Well I can't recommend these historic re-creates enough. I've learned so much with them and have really had a a lot of fun belgeode!

After another stop, made extra quick to try to make up time on the schedule, we were off for Fresno.

Here are some views from the tower of our takeoff.

Along the way, the passengers enjoyed the scenery of the San Joaquin Valley while I watched for landmarks.

Still behind schedule, I chose RW12 at Fresno thinking we’d have a shorter taxi to the terminal. It turned out that either direction would have been okay. I would have saved more time coming in from the direction of my approach to the city.

I did however gain 5 minutes on the schedule. But it was starting to look like there was no way I could make San Francisco on time.

So I just decided to relax a bit and enjoy the flight to Oakland. Crossing the Diablo Range was a beautiful surprise. From having been around the area on the ground several times, I had no idea there was so much country in those mountains.

We arrived in the East Bay area which looked more familiar to my real life travel memories. Its always fun to land on RW29 at KOAK.

The next and final flight in the run would be a short, 10 minute, hop across the bay to KSFO, San Francisco.

For landing at large, busy airports, I’ve started taking a few minutes to have a good look at the charts so I know what runway exit I’ll likely want to use to get out of everyone’s way as quickly as possible. Cleared to land RW 28R, I think I’ll just keep the slow Tri-Motor off the ground until we get close to taxiway E.

Worked just right and Ground had me taxiing to Gate B20. This is a busy place and I felt pretty small compared to some of the traffic heading out for takeoffs.

But we made it to the gate with no problem. The passengers didn’t seem to mind being a little late. It had been a good run. The airline wasn’t so happy and told me I was being sent to South America to fly a Tri-Motor for Pan American - Grace. And I would be on my own getting there.

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Drew B (belgeode) Chief Captain

Oh man that was sweet... I remember my last outing to KSFO had me coming in on top of other airlines lol. Traffic was busy shall we say... 3 go arounds before I actually came down on the runway.

Now question... when you are navigating all this... you are using nap of the earth flying? (landmarks), or do you have a flight chart up and just go x amount of miles in a given heading, or follow roads like I saw above?

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VegasFlyer Chief Captain

Bravo, Spider!!!! Excellent journey, fantastic shots and brilliant comments or should I say geography lessons! Great job as always SW! Thumbs Up! Very Happy

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Welshflyer Chief Captain

VegasFlyer wrote:

Bravo, Spider!!!! Excellent journey, fantastic shots and brilliant comments or should I say geography lessons! Great job as always SW! Thumbs Up! Very Happy

I can only agree with VF on this he summed it up quite nicely Very Happy !

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks for the kind words guys. Mostly thanks for following this epic project.

belgeode wrote:

Now question... when you are navigating all this... you are using nap of the earth flying? (landmarks), or do you have a flight chart up and just go x amount of miles in a given heading, or follow roads like I saw above?

Some of both belgeode.

In some of the earlier flights in the Vimmy and Spirit of St. Louis I had to use heading and time to navigate over deserts and large bodies of water. I used the number of miles factored by the ground speed, using my flight slide computer to get that from the indicated air speed and wind adjustments, then watch the clock to determine when the distance should have been covered.

For direction I used the compass to point to a land mark, then flew to it, then did the same. Seems straight forward until cross winds are involved and then you see the value of flying "to" that landmark a little bit sideways. When there are no landmarks... over water and featureless desert then its real important to calculate the wind correction angle, and continually check for changes in wind direction and speed. Both systems work amazingly well and I almost always had the airport in site when the estimated time elapsed.

Note I said almost always.

Where there are roads or railroads or rivers that I can identify on maps.... easy when you have US road atlas... not as easy with a world atlas but often quite possible, I will follow those as much as possible and its a bit less mental. But its really challenging still if you don't have a windshield as in the Spirit of St. Louis transcontinental flights.

Basically I try to think of what was available in the period I'm flying. I quite often fabricate my own terrain-detail maps using the built in sim map feature... BEFORE the flight. I'm assuming that maps were available in most areas in the early 1900's. I guess I should google around that a bit and see if thats true.

If you look at older pages you can see some of those Spider-made maps. Page 3 of this topic has a lot of them... for Vimy Race from London to South Africa. (Its a slow page to load... too many screenies on one page sorry).

Also belgeode check this topic out. I explain what I've learned about wind correction angles and old time navigating.

https://forum.flyawaysimulation.com/forum/topic/24306/learning-about-wind-correction-angles/

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Jake (JarJarBinks) Chief Captain

the way i taxi with a twin prop or more that difficult to taxi is i use the throttle lower power on engine on the side i want to turn to, takes a bit of practice though try it Wink

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Seems like that would surely work JarJar. But with my joy stick I only have one throttle control lever. Do you it with the mouse on the throttle controls in the cockpit?

Now....

Using the FS9 Default flights as they come up... without looking ahead to know what to expect is a fun and unpredictable way to define my next flight missions.

Combine that with my standard procedure of selecting the next "yet to be flown" aircraft from my livery for the transition flights to the next historic re-creation adds yet another element of unpredictability to my adventures. It also provides me with opportunities to usually jump into something a bit more modern from time to time.

What comes up is usually a fun scenario that isn't too hard to imagine. However that's not quite the case this time.

So... help me out here guys. How do I come up with a believable scenario that gets me from San Francisco to Buenos Aires for the next re-creation, 1929 Pan American-Grace Airways run from there to Santiago, Chile which will again be in the Tri-Motor? To be true to my system I need to use the next aircraft available in my livery... the space shuttle... to get there.

Is there a plausible story for doing so? Here is one thing I've been looking at.

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VegasFlyer Chief Captain

I wanna see the day when Americans will ask Ukrainians to transport the space shuttle across the US, unless this is that Russian space shuttle version. Wink

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Well whether its believable or not here is what I've come up with....

Last week weather at both the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and Edwards Air Force Base in California, prohibited landing of the US Space Shuttle. As time ran out it was decided to land it on Yubileiniy Airport's 18,000 foot runway at the Baikonur Cosmodrom in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

The landing occurred without a hitch, and with the great support of the Russian Space Agency. In a new level of international cooperation, RSA offered to fly the shuttle back to Titusville piggy-backed on the AN-225 originally designed to carry their own shuttle. NASA agreed that this would also further the development of compatible space technology and accepted the Russians' offer.

Although the route was longer in ground miles, the Russians took advantage of the jet stream and flew east across Russia, the Aleutian Islands, the coast of Alaska, Canada, and the US Pacific Northwest. There, the jet stream continued an unusual southerly track and the decision was made to leave it and refuel in San Francisco.

As luck (mine, not his) would have it, the co-pilot had a bad reaction to some sea-food at Fisherman's Wharf. A rare occurrence, I assure you, and one most often attributed to an individual's allergic reaction. And… I just happened to be in the right place at the right time to meet the AN-225’s Captain and get offered the right-hand seat on the second flight on to Florida.

I don’t usually edit my screenshots, other than adding some descriptive text, and to be able to show shots with my last ride and the new one sitting near each other on the tarmac. But, in this case, you’ll see that I’ve done some editing to remove the Russian space shuttle and put ours on the An-225. This got a bit tedious as you can imagine when you see just a portion of the screenies I ended up taking. Knowing ahead of time the work involved for each one, I vowed to keep the shots to a bare minimum. But I’m a sucker for interesting pictures.

Here we are waiting for takeoff on RW28L at KSFO (San Francisco).

And then, Captain Kenov gave me quite a surprise.

I thought I was just along for the ride, but Kenov thought I should be put to some use since it was my country’s cargo on our back. With that shock just sinking in, I soon found myself wondering why didn’t ATC give us the longer RW28R!?

I, of course, had to make a swing north of the airport and back over the Golden Gates.

The IFR flight progressed quite well with the An-225’s .77 mach capabilities. Each hour of flying found us in a new time zone.

It was starting to get dark as we crossed the Mississippi River.

When ATC started me through the approach to the NASA landing facility, I found myself more nervous over a landing than I’d been for quite some time.

But as nervous as I was, I was still awed by the sight of NASA’s VAB (Vehicle Assembly Building). I allowed a few seconds of pride sweep over me realizing the cargo I had on the back would soon be there preparing for its next launch into outer space.

The AN-225 floated in smooth as can be. It helped my nerves a lot to know that this runway was 15,000 feet long.

Then I realized it only had one taxiway off the runway and that was clear back at the end I’d flown in over. Knowing that swampy ground wasn’t far off the runway, I found that the AN-225 can turn about on a relatively small piece of ground.

The VAB loomed large as we got parked and shut down the Anotonov’s six engines. We’d made it clear across the country in just three hours - 820 mph. Not too bad for a huge bird.

As I was gawking out the right window at the VAB, Captain Kenov, tapped me on the shoulder and told me to look off to the left a ways. What a site to see the sister of the shuttle we‘d brought home out there on the launch pad ready for lift off in the next few days!

As we shut down the AN-225 and deboarded, a black SUV pulled up to take us to HQ for a debriefing. As we rode away, we saw a whole convoy of vehicles of all types heading toward the plane and shuttle behind us.

I can’t tell you what was discussed in the debriefing, but I can show you a picture I took from the top of the VAB the next day while on a special tour of the facility.

I sat up there and wondered if NASA would ever consider a shuttle landing in Brazil. In fact, Brazil recently had an astronaut up on the international space station…and he came back on the US Space Shuttle… AND he took off from Baikonur! Too many coincidences, I think. Karma was smiling on me.

This flight and presentation was one of the more fun projects I've done. I apologize for the numerous shots, but I just couldn't boil them down any more.

The AN-225 was a lot of fun. Its a bit tricky on the ground... you have to be careful not to crunch an outer engine or wing tip while taxiing. She can rock back and forth a bit.

Thanks for following.... and bearing with my overactive imagination. Wink

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VegasFlyer Chief Captain

Great shots SW!!! I love the An-225 and the Space Shuttle on top of it. Looks like you've made a really nice landing. One thing is funny though. An-225 has 6 engines and you can ony see 4 trails in the sky. I guess that's the way FS is programmed. Oh, and one more thing. I can't imagine the time when the US will ask Russians to give them a hand in transporting a Space Shuttle across the country. Great job Spider! Thumbs Up! Very Happy

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks VF... I was hoping no one would notice the 4 contrails instead of 6. But I really knew that wasn't gonna happen. Everyone here has sharp eyes for such details. How about I forgot to start up those outboard ones? LOL

I'm aware of another flaw in all the images regarding such a transport of the space shuttle. Wonder if you know what I'm referring to.

I told ya it would be a stretch of the imagination to get this flight in. Well... you are gonna have severe imagination strain after the next one. But thats part of the fun for me. Deciding on my system of selecting flights and aircraft and sticking to it and making scenarios that "fit".

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VegasFlyer Chief Captain

SpiderWings wrote:

I'm aware of another flaw in all the images regarding such a transport of the space shuttle. Wonder if you know what I'm referring to.

You got me on this one. The only other flaw, if you can even called one could be the flag on the AN225. It's still the communict one. Other than that, I ain't seein' notin' wrong with two birds. Wink Smile

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Welshflyer Chief Captain

Great shots and commentary Spider, i really enjoyed this one Very Happy ! Nothing wrong with a bit of imagination, that's what FS is all about after all to put these great aircraft in scenarios we'd like to see them in, can't wait to see what you've got lined up next Drool . I'm the same as VF on the flaw, can't find one!

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Drew B (belgeode) Chief Captain

I have to admit that one took me back a few years... when I lived in Florida we used to see the shuttle come in on piggyback. Always an amazing treat.

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks for the comments guys. Appreciate them a lot.

The flaw is that the shuttle has the three engines on it during transport. In pictures I found on line after my post I see that they've either removed them or covered them with something more aerodynamic.

http://futurshox.net/aeroview.php?level=image&id=1817

The model I downloaded isn't intended for this scenario however... its for returning from orbit and seeing if you can land it at Edwards.

Nice catch on the flag VF.... if I'd had thought I could've updated that easily enough.... well sorta easy.

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Okay.... I can't even imagine the scenario that would have me in the space shuttle on launch and then have me pilot it to a landing at Buenos Aires, Argentina! (By the way... I previously said Brazil... sorry about that. As much as I love geography I do have a special fondness for Rio De Janeiro and it just got into my head when I was thinking of this scenario earlier.)

So I'm not going to try to explain how my next flight could possibly come to be. But truth be told.... I can't even imagine myself in real life flying any of these aircraft! Laughing

However, I do like to get a true sense of the flights I do and so just like in the real world some time has been spent preparing for the this space shuttle flight. I'm quite aware of the basic nature of shuttle launches and flights but I wanted to get a bit more involved with the specifics - especially in terms of navigation aspects - how they would set up a flight that would permit a landing in Buenos Aires.

So, I've learned about orbital velocity, orbital inclination, mu (gravity relative to an orbit), phases of the launch and phases of the landing process. I've used a great circle calculator on line and made several spreadsheets for computing data and plot points. I've learned how to compute the period of an orbit and the speed and altitude required for a particular period or the reverse calculations.

I've also made a whole world map from the in-sim mapping option. If anyone is interested I can get the bitmap to you. Its pretty nice, but large and therefore has to be reduced to post work with it on-line.

Anway, I am ready for the launch and flight on the space shuttle! Just waiting for the right launch window.

Here is a small version of the flight plan that will have me piloting the last 7 minutes of an 11 hour 20 minute flight that will take me around the world 7 5/8 times for approx 198,488 miles to land at SAEZ RW 11/29 which is only 11,000 feet long - 4,000 shorter than the landing facility at Titusville, Florida.

Thats good for the overall map, but if you are interested in reading the detail notes here are two halves of the plan on a larger scale.

My next post will be of the actual flight.... the landing phase anyway since thats all the sim will allow me to do right now. Wish me luck, because I'll need it touching down at 189 kias after a 7 minute decent from 100,000 feet and a speed reduction in that time from 2500mph (mach 3.74).

I've read that the shuttle has robust brakes. I sure hope so. I don't know if Nick Needham's shuttle has the drag chute programmed in it either.

Oh... a note about the title of this topic. Historic flights. I guess I'm making history in my transitions to the next default flight.

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VegasFlyer Chief Captain

You are amazing Spider! Where do you come up with these ideas, and the prep work that you go through for a virtual flight is out of this world. I know you 'll make it but I still wish you luck on landing. Can't wait to see the images. Very Happy

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks VF. It will be interesting... scary to. I've watched several shuttle landings on TV in the past year or so and I'm very impressed with the slowing and descent... and the cockpit view on final... sheesh... have that image in my mind and wonder how I'm going to do when I see the runway way down there only a half mile out.

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Drew B (belgeode) Chief Captain

Make sure you change brake pads before liftoff lol. I cannot WAIT to see what you got when this is done!

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Welshflyer Chief Captain

belgeode wrote:

Make sure you change brake pads before liftoff lol. I cannot WAIT to see what you got when this is done!

Spider i'm with belgeode on this one Very Happy , i can't wait to see the screenshots of you bringing the shuttle in! Going by your past shots i'm sure we're in for a treat and i'll bet there'll be some interesting commentary to go with them.
Good luck! Very Happy
Tennnnnn........ninnnnnne......eighttttttttt........ will someone please fix this megaphone... Shocked .

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Excellent idea belgeode.... I hope the techs did that because the shuttle is already strapped to the big tank and boosters standing next to the gantry. So many details to consider here. Laughing

Actually I read somewhere that the shuttle is the most complex aircraft ever made.

Welsh? Commentary from me? lol... and errrr... can you hold that countdown at eighttttt there.... I think maybe tomorrow we can restart it.

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Welshflyer Chief Captain

OK Spider stop teasing us where are these shuttle shots! Drool

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VegasFlyer Chief Captain

Welshflyer wrote:

OK Spider stop teasing us where are these shuttle shots! Drool

You know, I've been thinking the same thing. Maybe his launch is delayed due to poor weather. Wink

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Welshflyer Chief Captain

Or according to recent reports, drunk Astronauts! Cheers!
Spider dont forget, only five and drive Rolling Eyes ! (joking of course).

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VegasFlyer Chief Captain

Welshflyer wrote:

Spider dont forget, only five and drive Rolling Eyes ! (joking of course).

ROFL

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Drew B (belgeode) Chief Captain

I'll use this opportunity to get popcorn.

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Popcorn? Now that sounds good! Wonder if it pops the same in zero gravity.

Sorry to be so slow guys. I don't know how I keep coming up with ideas... or more important why I do and why I don't just say its a nice idea and put some of them aside and just move along. But one thing I like about my system for FS is that as I move through it, I find new things to try and then end up learning some new things as I did a lot of in learning about shuttle orbits. And now... you'll soon see that my ideas keep coming.

Maybe I've been hitting the bottle too hard. Laughing (just kidding cause I'm actually a non-drinker... unless you count coke... which my wife does... she says I'm at three a day.. at least! - gotta have something to keep me awake as I'm flying... right?)

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

VegasFlyer wrote:

Welshflyer wrote:

OK Spider stop teasing us where are these shuttle shots! Drool

You know, I've been thinking the same thing. Maybe his launch is delayed due to poor weather. Wink

The weather has been beautiful and I wish I was able to spend more time out on the beach. But you are correct. Something has indeed been poor....

I'll explain.

I've had a bit of delay because the folks at NASA thought I should show I can fly the space shuttle before they send me up. Nope The thought about "rocket science" went through my head, but prudence kept my mouth shut.

So a technician named Tom led me up to a small office in the upper corners of the VAB at Kennedy Space Center to where they have several computers with sims for shuttle landing skill assessment and practice. Its amazing how much their sim for landing the shuttle at Edwards AFB resembled my very own.

Tom showed me how to get started on a final approach to Edwards' RW 4, and sat back with a cold Pepsi (nothing added he assured me) to watch. I figured I'd show him and we'd soon be outta here and onto other matters.

Okay... its a bit steep and fast but shouldn't be a problem with that big long runway ahead.

Two days later, I found my confidence severely shaken. I'd done 100 attempts on that RW 4 final with far less than desirable results!

Even though the graph of my first 100 attempts showed some improvement in the latter groups, I had absolutely no confidence in why I was successful at the few I was. I felt as if the computer was surely programmed wrong. But Tom assured me that it was fine and stuck 10 landings in a row to show me. So I tried another 100 on the second day.

I was more discouraged than ever. I'd thought that I'd eventually figure out what to do exactly.... how to feel the stick... feel the land coming up... but at the end of day two I was beginning to wonder if I had the right stuff. This has been the most difficult craft to land of any I've ever tried. Wall Bashing

One significant challenge is that as soon as you level out for gear deployement and touch down, speed is shunned at an alarming rate. Which is good because you can't put the gear down over 340 kias. But after that.... Surrender

I must tell you that my misses were nearly always right on the center line at the appropriate distance down the runway and often looked like they'd be good until I blew a tire... or both... or collapsed one or both of the gear for hitting too hard. My only consolation was that for 99% of the misses, we would all have walked away with only a bruise or two.

Tom had said... "Don't worry Spider... no one will ever see all those. Just focus on the good ones." But a few days later, I was presented the following picture in a nice shiny frame.

In the meantime, I'd tried yet another 100 approaches on the third day and finally started showing a bit of improvement. But even still, I felt no confidence in how to assure that I was going to stick the landing in each and every one of those 100 tries.

But I was learning a few things and started to feel that I could get it with more practice.

So, as you can see it will still be a day or so until they clear me to try to land Discovery at Beunos Aires or anywhere else and they tell me I can fly. Kick

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Drew B (belgeode) Chief Captain

ROFLMAO LOL LOL... OMG Spider that was CLASSIC!!!!

Absolutely awesome story and those pix in the montage omg... I am still laughing.

mental note to self- do not download nasa sim.

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

lol... glad you liked it belgeode. Do download it. Its a good challenge but I think it can be mastered. Would love to hear what experience others would have with it.

Look at avsim for Nicks Shuttle Challenge (nscfe.zip)

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Welshflyer Chief Captain

Excellent storyline and brilliant shots Spider. Practise makes perfect as they say, and i'm sure you'll get there! Looking forward to the next session, but like Belgeode i think i'll give it a miss! Very Happy

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks Welsh. I'm still practicing. Thanks for the well wishes.

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VegasFlyer Chief Captain

Outstanding story and some first class shots SW. I really enjoyed looking and reading your story. You are already doing pretty good with the shuttle. I have no doubt you'll be landing like a pro in no time. Very Happy

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks VF. The shuttle landings are tough. And just when I get thinking I'm doing good, then I try another of the scenarios included and its tough as can be all over again. I'm trying to get good enough that my first look at Beunos Aires will be a success. So far I've landed it at Edwards, Australia, Antartica, and now trying three airports in England. Its fun... and hopefully good training... to try to judge the proper descent rate for the various places. You don't have any chances to make a wrong decision on that or on what turns are needed to line up. I have to admit, I'm a little nervous about pulling Beunos Aires off when trying that for the first time. "NASA" has no sim for that scenario.

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Welshflyer Chief Captain

Spider i think you're doing a fantastic job considering the shuttle has the gliding characteristics of a housebrick Very Happy !

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Drew B (belgeode) Chief Captain

All I can say is you are a far braver man than I am... Unless we got engines burning there is NO WAY I am gonna pilot as Welsh calls it... a "housebrick"...

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks guys.... my continued practice with it has gotten a bit complicated by a video I decided to make for shuttle landings to record what I've decided is a rather significant milestone in my simflying experience. So I've not only been learning about space shuttle and orbits, but also about recording clips, and editing a movie. Its been fun also but very time consuming.

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Drew B (belgeode) Chief Captain

We can wait... I know you will have something awesome for us next!

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Welshflyer Chief Captain

Where are you Spider? Shocked Come on back now, don't leave us like this! Very Happy

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Drew B (belgeode) Chief Captain

I second that!!!

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VegasFlyer Chief Captain

WOW, I've just checked when was the last time Spider posted something and it was way back in August. Shocked I womder where he is? Confused

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Welshflyer Chief Captain

Well gents i can tell you Spider has been a bit busy lately but as soon as he gets some time he'll be back with us Very Happy .

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Wow.... good to know I was missed. Sorry to be gone so long. I think I understand that last comment Welsh..... or maybe not....

I came on just now to see where I left off with this thread and see that my last comment was about the video I was making of my shuttle landing practise. Did I not put a link to it on here? Here it is just in case I didn't.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3923681364288904596&q=spiderwings+space+shuttle&total=1&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=0

I couldn't find a forum ready link at you-tube so if you can't click that, just copy and paste I guess.

The movie is long. Can you imagine me being brief about anything? Laughing

And as you'll see it doesn't start with the space shuttle but instead with two of the hardest challenges I'd had prior to it... and this shows how simple they are in retrospect.

If you haven't seen it then check it out. It shows only the good landings at each airport included. I'll try to catch you up on my progress with that "flying brick" soon.

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Looking at what I've put here so far got me excited to get up to date. That will take a couple of posts at least. Here's a start.

I'd left off after having done 300 final approaches on the NASA sim for Edwards. Not even 50% success rate.

Well I kept it up and the next 100 were much better.

I nailed the last 16 in a row! They boys at NASA got a good shot at the 400th and framed it for me.

Then they told me I needed to practise the full 7 minute sim... the one that starts 85 miles out and 90,000 feet up. Here's a sequence of one of those. At the start, the main engines fire for a few seconds to get the speed up past what FS9 is used to.... to about 2500mph.

In the thin air the shuttle then just acts like an object flung through the sky. Any attempt to steer much usually ends in disaster until she finds her way... on her own mostly but with some light touch on the stick for me... down to 50,000 and then you can handle her.... except she drops fast and you have to match speed, descent, and distance to get it right.

The excitement of the whole procedure made me lose my concentration at the end and I realized, along with the NASA folks that much more practise was in order.

The you-tube video mentioned in my previous post addresses a lot of that.

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Welshflyer Chief Captain

OOps! Smile Nice shots Spider and great to see you back Very Happy , i think you mis-understood the last post, it's my sig and it refers to me Very Happy !See below!

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks Welsh. No I didn't misunderstand... well I didn't realize it was your signature until later.... but I thought I'd go along with the same line of thought in my comment. I was laughing pretty good when I first read it.

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

After more work on the Edwards module of the sim, I became quite proficient... there. It was decided that I now needed to try out a variety of other airports around the world to sharpen my skills.

McMurdo Station in Antartica - around 10,000 long but all ice.

Some would have short runways. The thinking being that if I could get the shuttle landed on those then even with the first sighting, Beunos Aires would be easy in comparison. Those short ones were pressure packed for sure but I did manage to land several times at each. Crashed many more however.

Stanthorpe, Queensland, Australia - 2,934 feet long

And while Buenos Aires is not located in the mountains, some mountainous landings could only help make me even better... right?

Katmandu, Nepal

Turtmann, Switzerland

Some of the logic for practising in the mountains was to improve the ability to find the airports while coming down from mach 4 and 100,000 feet with little control until I got under 50,000 feet, at which time finding the airport fast was more critical than that elevation would make you think.

Somewhere in Nepal

Pokhara, Nepal

The concentration factor, melded with a hardy confidence is what is needed to land the shuttle. Those hard to land places were a rush and felt rewarding as could be when I succeeded, but all the other times really shook my confidence which started to get in the way of the critical concentration.

So it was decided to practise only at airports with similar length runways as I would be experiencing at Beunos Aires - 10,000 feet long. The NASA sim team programmed in a number of such airports and had me moving from one to the next over and over again. But before I could change airports I had to make how ever many attempts I needed to get a successful landing.

Las Vegas

My home airport - Vernal, Utah (around 6,201 feet)

Salt Lake City

Cardiff, Wales, England

Kangerlussauq, Greenland

St. Johns, Newfoundland

New York - JFK

Philadelphia

Washington, DC - Reagan

Chicago

Cleveland

Detroit

St. Louis

Memphis

New Orleans

Dallas

Kansas City

Too many to show I realize.... Lincoln, Nebraska - Denver - Alburqueque - Pheonix - Los Angeles - Portland - Seattle - Paris - London - Gatwick

I think you get the picture without pictures of them all. The point is I cycled through all of these a number of times getting used to finding my way to a different airport each time.

The following shows how well I did with 48 landings on each picture. The first includes 43 attempts before changing from mountainous and short runways to the larger cities above.

12%

19%

42%

37%

60%

48%

The success rate still just wasn't good enough. So a new standard for success was built into the training.

For every bad landing, I'd have to do two good ones at the same airport to make up for it. That way the number of successes would always be higher than the number of failures - in fact it would be at least twice as high. Repeat landings at the same airport were always easier.

If I landed on the first attempt at one of the airports then, I'd just move on to the next. But that hardly ever happened and that fact was worrisome considering thats exactly what I'd have to do at Buenos Aires.

However, the new system worked well. It really made me focus and concentrate much more on the intricacies of landing the shuttle. Fewer misses improved my confidence. And my success rate did improve dramatically.

For the sake of time I stopped taking screenshots of all the landing attempts. As you can see I'd already taken too many.

But I would like the reader to get a good idea that I am serious about my goal to successfully land the shuttle at Buenos Aires on my only try. This should also give you some appreciation of the weight that this endeavor has placed upon my shoulders.

Within a week with the new system I was stringing successful landings together in longer and longer chains. It was time to go for the "real" thing now. Preparations are now being made for a shuttle launch.

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VegasFlyer Chief Captain

Clap Thumbs Up! Very Happy

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Welshflyer Chief Captain

Spider, now that's what i call dedication to the cause, a superb set of screenshots in HOW MANY landings, good and bad Shocked, it's great to see you back here and posting such great screenshots, i'm certainly not going to be trying that anytime soon Smile .Welcome back! Very Happy



Last edited by Welshflyer on Sat Dec 08, 2007 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total
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Drew B (belgeode) Chief Captain

Amazing pictures... lemme know when you land in Pittsburgh.... I'll let you park at the Steeler Air building hahaha.

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

The big day has finally arrived. Discovery is ready to go on KSC launch pad 39A.

T minus 4 hours 8 minutes 34 seconds and counting.

Here's a look at the ground track for the short mission

7 full orbits, 1/2 orbit for reentry, 11 hours and 7 minutes duration if weather holds for Beunos Aires

T minus 4 minutes 55 seconds. A NASA F-15 flies over the pad to assure no other aircraft approach the vicinity.

T minus 2 seconds.... it looks like a go!

I feel a tremenous shudder as the booster rockets fire. This is it! I glance down at my shoulder to see the mission patch and still wonder if this is only a dream.

The roar is deafening but I hardly notice because of the intense shudder and vibration as I sense a slight upward motion. There is nothing for me to do except sit tight and get ready for the ride of my life!

A monitor on the panel flashes with static and then a clear picture. Its a live shot taken from one of two NASA F-15's flying in close formation 3 miles inland from the pad.

There is no longer any disbelief in my mind now as the the force of the mighty booster rockets increase thrust and the G forces pushing me into the back of my seat increase sharply.

70 seconds later I can't believe the G-forces pushing me back into the seat. The centrifuge was intense in training but it didn't seem nearly as strong as this now. Perhaps the roar of the rockets and the heavy vibrations make it seem so much worse.

Through eyelids that I can barely open, I glimpse another view of the monitor. Its a shot from one of the cameras on the roof of the VAB.

The feelings pressing and racking my body make it abundantly clear that I'm at the head of that white plume.

The monitor switches to a different angle... from something pretty high in the air itself.

Its from a camera on the NASA 747.

The violent vibration smooths out considerably over the next 30 seconds but the G-forces continue to build, and the roar of the rockets continue as loud as ever.

Then suddenly the noise stops. Complete silence and the ride is smooth. I think we must be in space!

Then.... another kick in the butt.... and an explosive roar starts with more powerful shudders and vibrations as the 3 main shuttle engines fire and I'm forced back into the seat even harder than before.

6 more minutes pass with the deafening roar of the main engines... and the powerful shudder they send through the ship.

Then instant silence as the commander to my left shuts them down. Its smooth and quiet and I realize we are in space. I feel like I could float right out of my seat now. The relief is overwhelming. I notice papers on the clipboard rise upwards.

Then I'm shocked once again by something I should have remembered was about to happen. A sharp explosive bang and jolt. We've just jettisoned the main fuel tank.

I know now that we are in orbit and will continue on a straight line around the globe as it rotates below us... until we mauever into position for the deorbit burn some 9 hours from now.

In just nine minutes we are already clearing the east coast of Newfoundland.

I think back to when I flew the recreation of the Spirit of St. Louis's first Atlantic Crossing that took so many hours pm nearly the same ground track!

I realize we'll be across the Atlantic now in only 7 or 8 minutes this time.

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Drew B (belgeode) Chief Captain

All I can say is..... WOW... Truly the ride of a lifetime.

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks Bel.... glad to see someone still watching this. I realize its been a long ordeal.

I hope everyone will realize that these shots are totally doctored up. However I did acutally fly the trip around the world the number of orbits indicated on the plan above. I used the Nasa F-15, autopilot of course, and 16x time compression which comes quite close to 90 minutes per "orbit". I also had to set fuel for unlimited of course. I'll talk a bit more about the process of "simulating" shuttle orbits as we go.

For the screen shots, I'd pause, save the position, then switch to the shuttle, snap the shot, and edit it to make for black space. So the challenge wasn't just for landing the shuttle but also grew into learning how to simulate orbiting the earth and I have to tell you that it was pretty cool. Especially in the top down view, zoomed out to see the full globe and watch the progress of the red cross (aircraft position) move across the surface. I really felt a lot like I was orbiting. Anyone that is interested in trying it and would like more details than given here should feel free to pm me.

-----

41 minutes after the evening launch, we've flown through an entire night and see the first of 8 sunrises that we will encounter in the next ten and a half hours.

If you read the notes on the previous shot you'll be happy to see subsequent shots where I decided to go ahead and black the sky out. But it seem like too much work at first when I was just getting the hang of it all.

Here we are just finishing up orbit #1

On the third obit I got some great evening views of my home state of Utah. The first shows the Great Salt Lake. You can see Discovery's belly in the distance at the top of the shot.

This is in SW Wyoming - just NW of my home in Northeastern Utah. The lake near the left side horizon is Flaming Gorge Reservoir and is 91 miles long. The southern end is in Utah. My home town is just over the first dark ridge which would be the Uintah Mountains.

My wife knew about what time to expect a chance to see us pass and "snapped the following shot" from the hills south of our town.

An hour later we are back in afternoon daylight passing north of New Zealand and by shear luck (truly) I got a shot of the shuttle with a lightning strike on the surface south of Kings Island.

Seventeen minutes later we find ourselves 218 miles directly over Oahu and can actually see the man-made strip of land for Honolulu's RW 8R right in front of the shuttle's nose.

On the next orbit I decide to explain some of the views I've found enjoyable for the simulated orbiter.

Using the GPS to hold straight lines around the world using airports and navaids works well over land masses but there is a problem in the South Atlantic and South Indian Oceans where no such waypoints are available in the sim. So I had to finally learn how to maker user defined waypoints for the GPS to reach for. Its something I tried doing several times before but for this I really had to finally figure it out and it worked well.

As we approach Indonesia late in orbit 6, we use manuevering rockets to begin rotating the shuttle to an upside down, backgward oriention for the deorbit burn which will occur in the same area on orbit 7.

9 hours and 38 minutes into the mission we cross over the east coast of South America a few hundred miles north of Buenos Aires. One more time around the globe and I'll be landing in about 1 hour and 35 minutes.

33 minutes later the we fire the main engines for 3 minutes for the deorbit burn and I realize that the moment of truth for all my shuttle landing practice is about 58 minutes away.

The manuevering rockets are fired again to reposition Discover into a nose forward position as our descent from over 1.1 million feet towards the atmosphere at 400,000 feet begins.

As we fly over the coast of SW United States, we enter our final "day" of the 11 hour trip. Halfway down the Baja California we encounter the first traces of atmosphere with 4900 miles to go. We are at 400,000 feet and still moving 16,900 mph.

1700 miles later and at 250,000 feet aircraft control surfaces start to become effect and we start a series of 80 banks and rolls (under computer guidance) to reduce speed from 16,500mph

The computer uses the GPS to steer east of the straight line orbit we've been in since launch and guides Discovery across Chili and Argentina.

10 hours 59 minutes and 43 seconds into the mission the computer gives me control of the aircract. We are 82 miles out at 95,000 feet and still moving 2,700mph.

So now I have my hands full and will have to tell you how it goes later.

Its the moment of truth. Time to see if the months of training and the 1,000 plus simulated practice landings has paid off. Failure is not an option.

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Welshflyer Chief Captain

Great to see you back in orbit Spider Very Happy , this is a superbly descriptive account that has obviously taken a great amount of work with fantastic screenshots. Thanks for sharing it with us , i'm looking forward to the next stage!

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Well its been almost a month since my last post on this thread which I apologize for letting get so far off track (historic default flights) while becoming caught up in the challenge of landing my transistion craft, the space shuttle.

Finally I've made my landing attempt at Buenos Aires and here's how it went.

I'll let you look at the video before posting a few still shots here.

Then I'll try really hard to focus on the historic flights more than the transistion flights.

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Welshflyer Chief Captain

I've already posted in the general forum, but, i'll say again, great job Spider and good to see you back Very Happy !

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Drew B (belgeode) Chief Captain

SPIDER i just watched that video that was freaking awesome!!!!!

I cannot believe you pulled it off!!! Outstanding work there man!!

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks again guys! Your comments are very much appreciated.

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Well I have to step back in time now and resume my recreating of all the default FS9 historic flights.

1929 and the reason that I had to figure out how to get to Buenos Aires after my last historic flight ending in San Francisco.

1st Leg to Mendoza - Leaving the airport that I'd landed the Space Shuttle at.

5 hours of uneventful flying later I'm landing at Mendoza, I realize I don't have enough fuel to make Mendoza. Here I am taking off from Villa Reynolds (SAOR), after refueling.

I got my first view of the Andes as I approached Mendoza. It has been a number of years since I have been to this part of South America in the sim.

After all my time with the space shuttle on the transistion between historic flights, I found landing the Trimotor with a slight crosswind to be much less intimidating than ever before.

The next leg was to fly over the Andes Mountains via Uspallat Pass (12,500 feet). I wasn't sure if the Trimotor was capable of that altitude and prepared for an interesting flight. I might have been somewhat worried about the mountains, but found the views spectacular even with a fair amount of haze in the air.

You'll have to forgive the text on some of my screenshots. I'm more into telling of the adventure of these trips and making notes on the pictures is very helpful for me and hopefully will be informative to you the reader.

Speaking of adventure. I found more than I cared for as I got closer to the pass and realized I was too heavy to get over.

But you'll see that I eventually made it over and had a much more enjoyable trip down into Santiago

Along the way I had a chance to check my livery list to see what was the next yet-to-be flown aircraft for the transisition flight to the next historic flight out of Columbus, Ohio. The Airbus 320 should get me there with no trouble after a good night's sleep.

But while getting a bite to eat in the food court, I borrowed a fellow travellers lap top to see what was happening in one of my favorite flight sim forums and realized that I still had another flight to do before the day was out. A fortuitous snow storm set the stage perfectly and I was lucky enough to borrow an F-15 for the task. You can see one of the shots of that trip in another part of the forums. If anyone is interested I could present some of the others in a new topic. Just let me know. I think there are some other good ones there.

Finally here is my new map, #2 in the series since the first one got a bit busy with all the historic and kiosk flights, and the transistion flights between. This map may not last too long before I have to start #3 as you'll notice the most recent transistion flight (shuttle) drew quite a few lines around the globe.

Here's the first map in case anyone is interested in where these default flights will take you... up to 1929 that is.

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Bran09 Captain

nice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Very Happy

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Drew B (belgeode) Chief Captain

Spider I love your stories cause you fly by the seat of your pants haha.

That bit about trying to get over the Andes and being too heavy... priceless!!!

Well done!!!

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Luke (warlord40) Captain

You know they still have the original plane sitting in a hanger at brisbane international airport in Queensland

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Cheeks Chief Captain

Great shots SpiderWings. I also loved the bit over the mountain, scary stuff Shocked

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Chris Morris (morris91) Chief Captain

Very Nice i just read all your histroric flight you have done, Well Done.

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Welshflyer Chief Captain

Excellent recap and screenshots Spiderwings Very Happy , i also enjoyed the tenseness of trying to get over the mountain. You must have the patience of a saint to do all these historic flights in those old, slow aircraft.
Great to see you back doing what you do best! Cheers!

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks so much for the nice words guys. I'm glad to have you still following my adventures in history.

belgeode - things like getting over the mountain passes is one of my favorite parts of these old aircraft. I knew the Tri-motor could probably make it if I lightened the load. It was sure easier than crossing the Maritime Alps in the Jenny a while back!

warlord40 wrote:

You know they still have the original plane sitting in a hanger at brisbane international airport in Queensland

A Trimotor?! Thats cool. I'd like to see one in real. You know, when I first started flying them I thought they were about the ugliest plane in the stock livery. But she has started looking a lot prettier to me after the last couple of flights. She is fun to fly. And I'm even getting to where I can taxi her a lot better.

morris91 wrote:

Very Nice i just read all your histroric flight you have done, Well Done.

Clear back to the beginning? Thats a frightening prospect. There's a lot of it huh? And I'm just over halfway done. But in the future I will not dwell on my transistion flights so much.

Welshflyer wrote:

Excellent recap and screenshots Spiderwings Very Happy , i also enjoyed the tenseness of trying to get over the mountain. You must have the patience of a saint to do all these historic flights in those old, slow aircraft.
Great to see you back doing what you do best! Cheers!

Thanks Welsh. My wife would be one to tell ya that there is very little saintly about me! Laughing As for patience... I will tell you that I go to 2x speed with the Trimotor after getting away from the airport and until I'm approaching the destination. Thats still slow enough for me to get a fair idea of what it must have been like and I do tip my hat to the patience of the real pilots who didn't have 2x speed. But probably at the time they thought they were going pretty darned fast. Even at double speed for a large part of the flight though, I still take more time than the entire flight because of time taken for screenshots.

I will admit that sometimes I have groaned about the prospect of another series of flights in some of these aircraft, but more often than not the flights have provided me with surprising amounts of fun, challenge, and learning opportunities. I still recommend these historic flights to anyone and give many thanks to CRJCapt for getting me to try the kiosk flights which led me onto these.

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

It was then time to do the transistion flight to the starting point for my next historic flight re-creation. It was indeed good to take another break from the Ford Tri-motor.

After refueling in Costa Rica, I decided to make another stop at Texarkana, Texas (KTXK)

The reason for the stop was something I'd remembered seeing on the Space Shuttle transport flight from San Francisco to the Space Center - a large hole or canyon in Arkansas just to the northeast.

I was glad I stopped and had a look. Its spectacular and I recommend it as a fantastic place to explore and I spent several hours doing just that, finding a lot of interesting nooks and crannies.

I got back to the airport just after dark and rested up before resuming the journey to Columbus, Ohio early the next morning.

After landing and starting to plan the next historic flight - another with the Trimotor - I again took some time to check into the flight sim forums I frequent. I found out that a new monthly screenshot contest was underway in both.

For the first I needed to get to Alaska and picked my next yet to be flown aircraft from my livery - the 111th aircraft type for me - Kazunori Ito's A-7E Corsair II. Not only did I have to travel to Alaska, I also had to travel forward to the current date and winter in the northern hemisphere. With an exciting refueling stop at Chipewyan, Alberta (CYPY), I made it on to Delta Junction, Alaska (PABI), just after sunset.

I'd flown while on-line so I could use real world weather for my very first time. And after landing I went to another web site to see if the airport at Delta Junction was indeed having the same kind of weather as the flight sim was using. Pretty neat - and it also explained the miserable weather at the refueiling airport back in Alberta.

One of the requirements for the screenshot contest was to use real world weather. During the night I was hoping for some more clouds in the region because I think they make for more interesting screenshots. But the skies were clear when I took off early in the morning for the mission to McKinley Park and back. Again, I used one of my yet-to-be flown aircraft - Polish built PZL 104 Tundra Wilga by Joe Binka and Bruce Thorson, simviation, which seemed well suited for the task.

An hour and 20 minutes later I was happy to see some weather as I made my approach into PAIN. It helped me get some great shots, one of which I entered in the contest.

Then it was back to Columbus, Ohio to change planes (next one on my list) and head off in the opposite direction to the location for the other screenshot contest... this very forum's January 2008 contest.

I chose St. Maarten (TNCM) as my base of operations and was amazed at the degree of scenery complexity there even in the FS9 default.

For this contest I choose an aircraft I'd already flown before but one which seemed like a good choice for the theme - Hall Avionic Aeronautique PH-3 by Mike Stone - avsim. I set a course for Kingston, St. Vincent (TVSV) in hopes of getting a shot or two worthy of the competition I knew I would have here.

The weather cooperated with a nice general thunderstorm and I decided to try capturing some lightning for my entry. I got several with lightning bolts and some other good shots without them as I flew down the chain of islands.

I spent the night in Kingston and left in the morning to return to St. Maarten and my big ride back to Columbus, Ohio

I hope you'll see my diversions from the Historic Flights as an interesting contrast between the past and present. For me they provide a chance to get some stick time in some modern aircraft and the screenshot contests always seem to provide some great learning experiences.

My next post will be the last of the 1929 historic flights.... recreating the TAT

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Bran09 Captain

wow spiderwings your the BOMB! NO REALLY THE BOMB! you have the greatist fly storys ever keep on doing what your doinG! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Group Wave

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Chris Morris (morris91) Chief Captain

Well done Spider keep them coming.

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Welshflyer Chief Captain

Spiderwings, once again a great set of screenshots and accompanying commentary. I always wonder how you manage to sight these places and then go off exploring them Very Happy , i really must take more notice of the scenery around me.

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Drew B (belgeode) Chief Captain

Spider you outdo yourself every time.... splendid work as always.

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks very much for the nice feedback.... its greatly appreciated.

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Back to 1929 again.... July 7th. And again back in the Ford Tri-motor to recreate airborne portions of one of the first trancontinental passenger carrying routes that used aircraft for most of the distance.

Passengers departing New York for Los Angeles made the first leg to Columbus, Ohio on the Santa Fe Railroad, arriving a while before the 8:15am departure of the tri-motor on the first of 9 flying legs.

Leg 1 - Columbus to Indianapolis

Cleared to land at Indy with traffic ready to take off.

Leg 2 - Indianapolis to St. Louis - I started having a bit of trouble staying on schedule due to a head wind and found none closer to the ground. Its fun flying low.

If you look close you can see the Gateway Arch

Leg 3 - St. Louis to Kansas City - I couldn't resist getting a closer look at the arch while trying to dodge buildings and radio masts on the other side.

It was fun to see Spirit of St Louis Airport - since I'm working on historic flights.

And the homes of the Chiefs and the Royals

And a fun approach and landing at the downtown airport

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Chris Morris (morris91) Chief Captain

Nice shots once again. Can't wait for more leg's.

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Drew B (belgeode) Chief Captain

Pretty sweet there!!

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Welshflyer Chief Captain

Great screenshots as always Spider Very Happy , i just knew you were'nt going to resist flying through the Arch Cool !

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thank you for following my adventure and for the nice comments.

At 3:02pm on the first day, I started taxiing for departure from Kansas City and leg 5 to Wichita, Kansas.

But first I just had to check out that bridge that had loomed so large behind me during the refueling. As soon as I was up I turned left down the Missouri River to have a look.

Then I saw two more bridges down river. I flew over them and turned back. Lower. I have this thing about bridges and airplanes. If they build them I have to fly under them.... if possible.

No problem with those three. As I returned to the bend of the Missouri with the Kansas border running across the river, and the Kansas River joining from the south, I saw more bridges on the smaller river.

But as I approached them I thought they looked too low so I decided to not press my luck and head out of town... and into the vast expanse of Kansas. It looked like we might be in for a summer thunderstorm.

As the flight proceeded, we were accompanied by the sounds of thunder claps and rumble. The storm made the flight in the Tri-motor very fun. Again I highly recommend these historic flights to my readers. If not all of them, then this one is one you should try. Be sure to go in through the default flights so you get the same time of day and weather I did. I think you'll enjoy the experience.

And see some pretty Great Plains scenery in the breaks in weather.

On thing I love about the Great Plains are those STRAIGHT and seemingly endless roads.

Another is all the small towns that pop up from time to time. Many with their own airports.

Wichita is anything but a small town. Here I am approaching Wichita Mid-Continent Airport on the SW corner of the city.

Cleared for landing on RW19

A slight cross wind had me working a bit to hit the center line. And with traffic on my tail I want to get a clean landing and out of his way so he won't have to go around on my account.

Made it. And right on schedule.

After a brief stop to pick up fuel and new passengers, I was off for Waynoka, Oklahoma. With more afternoon thunderstorms to keep me company and make the trip quite fun again.

I saw more of those straight highways... and more little towns with little airports.

One of which was our destination.

The passengers will be bussed into town to have a great meal at the Harvey House. Some prominent figures of aviation history were known to visit this place on numerous ocassions. At 11pm they'll board a train for the overnight journey across the Texas panhandle for Clovis, New Mexico. Can you imagine how fun this trip would have been. Maybe not fast like in today's high speed airliners... but something quite special I think.

Me? Well I got a sack lunch from the bus driver which I'd eat in the air as I needed to take the Tri-motor over before nightfall if possible. This leg is not part of the default flights, but I travel by air to get to each place required by the historic flights. Not by ground.

It was mighty quiet in the back and I admit to feeling a bit lonely as I prepared to take off.

But the thrill of flying this aircraft that I've come to love, mixed with the vast scenery and the evening sky soon pushed such feelings aside.

And, here is something the overnight train riders wouldn't see. I was quite surprised to see it myself on FS9 default scenery - a wind farm. I'd seen a scattering of small lights flashing on and off ahead of me a while before. It was the sunlight being reflected off the giant rotors as they came into the right position for just a second. There must have been 25 or 30 of them at least.

As I continued across the Texas Panhandle I was treated to a beautiful sunset.

I arrived at KCVS (Clovis) just as my light faded away.

The roast beef sandwich from the Harvey House was very good. But I think I'll get a ride downtown for a nice steak dinner and then a nice comfortable bed for the night. I've slept on trains before... or tried to. And I'm not all that envious of my passengers that should arrive some 40 or 50 minutes before the scheduled departure for Albuquerque via the Tri-motor in the morning.

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Drew B (belgeode) Chief Captain

Dang Spider... that lightning looked WICKED!!!

Glad you made it safe!!!

Awesome as usual!

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Tailhook Chief Captain

Very nice screenies Cool

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Chris Morris (morris91) Chief Captain

Once again great scrennies.

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks for your kind remarks and for continuing to follow the saga.

Leg 6 (for the default, leg 7 for me) was from Clovis to Albuquerque and would return me to my beloved Rocky Mountains.

There must have been a dust storm overnight. RW 31 wasn't looking too great but it would be no problem for the Tri-motor workhorse.

I guess my run down the runway blew all the dust off! Hmmmmmmmm LOL

It was good to get back to the mountains even though these were not very tall ones by Rocky standards.

Arriving at Albuquerque, I experienced a bit of ATC drama.

I put on the "brakes" hoping I wouldn't have to go around.

Made it finally without going around - that was a bit confusing.

Next it was on to Winslow, Arizona and a bit of higher altitude for the old Ford. I was hoping to find some good mountain shots for the February Screenshot Competion.... but none yet.

The flight started out nice and sunny and clear. But as I crossed into Arizona and lost sight of I-40 to the south, I found myself in broken clouds and got a little lost. I turned south for the freeway and found Holbrook...matching the airport to the charts I had on board.... and found my way again.

A few minutes later I arrived at Winslow and had a bit more drama trying to find the airport and then the runway between the low lying clouds.

When I finally did pick up the runway again... it was off to my left. But I've gained a lot of confidence in the Tri-motor and avoided having to go around with a little dive and a couple of sharp turns.

Once again, I have to tell you all - this re-creation has been a lot of fun.

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CRJCapt Chief Captain

Great shots, I loved the one with lighting in the background. Beautiful job as always. Clapping

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Josue (90josue03) Trainee

That was so nice!!

The comments really make you feel the what the experience was like. Smile

Great job!!

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks again for the nice comments. They really are appreciated.

With only two legs to go, we departed Winslow and headed for Kingman, Arizona. But as soon as we were away I realized I couldn't gain any altitude and was losing too much speed in trying to do so.

You'd think after all the hours I've spent in the Tri-motor that I'd be in tune with the sounds of three good engines running. But I missed the difference when only two of the three are fired up.

While I checked engine #3 to be sure there was nothing wrong with it, I let the passengers get out and experience the deseret of the great southwest. "No, Mrs. Krindle, you really don't want to pick that prickly pear cactus!" The engine checked out and we got everyone back aboard and resumed our flight.

Much better! Now if we just don't get hit by lightning.

We left the forests of the San Francisco Mountains as we got closer to Kingman

Boy, its sure quiet out here!

After a 15 minute refueling stop, we took off for the last leg of this re-creation. Kingman, Arizona to
Burbank, California.

We crossed the great Colorado River at the California border.

The Mojave Deseret has a look and feel all its own. Wide open expanses with distinct individual ranges of mountains here and there. Those are the Providence Mountains on the horizon.

Oh... so this is where he hangs out? Better just stay in the air.

A close up of the Ford Tri-motor since our mission is coming to its end.

The back side of the San Gabriel Mountains remind us that the journey is near its end. Burbank is all the way to the west end.

Meanwhile, on our other side are the San Bernardino Mountains.

Turn west down the south face of the San Gabriels and put the San Bernardinos behind us.

Wow! An unusually clear day in the LA basin. Welcome to SoCal ladies and gentlemen. This is how the skies probably looked often in 1931. You can see clear to Santa Catalina Island.

And to our right is the San Fernando Valley and our destination airport

There's a 737 coming in behind us, better makes this clean and get clear of the runway.

Okay folks.... we made it... took you just three days from New York City. It would've seemed very quick back in 1931. But those folks behind us.... left the Big Apple about 5 hours ago.

Speaking of New York, there's my ride (757) for the transistion flight to Long Island and my next historic adventure. Maybe I can get a nice picture of it over the San Gabriels for this month's screenshot contest.

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Drew B (belgeode) Chief Captain

Spider you are becoming a master storyteller there... going to give Welsh and I a run for our money! I cannot wait to see the next historic flight!

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks very much Bel. I appreciate your kind words.

My next historic re-creation is one I view with a fair degree of trepidation. I try not to look ahead in the default list but I had a feeling an historical trip around the world would be showing up at some point. And I also knew it wouldn't be done in a high speed aircraft..... instead its my old friend the Vega... which will do the job. Just slowly.

But before I can start the trip I need to get back to its historical starting point on Long Island, New York. And since its a transistion trip for this project, I get to use the next-to-be-flown aircraft on my spreadsheet. I was pleased to see a pretty 757 come up.

Here's some shots of the trip back across the USA. From KBUR (Burbank) to KFRG (Republic)

I have to say that this 757 was a dream to fly! And... the more I fly airliners using ifr and the resulting approaches to the airports the more I enjoy it and see why so many here like it so much. I'm slowly getting better at it and find it a bit less intimidating each time.

Its an another amazing contrast in technology between today and the times of these old historic flights.

I've become aware of another flight I need to do before starting the trip around the world. I need to borrow a GA aircraft and see if I can find some mountains nearby. I should have done that on the west coast!

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Welshflyer Chief Captain

belgeode wrote:

Spider you are becoming a master storyteller there... going to give Welsh and I a run for our money! I cannot wait to see the next historic flight!

Oh Spider beats me hands down every time Very Happy ! Spider your recreation of these historical flights never ceases to amaze me Shocked ,great screenshots and there's just a little comment in there that sums it all up, it took 3 days in your tri-motor and the aircraft coming in behind you took 5 hours Shocked ! The time you take with your commentary is commendable and it's always a pleasure to view your journeys!
By the way how's Mrs Krindle? Did she hurt herself? Very Happy

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Chris Morris (morris91) Chief Captain

Sorry spider i forgot to comment your last set of pics.

But WELL DONE !

You have completed it and i loved every pic. Congratulations Cheers!

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Welsh Welsh Welsh, Welsh Welsh Rolling Eyes …. No way I beat you hands down. Your presentations are amazing. But I appreciate the compliment. Mine are just a bit different…. And I do love telling a story with them. It means a lot to get such a compliment from someone that does it so well as you. Thanks very much.

Mrs. Krindle? Sheesh… she just couldn’t resist and we all had to listen to her for the rest of the trip complaining that her husband still hadn’t got all the cactus spines out of her pinky.

Morris… thanks also for you kind words…

morris91 wrote:

Sorry spider i forgot to comment your last set of pics.

But WELL DONE !

You have completed it and i loved every pic. Congratulations Cheers!

Hardly completed it though. I’m only up to 1931.

Which brings me to the current one.

When I read the part about “Can I beat their time?” the challenge was on. I wanted to beat it in flight sim time and also in my real world time, meaning that I’d have to commit to several flights a day over the next 8 days and just hoped the rest of my life would allow enough time.

Leg 1 of 14 Farmingdale to St. Johns

As I’ve mentioned previously, I won’t use any navigation technology that they didn’t have back in 1931, except in the case of emergencies, as you will see later on where I was glad I had the GPS packed away “just in case”. My goal is to experience the trips as much as possible like they did back in history.

For this one, it meant, I’d have a navigator aboard, who could use the clock and the sextant to determine our position from time to time…as long as we had a view of the sun or stars.

We would also have maps showing the areas covered by each leg. I’ve found on some of my previous historic trips that the maps are also very useful when you are able to spot a particular landmark. But also they are especially good if you can plot your desired course line on the map ahead of time and then use the technology of the day to see how we are doing compared to the plan. One of the primary needs for this is to know when to click the heading one more degree to the right or left… or several if the winds have been blowing us off course.

Some time ago I made a spreadsheet that would divide the course into 10 sections, and providing me with times I should be at each of ten checkpoints, how many more miles were left in the leg, how much fuel I should have, and what heading I should be on (assuming calm winds). Here is a copy of the spreadsheet for the first leg. I enter the info in the yellow cells and it calculates everything else.

Then I mark my checkpoints and copy the respective data for each (in black) next to them on the map(s). Then as the trip progresses, and the navigator gives me the current position. I see how well we are doing and make adjustments accordingly, and make notes of actual course in red.

I was so happy to finally get to an aircraft (Lockheed Vega 5C) that had the ability to hold the course and pitch so I am finally able to do some hands free flying! And catch a little cat nap from time to time while my navigator keeps an eye open. But he would do none of the flying. Just me and the “auto pilot” such as it is.

Well, enough of all that technical stuff. I do include it so the story of the trip is more meaningful in places where the technology of the day versus today’s posed a problem from time to time.

As we were cleared for takeoff on the first leg, I was filled with a great deal of apprehension at the daunting task ahead. I was determined to beat Post’s time.

We were soon in the air heading for our first sunrise… and for Newfoundland. The first minutes in each new aircraft are filled with uncertainty about how it will perform… will it hold the course… will it consume fuel too fast?

By the time we got to Cape Cod, I realized we were using fuel faster than anticipated and I began to worry if we’d have enough to make it all the way to St. Johns. I’d hate to start out with an exception to the historical journey on the very first leg. Wanting to make better time, we took off with only 50% fuel figuring a lighter load might make for a faster speed. The flight planner indicated that 50% would be enough. But now I worried.

By the time we reached Nova Scotia, it seemed that the fuel consumption was improving a bit and I started to learn something about the Vega…that it uses more fuel when its heavier and much less as the load lightens.

I also learned something about my snow skis as I checked the map for the name of this lake.

You’ll see that we made it to St. Johns with no problem… with 16% fuel remaining… and with a beautiful June morning.

Leg 2 of 14 St. Johns to Hawarden, England

This would be the third time to make an Atlantic Crossing in these historic trips. Previously in the Vickers Vimy and the Spirit of St. Louis, I didn’t have the sextant to get good position fixes. In fact I only had a compass and a map telling me when I should slightly adjust the heading. And on both of those trips I had to try to have a real steady hand on the stick in order not to make any huge errors regarding the course. And on both trips, I arrived in Europe several hundred miles north and then south of my desired spot. This time I had much more confidence.

However, as I was awaiting taxi instructions, the Pacifica 737 going by, made a part of me wish I had more of the avionics they had. The Learjet ahead of us at takeoff gave me another reminder of my limited tools.

We were soon underway and as I looked back to see land slipping behind the horizon I had the same familiar anxiety I’d had on my other historic Atlantic crossings.

The hours crept by slowly. I watched a half moon set and realized we’d have a dark night… which would be good because over water I find a great deal of comfort in seeing the stars and having one to fly toward. The sun slowly moved from morning to afternoon and then toward evening with our first sunset of the trip… a beautiful one.

The night was peaceful and uneventful and I caught a couple of naps hoping to stay fresh enough to continue on after a short stop at Hawarden. It was great to see the moon come back up in the east… its phase telling us where the sun was “under” the earth. We new it would be along in a few more hours.

But as we arrived on the west coast of England, having just crossed Ireland right on course in the darkness, the sun was yet to make an appearance and I hoped Hawarden had lit runways. At the same time I recalled reading of the muddy condition of a number of airports for Post. I was confident things would be much easier for me in that regard. He lost quite a few hours to muddy runways.

Hawarden did have lights and we made an uneventful landing.

I was quite surprised to see a high level of airport detail.. Including the first standing people in my system. I think I can thank Welshflyer for this as its probably related to a fine scenery package he referred me to for Cardiff and the surrounding area. However, I don’t recall seeing any individuals walking about at Cardiff.

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Drew B (belgeode) Chief Captain

Spider you have me riveted... What I really like about YOUR stories is that you include things I would not think of... the flight plan, the maps the fuel burn chart etc...

That gives us a real feel as to what planning it took to pull it all off!

Keep it up sir, I share Welsh's sentiments... you blow us away hands down!!!

I cannot wait for the next installment... Post will roll in his grave as you beat his time!

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Chris Morris (morris91) Chief Captain

^^^ Im with Bel, Welsh and everyong else.

Your doing the sort of thing i would love to do but i just couldn't i would get bored or tired ect...

But im glad someone on here is willing to do this for there pleasure & our's .

And i like it how you made your fuel calc, because you made it to England with 40% of fuel left. Shocked

If i would of done that i prob would of crashed in the middle of the atlantic or get a wrong heading and end up in South Africa Laughing But you NO so i just gotta say WELL DONE.

Im hoping to see more legs as there all just so great.

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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks again for the kind words and for continuing to follow the adventure.

Morris, I don't think you would get bored. For me its so much fun to have the challenges and to learn the things needed to do them. I do accelerate the flight time because I just can't see sitting here for all those hours. I do leave it low enough however that I feel a bit of how long these legs take. And sometimes, I spend more time than the flight anyways, while pausing for screenshots and doing the planning. Those course plotting maps take about 60 to 90 minutes each, depending on how much distance is involved. But without them, I could easily get lost and then be in real trouble. However, with 1931, and the sextant, recovery from getting lost is MUCH better than in previous re-creations.

Leg 3 or 14 - Hawarden, England to Hanover, Germany

With only a three hour trip to Germany, and 40% load of fuel remaining from the Atlantic Crossing, we didn’t need to take on any more fuel and were back in the air after just 18 minutes. I’d had several short naps on the previous leg and felt pretty good on the second morning of the trip.

As we slowly gained altitude, on this pretty morning over England, I saw what looked like a Piper J-3 cub heading our way. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one as AI traffic so I decided to get a closer look. Hope I didn’t scare him too badly.

One thing I really like about the somewhat random adventures I find by letting the default flights and the monthly screenshot competitions dictate what flying I do, is that I often “bump” into things I’d probably never see otherwise. Nearing Macclesfield, England, something caught the corner of my vision… a fuzzy mass on the ground to the left.

I went down for a closer look and saw something else I’d never seen in the sim before. It looks to me like a radio telescope. I had seen the very large one at Arecibo, Puerto Rico a few years earlier, but none like this.

A little while later we left England and begin crossing the southern part of the North Sea. Clouds were beginning to build and I decided to try something I’d only used once before in all my flight simming - getting on-line and using real-world weather.

I do like introducing elements of the unpredictable into my flying and was sure the RW weather would do some of that. I had no idea then just how much effect that would have on this trip around the world. I got just a hint of it as we arrived on the coast of the Netherlands.

As we moved in over northern Europe the coastal ground fog burned off and it looked like clear “sailing” as far as we could see.

SW of Bremen, Germany while getting close to our destination at Hanover, we started seeing some more clouds.

The clouds thickened as we approached and spotted the airport. I was getting a little nervous about our landing.

Having to watch out for a 737 passing close beneath us didn’t help my nerves any.

I was happy to be able to keep an eye on the airport on downwind.

But as I turned to base the clouds thickened a bit and I got a bit more worried.

Then I spotted the airport and again all was well.

Remember, I’m sticking to 1931 technology here. So firing up the GPS or asking for IFR clearance is not something I want to do unless I just can’t avoid it.

Leg 4 of 14 - Hanover to Berlin

27 minutes later, the weather had improved quite a bit and we were ready to depart for the short, 58 minute, hop to Berlin. Again we felt we still had plenty of fuel remaining for the flight. We were still using fuel loaded back in St. John’s Newfoundland. If you ever want a small aircraft with a good range, the Vega is just the ticket.

Approaching Berlin the real world had more weather for us. As long as we were above the clouds, my navigator could determine our position using the clock and sextant.

When our position had us over the city, I decided to descend and try to find the airport by locating landmarks and using my map.

But the clouds were too think and it started raining pretty good, and I was quickly lost.

So I climbed back up out of the clouds so we could get a fix on our position again.

With that information and my maps, I knew the right way to the airport and soon had a fair visual on it as well as downtown Berlin.

Landing with a bit of cloud is fun as long as you can keep the airport in sight.

We are now about ¼ of the way around the world. I still felt pretty good after a day and a half with just a few naps over the Atlantic over night. We fueled up (to 60%) and were ready for our next leg.

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Welshflyer Chief Captain

Amazing and Awesome once again Spider Very Happy , your attention and commitment to detail at the start with all the flight planning and fuel calculations left me speechless (which is a rare thing for me Very Happy ). Once again you are showing us how it should (and used to be) done.
Excellent shots and commentary (as always Very Happy ), and a pleasure to view!

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Drew B (belgeode) Chief Captain

You were pushing it that time Spider... 18% fuel left... whoa.

I am glad you realized it flies better with less fuel, but you also wanna make sure you GET THERE!! Shocked

Great installment! Where to next?

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

belgeode wrote:

You were pushing it that time Spider... 18% fuel left... whoa.

I am glad you realized it flies better with less fuel, but you also wanna make sure you GET THERE!! Shocked

Great installment! Where to next?

18% in the Vega is a bunch of gas… 117 gallons and would have easily gotten me anywhere within 300 miles. Although, I do watch the wind also. A head wind can mess you up if you cut it too close. I usually load about 20% extra. The percentages are those of a full load which is 650 gallons.

Welshflyer wrote:

Amazing and Awesome once again Spider Very Happy , your attention and commitment to detail at the start with all the flight planning and fuel calculations left me speechless (which is a rare thing for me Very Happy ). Once again you are showing us how it should (and used to be) done.
Excellent shots and commentary (as always Very Happy ), and a pleasure to view!

You gotta know I wouldn't do it if I didn't find it fascinating to try and figure out how it was done back in those times. I hope I just keep learning as the years of historic flights click forward toward the present. I might even learn how to do ILS approaches sometime. I hope! I have to confess that I’m not much for reading manuals and just try to figure things out by trial and error and logic which is far from fool proof and I’ve learned a few things as a result of my erroneous thinking. I’m sure I’m missing out on many other details as well. But I do realize that my skills have improved to a level I couldn’t have thought possible with this software (FS9) which I thought was usually the problem with why I had so many difficulties.

Thanks for watching guys and for the great comments and interaction.

Leg 5 of 14 - Berlin to Moscow - 862nm

So far, the trip around the world has had me over the USA, Canada, Ireland, England, the Netherlands and Germany. This leg will take us across Poland, Lithuania, Belarus, and into Russia. At the end of the leg we’ll only be about 1/3 or the way around the world. But for the remainder of the trip we’d not be crossing over portions of any new countries. Does that give you an idea of where we’ll be going?

We climbed out of Berlin in a drizzling rain, feeling comfortable that the Vega would get us above it all for our navigation.

An hour into the trip we were over northern Poland and could see a gulf on the Baltic Sea. I was starting to get pretty tired after being up all night. I was looking forward to getting some good bed rest in Moscow.

The view of the river below us at Kaunas, Lithuania made me realize that there are a lot of beautiful places in Europe that we don’t get a proper feel for at 16,000 feet. But its still very pretty.

I was using real world weather again and decided to double check the internet to see if the weather being fed into the sim matched up with weather web pages for the area. As you can see… it matches up perfectly!

80 miles out of Moscow, we saw flashes of lighting and heard the loud rumble of thunder even over the sound of our engine.

Instead of just heading for Sheremetyevo airport, I wanted to get a close look at Red Square. Its something we’d done on my two previous visits to Moscow.

I had seen Red Square with little problem. But now as I descended into the city, it started snowing! End of June??? Perhaps this is a draw back to using real world weather, unless you are flying on the actual date of real life. But the default flight is for June 1931 and so I’m just thinking it must get cold at Moscow’s latitude even in late June on occasion.

Regardless of how it came to be snowing, the storm really put a damper on visibility and I was starting to think the airport was sounding better than Red Square just now.

But then I thought… if I could just find it, what a great picture I could get. So I decided to hang in and see if I couldn’t find it.

Good news - bad news. The end of snowfall made it so I could find my way to the Square. But the picture would not be as interesting now as if the snow had continued. It may be a mute point. I may never have found it in the snow.

With that little tradition taken care of it was time to head for the airport, a nice warm meal, and a good night’s sleep. I hope they have a heated hanger for us.

You realize that with today’s technology, I would have little doubt that I was approaching the correct airport. And in the sim, all I would need to do was make radio contact and ask directions to the airport and see if that checked with what I was seeing. But they couldn’t do that in 1931.… so neither could I. I needed to have a look at it and compare it to my charts.

Got a bit carried away with the number of screenies for this leg but I hope you’ll enjoy the drama of finding our way through the clouds with 1931 instrumentation… which is basically just the altimeter and compass when in cloud.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Welshflyer Chief Captain

Great report once again Spider and superb navigation, i'd probably be landing in Stockholm Very Happy !

Pro Member Chief Captain
Drew B (belgeode) Chief Captain

You did better than I would have done... I'd still be heading south to warmer weather.

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

It was a lot of fun. Thanks for following guys and the nice comments.

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Leg 6 of 14 (Day 3) Moscow to Novosibirsk, Russia

Realizing that it would get light early, we made a short evening of it. I was dead tired and was fast asleep by 8pm with a wake up call for 2am - 6 hrs would be good. At 3am we were climbing out of Sheremetyevo just as the sun was rising above the northeastern horizon. The weather was crystal clear, and the landscape, with the Volga River in the distance was beautiful. We were refreshed and excited to be back on our way, hoping that by the end of this day we would get to the halfway point of the trip near Irkutsk.

The first step in getting there would be the ten and ½ hour trip to Novosibirsk, one third of the way across Russia and about one sixth of the entire around the world trip, in terms of longitudinal degrees. That would be followed by a 5 hour trip to Irkutsk at the bottom of Lake Baykal. It promised to be a long day.

Russia is huge. We saw a lot of country pass below us as we plugged slowly along. The weather changed as soon as the surface started heating up in the morning sun. We even encountered some thunderstorms.

As we got closer to our destination, the weather cleared… but just for a very short time before we were back in the thick of it just when we need to go down and look for Novosibirsk and the airport.

We quickly found ourselves in a similar situation to searching for Red Square and then the airport last evening. We just hoped that we’d find the right city and then be able to look about through the low clouds for the airport.

We finally did find a good sized city that could very easily be Novosibirsk. But I realize the atlas I use doesn’t show many of the cities and such was the case around our destination on the map. So I wasn’t at all sure that one city would necessarily be the one we wanted. The passage of time and compass heading from our last check point up above the clouds was all we had to go on. And the further we went, the lower our confidence became.

Finding no airport near the city that looked so promising, we decided to head south looking for a large lake that was on our map and we could then use it to help us pinpoint the right city.

Found the lake and thought we found the part of the city nearest the lake on the map.

We flew in the direction the airport should be but after the anticipated time, we saw no sign of it and then seeing some blue sky I realized we could get up above the clouds fairly easily and use the sextant to get us directly above the airport’s coordinates and then just circle down to it through the clouds.

That was a great idea and sure enough we found the airport. Now the trick would be to keep it in sight as we circled down to it.

But the fog got thick again and we lost it. But we knew which direction it was and just kept circling down. Keep a good eye on the altimeter now!

Keep a BETTER EYE ON THE ALTIMETER!

Then I spotted what looked like runway lights, but they didn’t seem to be in the right place… our heading didn’t match any of the runways.

I decided that history would have to take a back seat to preserving our lives. This was just too dangerous literally feeling our way around in the fog. Just as I broke radio silence to request permission to land, we saw enough of the airport through the fog to be sure it was the correct one. Our request to land was denied under VFR even though I felt I could turn into one of the runways now without losing it. But the only way I’d get permission to land was to request IFR clearance.

Having spotted and confirmed the airport did accomplish the historic spirit of the trip. And now under IFR, I could relax a bit and let modern technology get us down.

But the key to making modern technology work for you was to pay careful attention to ATC’s instructions, AND carefully watch your instruments!

And then just have FAITH in the system! Yikes!

Faith AND sharp eyes! And hope that what you are seeing is the right thing!

And it REALLY HELPS to have a solid, stable, and responsive aircraft for those last second adjustments!

Don’t get hung up on making a perfect landing at this point. Just get her down.

Eventually things start making sense as the world around you slows down a bit in the fog.

It was 4pm as we wondered if we should continue on to Irkutsk, our halfway point. The weather forecast for that area was better than here and we figured if we could land in this muck, we should be able to take off in it - IFR of course… until we got safely off the ground and then back to VFR and adherence to history.

I don’t recall Post having problems with fog. And he was also using real world weather. But his airplane and the real world were both in summer while we had summer on the sim but the real world weather was winter and I was seeing that to be somewhat of a problem. But I decided to continue in the same fashion as it did provide for a lot of fun and some high adventure.

I apologize for the large number of shots for just one flight. But I thought this was a very exciting story and I couldn’t find many shots that weren’t important to the story and its spirit. I’d thought the previous landing in Moscow was a bit tricky - it was nothing compared to this one! I hope you’ll all enjoy it.

Before heading off on the next leg, I walked up the stairs to the tower, and got the following printout faxed over from Omsk Center. It really makes you appreciate IFR doesn’t it!



Last edited by Steve (SpiderWings) on Sun Aug 31, 2008 7:30 pm, edited 1 time in total
Pro Member Chief Captain
Drew B (belgeode) Chief Captain

OH MAN!!!!

Spider that has got to be THE most riveting story thus far!!!

Absolutely thrilling... those trees looked awful close and that tower lighting good thing you did not try landing...

Finally the map showing your flight path... PRICELESS!!! hahahaha.

Really gives an appreciation for the avoinics we take for granted!

10/10 story and LOTS of awesome pix!!!!

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks Bel! Comments like yours are very much appreciated and inspire me to continue. Very Happy

Pro Member Chief Captain
Welshflyer Chief Captain

I can only agree with bel on this Spider Very Happy , that map is something else Shocked ! A superb piece of flying and fingerbiting in all that fog, a brilliant showpiece of shots and narration, thanks for sharing it with us Very Happy !

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks Welsh! I'm just glad I wasn't in that fog with a fast aircraft like most of you all fly. How do you do it?

Pro Member Chief Captain
CRJCapt Chief Captain

Magnificent SpiderWings, ArrowWiley Post would be proud of you. Clapping

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks very much CRJCapt. You don’t think he’d hide the keys from me?

Leg 7 of 14 (Day 3) Novosibirsk to Irkutsk, Russia.

This would be my second visit to that airport and I was excited to get underway. One reason being that it is close to Lake Baykal which fascinates me. I’ll tell you more about the lake as I cross over it on the next leg. Visibility improved greatly during our 30 minutes on the ground.

The flight was fairly uneventful. We started out with skies that cleared up completely after that terrible fog lifted.

Occasionally we’d see some ground fog along they way.

As darkness fell while we entered the mountains it looked as if thing could get interesting again.

We experienced a beautiful sunset…

… and then entered into the third night of the trip. We were well ahead of schedule. Irkutsk is near the halfway point.

Not knowing if we’d run into fog again, I stayed high in order to be able to use the stars for navigation, until I finally spotted and identified the correct airport. Its kinda fun making a dive on approach.

Seeing the amphibian ready for takeoff reminded me again that we’d be flying over Lake Baykal in the morning.

While I’m sorry that this wasn’t as dramatic as the last leg, I will tell you I was VERY happy for a clear view all the way into the airport.



Last edited by Steve (SpiderWings) on Sun Aug 31, 2008 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total
Pro Member Chief Captain
Drew B (belgeode) Chief Captain

I bet that is a welcome change from visibilty of INCHES....

Pro Member Chief Captain
Welshflyer Chief Captain

Nice to see an uneventful landing for a change Very Happy , great presentation as always Spider!

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks guys.

Flight #1675 - Leg 8 of 14 (Day 4) Irkutsk to Blagoveschensk, Russia

We’d hoped to get to Irkutsk a little earlier in the evening so we could get some good sleep before the early (3am) sunrise. But we just had a 3 hour nap on a couple of stacks of mail bags while we turned the Vega over to a couple of mechanics that were willing to work some late hours.

We were well ahead of schedule and probably could have gone to one of the local resorts for a good night sleep and several good meals. But I knew that bad luck could come our way at any time… just like it had for Post and Gatty on several occasions, and felt the luxury of being ahead of the schedule was something I wanted to keep as long as possible.

So at 2:30am we were ready to go on leg 8 or 14 - to Blagoveshensk, Russia

Seeing the sunrise over Lake Baykal a few minutes into flight made up for the lack of sleep.

I’d heard several stories about this long deep lake that have made it seem like a special spot on earth. One is that it supposedly holds one fifth of the liquid fresh water on earth. Another is that at times the Trans Siberia Railroad was at times laid across the ice of the lake during winter months. I’m not able to find definite support on-line for either story but do find that it is indeed the deepest lake on earth at over 1600m deep. At any rate its beautiful and quite long.

The rest of the flight went well with no excitement. The last part of the leg did cross over the northern-most part of China outlined by the Argun River.

Over that part of China, known as the Daxinglingshanmai Highlands, we encountered high clouds and spotted snow on the ground still in late June.

The clouds remained high until we approached our destination while crossing the Armur back into Russia. And we remained high as well until we found our airport.

To this point the trip had been routine, but now with the airport far below us, I made a rather exciting manuever to get low and lined up with the runway.

Feared gripped me once again as we passed through a layer of cloud.

Luckily it was a thin layer and we made it safely to the ground.

But I was sure scratching my head about all the snow we found on the ground. I realize again, one problem of using real world weather when the sim dates don’t match up with the real date. But it’s a side affect I’ll live with because the real world weather does present a fun element of unpredictability to the flights.



Last edited by Steve (SpiderWings) on Sun Aug 31, 2008 7:36 pm, edited 1 time in total
Pro Member Chief Captain
Drew B (belgeode) Chief Captain

Hey, but you MADE IT!!!! Time for lunch.

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

You’ve got that right. You don’t suppose Stealer Air could part with one of its hostesses to fix us some meals on the "road" for the remainder of the trip?

Since the names of these Russian cities are so unfamiliar to me, I thought I’d plot the trip on a map so you can see just where we’ve been. Here’s how we’ve done so far. New York, St. Johns, Hawarden, Hanover, Berlin, Moscow, Novosibirsk, Irkutsk, and Blagoveschensk. From there the blue line shows the upcoming leg to Khabarovsk, Russia. Leg 9 of 14 is 324nm and should take around 2 hours and 17 minutes.... day 4 still.

Flight #1676

The scenery in Eastern Russia is beautiful.

As we neared our destination at Khabarovsk, we enjoyed the a terrific view of several rivers. The Wusulinjiang (or Ussuri in Russian) on the Russian-Chinese border joins the Amur at the the northeasternmost point of China. The Amur heads northeast to join the Sea of Okhotsk. We’ll roughly follow it on our next leg.

We made a visual confirmation of our airport and then radioed for permission to land. How sweet it is to actually be able to see the airport!

Oooops… he did say RW 23 RIGHT didn’t he…. I just figured it would be the main runway. Time for a hard right turn. I haven't heard any traffic for the left runway so its not as bad as it coulda been.

The airport at Khabarovsk is one of the prettiest I’ve seen. I especially liked that there was no snow or any other weather of significance.



Last edited by Steve (SpiderWings) on Sun Aug 31, 2008 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total
Pro Member Chief Captain
Drew B (belgeode) Chief Captain

Ok, I am gonna send Wanzetta from STEELER AIR out to you... she makes a mean cajun pork, with rice and red beans... treat her well, and don't give her no sass, or she'll slap ya upside the head...

By the way, the only Russian she knows is Stolichnaya... so be advised.

That last leg was very beautiful by the way!

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

I’ve been waiting for Wanzetta Bel.

Sorry I’ve been gone so long guys. Things got pretty hectic this summer. I will try my hardest to finish all the historic flights though. Please post replies if you come along for a look so I know if anyone is still interested. Thanks

I also realize a problem for viewing these long pages for some of you. I know it takes about 20 posts to roll over to a new page so I hope you won’t mind if I break up my posts to smaller ones so the pages won’t be so long and can load faster for everyone. Of course it will help if the viewers of this thread will make a post also.

Flight #1677 - Day 4 - leg 10 or 14 Khabarovsk, Russia to Nome, Alaska

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This will be a long flight… 14 ½ hours. Nearly 2100 miles. The Vega is very good with fuel though and should only need 60% of its capacity. I’ll take off with 100% though as the last part of the trip involves a fair amount of open water.

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We were on our way in the early afternoon local time. We’ll be flying through 5 time zones (they are a bit narrower up north) and should arrive at Nome around 0900 their time (0400 point of origin).

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For three hours, we roughly followed the great Amur River which we had become familiar with on the previous two legs. It was with a bit of sadness that we crossed it for the last time.

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Then came our first large body of water which will take over 3 hours to cross.

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With no land to look at, I started to notice the sun getting lower and decided to make some notes on how long it would take to set this far north.

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Even though it got quite dark by the time we reached and passed the points of land, Mys Alevena and Mys Tolstoj and started across Zaliv Selichova, it never got completely dark on the northern horizon to our left.

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At midnight local time (2200 origin), it started getting light again and I realized this would be a long day finishing this leg to Alaska and flying the next in that state.

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As has become my practice with these historic flights, I stuck to the historic means of navigation back in 1931. The sextant and watching the winds and time to determine our position along the way. Here’s the first planning map showing the red check marks to see how we were doing. The notes in black near the 10 "check point" marks are my expected arrival times, nmiles remaining, %of trip remaining (use this to see how the fuel looks), and the heading for that portion of the flight. I use a spreadsheet to divide the trip into tenths and calculate these values for each check point.

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Similar notes in red are the actual values along with notes on wind and changes in heading I need to make. On these long flights I notice that fuel consumption happily decreases the further you are in the trip... due to less weight as the fuel is burned. But it almost always causes some concern in the early portions of such trips.

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Flying over the southern part of the easternmost region of Russia, I continued to make notes of the sun as it seemed to slide along under the horizon to the north before finally making its appearance.

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The clouds were beautiful in the low morning sun.

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Having flown across the Atlantic and then Europe and almost all of Asia in just 4 days, I felt my excitement grow on this morning of the 5th day, as the last of Russia passed slowly beneath us and we crossed out over the Bearing Sea with North America and US soil being the next land ahead.

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Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

It was exciting to see the border islands of Russia and the USA off to the north as we slowly crossed the sea.

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We approached mainland Alaska as we checked of our position on the planning charts.

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Our fuel consumption appeared to be right on the mark. We started our descent into Nome.

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On these historic flights and refraining from using GPS, and maintaining radio silence, its always a challenge to spot the correct airport. Having weather move in at the last moment never helps.

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Making a positive identification of the airport is a relief. And since we stayed high in order to do that we were in for another steep, and fun, landing approach.

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And finally after 14 hours and 50 minutes we are down and parked.

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Lets get her refueled, load up on some snacks and sodas and get going again. I want to be sure to break the 1931 time.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Welshflyer Chief Captain

Hey Spider welcome back Very Happy Very Happy , it's fantastic to hear from you again and what a comeback Shocked ! Brilliant shots and nice to see the journey continuing, now lets see if you can break that 1931 time Very Happy .

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks for the nice words Welsh.... I'll try to keep the story rolling this time.

Pro Member First Officer
honuala First Officer

very nice i love landing in weather it makes all the difference and welcome back spider

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Yes its a lot more fun to have some clouds and a bit of wind sometimes. But there have been a couple of real nasty weather situations on this trip.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Cheeks Chief Captain

Wow SpiderWings, love that approach, stuff the overspeed! Laughing
And as Welshflyer said, what a way to come back, hope this story goes on, I will be staying tuned thats for sure! Very Happy

Pro Member Chief Captain
Drew B (belgeode) Chief Captain

WHAT AN ADVENTURE!!!!

Spider I am glad you picked this back up, this whole story has been epic!

You should take a page out of my book when you are done and post the whole thing as a series of blogs on blogspot like I do.

That is amazing!

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks for the great comments guys. They make me even more enthusiastic about continuing the historic flights.

Cheeks.... yes... I guess I was coming in kinda fast but the Vega can really dump the speed fast when you want it to. I guess after flying so many flights with it, I just like getting to the airport quickly... and then it slows down real well for even short runways.

Bel... I've seen several blogs for flight simming and have considered that but I don't think I've got the time.... and I'm retired. Don't know how you younger guys fit it all in. I'll have to check out your blogs though. Can you give me a link here?

Thanks again for following the adventure. Will post the next section soon.

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Flight #1678 Nome to Fairbanks - 450nm - 3 ½ hours estimated.

With Post and Gatty’s 1931 record in mind, we stayed on the ground at Nome just 40 minutes before heading for Fairbanks.

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The weather didn’t look good as we took off but the forecast for the interior of Alaska looked better. We were just happy not to have to land on the beach and get stuck as they’d done.

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As we climbed to altitude, we rewarded with clear skies above the clouds, along with some spectacular views in the occasional clear spots.

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As with many of the flights on this historic re-creation, the airport approach and landing were once again made more difficult due to weather.

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It was good to get below the cloud and find the airport rather easily. This is another nice airport setting.

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Pro Member Chief Captain
Drew B (belgeode) Chief Captain

SpiderWings wrote:

Thanks for the great comments guys. They make me even more enthusiastic about continuing the historic flights.

Cheeks.... yes... I guess I was coming in kinda fast but the Vega can really dump the speed fast when you want it to. I guess after flying so many flights with it, I just like getting to the airport quickly... and then it slows down real well for even short runways.

Bel... I've seen several blogs for flight simming and have considered that but I don't think I've got the time.... and I'm retired. Don't know how you younger guys fit it all in. I'll have to check out your blogs though. Can you give me a link here?

Thanks again for following the adventure. Will post the next section soon.

My link is right below my steeler air signature...

As for time? It will take you five minutes... copy and paste... convert php code to html ([img] to <img src=" )

Pro Member Chief Captain
Cheeks Chief Captain

Lol, nice finishing touch 'They didn't see those in 1931....' Laughing And great shots, I love them, and keep bringing in those crazy approaches, great stuff Spiderwings Cheers!

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks for the nice words guys.

Bel... can I call you Drew here? I checked your bog out. Pretty awesome. I've followed the first few stories and put it on my favorites list. I didn't see anywhere there to make a comment. I'm looking forward to catching up with you there.

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

June 27 - Flight #1679 - Fairbanks, Alaska to Edmonton, Alberta - 1230 nm - est 9.5 hours - need 30% fuel

General flight path map

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Tenths check point map

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Climbing out at 1506 - much of this will probably be in the dark - depending on how much benefit of the midnight sun extends south.

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A look back at one of the prettiest airport settings in FS9

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Hoping to get above the cloud so we can use the sextant for position fixing.

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Some of the beautiful Alaska scenery.

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Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Being able to get a view of the rivers along the way sure helps confirming our position.

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Lost an hour as we crossed over the border into the Yukon Territories

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We are starting to lose our daylight.

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Well we can’t complain. 6 ½ hours into the flight and we’ve still got a bit of daylight. Rivers are still easy to spot and identify.

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I’m happy to see the full moon rising. It should give us a little light in which to spot rivers and lakes. But we’ve still got the stars and the sextant so we will have no problem finding our way in the dark.

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Speaking of stars… there’s ours setting directly behind us. The sim got it right…. full moon rising just as the sun sets.

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Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Taking a look at the chart for Edmonton City Center airport so that we can be sure to find the right one before breaking radio silence and requesting permission to land.

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We had a heck of a time finding the right airport and had to circle around the inner city several times while checking and double checking our maps before we saw ours.

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We have permission to land - fly straight in RW 34

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Pro Member Chief Captain
Drew B (belgeode) Chief Captain

SpiderWings wrote:

Thanks for the nice words guys.

Bel... can I call you Drew here? I checked your bog out. Pretty awesome. I've followed the first few stories and put it on my favorites list. I didn't see anywhere there to make a comment. I'm looking forward to catching up with you there.

Drew is fine. All my friends call me Drew.

I did not want to put a comments section up unfortunately, one day I may change that though.

Btw welcome to Edmonton!!! Where to next?

Pro Member Chief Captain
Welshflyer Chief Captain

Great shots and commentary once again Spider! Once again your navigation skills amaze me, without a GPS, autopilot and ATC i'm totally lost!

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Just two more flights on this historic trip Drew. Cleveland and then ending up in Farmingdale on Long Island.

Welsh, thanks for your kind words about the navigation. I gotta tell ya, that is a bit of work prior to the flight but its now a lot easier with 1931 technology than when I was doing the really early flights. But those early ones is where I learned a lot about pilotage.

Now... with what you fly.. the fast military jets... you don't have time to look for landmarks! I've flown a couple on the transisistion flights between the historic ones and I have to tell you.... your skill with those is much more impressive.

Same with those airbuses Drew!

Thanks for following my adventure guys.

Pro Member Captain
Westernstyle Captain

Amazing Dude Shocked You are ausome to have done this. Grats! Very Happy

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks Westernstyle. I appreciate your kind words and your following my historic re-creations.

June 28 - Flight #1680 - Edmonton, Alberta to Cleveland, Ohio - 1459 nm - est 11 hours - need 40% fuel

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We took a two hour break and then headed off for our 2nd to the last flight if all continues to go according to plan. We were about 15 hours ahead of Post and Gatty’s time and may have been able to afford to sleep a bit. But I just didn’t want to take any chances of not beating their time if we had any problems. So we were up and ready for takeoff at 0300.

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And were soon climbing out into the dark Edmonton sky

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An hour later it was getting light as we crossed into Saskatchewan

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Two and a half hours later we crossed the border into the USA (Minnesota) directly south of Winnipeg.

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Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Even though the day had become cloudy (using real time weather), our excitement grew as we saw familiar places in our home country. Here we are crossing the point of Lake Superior near Duluth.

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Detroit-Windsor three and a half hours after arriving back in the US

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Twenty minutes later we arrived at Cleveland and started a visual search for the airport, checking our chart to make sure we had the right one before breaking from historic procedures and making contact with the tower to request landing.

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From prior experience on this trip, we remained high so to hopefully have an easier time looking down rather than laterally through the thin cloud. We found the airport, got permission to land on RW 6C and dove for our left traffic approach.

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Just one more leg remains. Since its early afternoon, we should have plenty of time to make it to Long Island and complete the Around the World trip.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Welshflyer Chief Captain

A great post once again Spider Very Happy and some fantastic shots to accompany it, i'm looking forward to the final leg!

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks Welsh. This trip took on new meaning today while I was doing some research for an around the world trip I've been reporting on another forum. I was writing about arriving at Barrow, Alaska and although I already new the airport there was named after Willey Post (and Will Rogers), I didn't know why until today when I went looking for the reason. It turns out that both men died near there in 1935 in Post's plane right after taking off. The fact that I was flying the same version of the Vega for that portion of that trip as the one in this one adds a bit more poignancy to both.

http://www.flightsimulationforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=553&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=320 in case you are interested in reading a bit more about that.

And I just realized I've yet to post it. I have it all written up and ready to go so I'll go and do that right now.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Cheeks Chief Captain

Spider, I have a great feeling you would be a good Stuka pilot Very Happy
Great shots and commentary once again. Can I ask one favour though. Were do you get those charts from Question

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Cheeks wrote:

Spider, I have a great feeling you would be a good Stuka pilot Very Happy
Great shots and commentary once again. Can I ask one favour though. Were do you get those charts from Question

Hi Cheeks,

Thanks for the compliment. Maybe I would be a good Stuka pilot as long as nobody shot back! Confused

I'm sorry to be so slow in getting back to you regarding the charts question. I'm assuming you mean the airport charts right? The ones I use to identify the proper airport according to the historic flight?

Those come with a free and wonderful download from AVSIM and a program called The Manuel's Service Pack 3.

Here is what the file I.D. says:

FS2004/2002 Manuel's Service Pack 3
The Manuel's Service Pack 3, installs
importants files required by the Manuel
Ambulo's programs, for run, those are:
Airport's Chart Viewer, ATC Radar Screen,
Artificial Intelligent ATC, and Aircraft
& Gauges Uninstaller.
By: Manuel Ambulo

I've only used the airport chart viewer, but as you see I like it a lot. Its really nice when Ground tells you to taxi on this or that taxiway to such and such a gate and you aren't sure which way to turn unless you click on that pink line which I try to avoid doing.

The route maps I make up from the in program map utility... copy and pasting sections together in Paint, adding up how long the route is in mm's and then plugging that and times and fuel estimates into a MSWorks spreadsheet that divides it all up into tenths.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Cheeks Chief Captain

SpiderWings wrote:

Cheeks wrote:

Spider, I have a great feeling you would be a good Stuka pilot Very Happy
Great shots and commentary once again. Can I ask one favour though. Were do you get those charts from Question

Hi Cheeks,

Thanks for the compliment. Maybe I would be a good Stuka pilot as long as nobody shot back! Confused

I'm sorry to be so slow in getting back to you regarding the charts question. I'm assuming you mean the airport charts right? The ones I use to identify the proper airport according to the historic flight?

Those come with a free and wonderful download from AVSIM and a program called The Manuel's Service Pack 3.

Here is what the file I.D. says:

FS2004/2002 Manuel's Service Pack 3
The Manuel's Service Pack 3, installs
importants files required by the Manuel
Ambulo's programs, for run, those are:
Airport's Chart Viewer, ATC Radar Screen,
Artificial Intelligent ATC, and Aircraft
& Gauges Uninstaller.
By: Manuel Ambulo

I've only used the airport chart viewer, but as you see I like it a lot. Its really nice when Ground tells you to taxi on this or that taxiway to such and such a gate and you aren't sure which way to turn unless you click on that pink line which I try to avoid doing.

The route maps I make up from the in program map utility... copy and pasting sections together in Paint, adding up how long the route is in mm's and then plugging that and times and fuel estimates into a MSWorks spreadsheet that divides it all up into tenths.

Thanks for that, I am downloading it right now, Ill get back to you on it Wink

Pro Member Chief Captain
Drew B (belgeode) Chief Captain

A wonderful leg to a wonderful tale! Thank you sooo much for that Spider!

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Hi Bel,

Thanks for the kind words and for continuing to follow my historic flights.

Cheeks,

I'm glad you found it. I think there are some nice tools there. Hope you find them helpful.

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

June 28th - 6th and Final Day - Flight #1681 - Cleveland, Ohio to Farmingdale, New York - 384nm - est 3 hours and 10% fuel

Sorry for the delay.

This is the big day! The last day of this particular historic re-creation of the 1931 around the world trip by Wiley Post and Harold Gatty. I feel confident that we’ll beat their time. But the weather as we took off was not nearly what we’d hoped for on such an eventful day.

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Most of the trip would be flying the length of Pennsylvania. We’d be flying through some of the busiest skies in the U.S..

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The weather map showed a low over the entire region with scattered clouds throughout. Weather reports indicated ground fog in many places… I just hoped for nice clear sky at Republic on Long Island.

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For this rather short leg, I only divided the checkpoint map into 5ths instead of the normal 10ths. However, previous experience flying over this area made me aware that checkpoints are often difficult to see…. and with the weather we had on this day I felt they’d be especially difficult.

Just as important as the route for this leg was some close in maps showing all the other airports in the Long Island vicinity, because as always with these re-creations I had to stick to period technology and that meant I’d again have to identify the correct airport before breaking radio silence to request landing.

If all went according to plan, we’d arrive around 5pm… hopefully to throngs of folks on the tarmac to meet us.

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To add more frustration to the weather, it started to rain just as we were cleared for takeoff.

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But in seven minutes we climbed out of cloud into broken clouds, and my spirits were lifted. Even if we couldn’t see the ground we now had a clear view of the sky to get a fix on the sun.

NOTE:

Every time I’ve referred to fixing our position using period navigation, I’ve felt a bit guilty because I realize I don’t fully understand the techniques. I’ve been successful thus far using timekeeping and spotting landmarks. In cases where I would need a sextant to get a fix over clouds or during periods of darkness, I’ve just assumed that since they did know how to do that, in 1931 for instance, that it was fully possible and I didn’t really have to know exactly how it all worked. In these cases only I referred to the coordinates in red at the top of the screen… assuming I would have used the sextant to gain that information. (Please note that when I’ve had landmarks by which to determine my position, I’ve tried to ignore the red coordinates at the top of the screen.)

But today as I write this post for the final leg of this trip, the guilt over my ignorance has gotten the best of me and so I’m now doing some learning on line. You might find some of what I’ve found interesting as well. Here is a really nice site that explains the history of navigation. Just click the Launch button….. no not as in launching the space shuttle! smiles

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/empire_seapower/launch_ani_navigation.shtml

Its now several hours later and my head is spinning, but I also have a degree of knowledge about how we would be able to fix our position using a sextant, the moon, stars, or the sun and a very reliable clock. Here is the site where I’ve spent the last little while. Most of the time away from here I was reading “History of the Sextant” which might be of interest to you.

It only took about 30 minutes for me to read and reason through “How the Sextant Works.”

http://www.clipperlight.com/howusesextant.html

Its not as easy as you’d like if you want to get down to fine tuning your position, but at least now I know it can be done and have an understanding how. So now when I say “we climbed above the cloud so we could use the sextant to get position fixes,” I don’t have to feel guilty any longer.

So….. Laughing Laughing Laughing

(getting back to our flight)

We climbed above the cloud so we could use the sextant to get position fixes.

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Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Occasionally we were lucky to have the clouds open so we could see landmarks.

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And….. other traffic…

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Arriving at the New Jersey border, we realized our trip around the world was very nearly over. Only about 50 miles to go!

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Fifteen minutes later we saw New York City in the distance and our excitement grew as we got closer and closer to the Manhattan skyline.

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Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

And then only 25 miles from upper Manhattan to our starting point at Republic Airport.

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We had no problem identifying the correct airport from 8800 feet. We broke radio silence and requested landing, feeling anxious to hear an excited voice in the tower welcoming us back from our long trip.

What we heard instead was a denial for permission to land using VFR. “Airport is currently IFR only.”

I was beside myself with frustration. I know that Post and Gatty didn’t have IFR in 1931 - or at least I don’t think they did.

(I just tried finding out how long IFR has been around and had no luck. Do any of you readers know? I did learn that Cleveland was the first city with a radio controlled tower.)

Since the clouds below us didn’t look too dense I thought I’d at least go down and see if I could set up for a VFR landing and then turn off and go around for an IFR. I’m sure this would get me into all kinds of trouble in real life. I did keep the radio on so I could listen to the local traffic in case anyone else came into the area while I was trying very hard to duplicate history as close as possible on this last tiny part of the trip.

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We broke into a small opening in the clouds at 900 feet.

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Then using dead reckoning, just like Post would have had to do in 1931 if the weather was the same, I turned back to the airport, trying to shape my turn for an approach to RW 19.

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My turn was a little tight but I did see what was most likely Republic airport and veered to the right to check for sure.

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Even though there was no radio traffic for other aircraft about to take off or land here, I purposely flew beyond the alignment line for RW 19 as I moved in to confirm that I could have, if absolutely necessary, made a 1931, limited visibility landing. Then I climbed up and out of the way to request IFR landing.

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We had a bit of stressful excitement in the process. Once back in the thick cloud I got a dose of vertigo. I carefully held steady as I quickly checked the instruments and then relied on them instead of my instinct to proceed. I think this is the first time I’ve ever experienced vertigo in the flight sim.

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

As soon as I was back in control of the aircraft, and my senses, I requested IFR landing and copied the instructions from the tower.

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In contrast to the tension of trying to land by VFR in pea soup, this was actually quite relaxing because the Vega can go through the approach at relatively slow speeds, compared to larger aircraft, and is so responsive it was easy to follow the instructions from the tower.

It really made me appreciate ATC and IFR a lot more after the several tricky mucky-weather landings we’d had to make on the trip.

And we still had plenty of time to beat the 1931 record.

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I decided to even dig out the GPS and turn it on, since I’d already pretty much satisfied the historic nature of finding the airport and lining up for a landing. I was on easy street now.

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The only thing that could have been better is a little visibility. But I had faith in the tower and in the GPS now.

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As I was cleared to land, I thought it was somehow fitting to mesh the 1931 historic experience with all the modern technology on this final landing.

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And also fitting, I suppose, to end this last flight in the same manner as it was started, with rain beginning to fall while I let the GPS guide me to RW 19.

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Even as slick as IFR works, its always still a relief to get a visual on the runway. Just now making out the REIL and seeing that I was a bit low in my approach.

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I adjusted the glide slope and was soon greeted with a nicely lit runway. We had made it around the world and were nearly safely back on the ground.

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Once over the runway, I let the Vega flare a bit as I cut power and waited anxiously for the squelch of rubber.

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At 1639, and 38 seconds, we touched down to complete the trip!

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As we exited the runway and headed for parking, we were disappointed to see that the rain had pretty well dampened the festivities. Or perhaps flight has just become so routine any more that the average Joe just isn’t that interested in someone recreating the past.

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At 1647, we were at our designated parking spot and shut her down for the last time. There was no crowd to greet us as had been the case for Post and Gatty.

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The sudden quiet, with only the dinking of raindrops on our craft, was full of mixed emotions.

Until my navigator, in the cramped compartment behind me said. “Are we getting out or what!? My legs are killing me!”

Without saying a word, I looked out to the right wing tip and saw the green light go out as I flipped the lights and master battery switches down. This trip was over.

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Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Post script:

After quietly grabbing our belongings, we slugged through the pouring rain toward the general aviation terminal. It looked deserted. Even more gray and depressing than the weather outside.

I followed the navigator through the door and walked right into the back of him when the light suddenly snapped on and he stopped dead in his tracks to a chorus of “Surprise! Welcome Home” from a group of several hundred of our friends and family and a few others that I took to be airport staff.

During the hugging, hand shaking, and back slapping. The tower supervisor walked up with a poster sized chart of our approach… both VFR and IFR and presented it to me. “Bet you didn’t think we’d see you sneaking in for a peek did you? We all knew you’d have to try a VFR approach and I actually was hoping you’d go ahead and land. Upon your arrival we’d already had New York Center clear the area of traffic.”

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I thanked him with a sheepish smile. “And thanks also for the guidance on the IFR… and for doing that stuff day in and day out. You guys are the best!”

Several guys, who looked a lot like Star Trekies, but were actually from the Golden Age of Aviation Association, stepped forward to present us with a large chart on which they’d kept track of the statistics for our trip. They explained something about the need of keeping time for the trip per a stationary clock versus the aircraft clock… which I already knew.

The important things on the chart are…
1) We beat Post and Gatty’s (local clock time) by 16 hours and 44 minutes
2) Our total time in the aircraft was 87 hours and 47 minutes, or 3 days and almost 16 hours.
3) Our total time on the ground was just 20 hours and 6 minutes.
4) Distance covered was 13,422 nm or 15,435 miles (39 miles shorter than the 1931 trip - but we more than made up for that in looking for airports.)
5) Total fuel consumed - just 2,457 gallons.

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Then they presented us both with 4 x 6 foot framed world maps showing our route.

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I was having such a good time I’d forgotten just how tired and sleepy I was.

Pro Member Captain
Westernstyle Captain

Shocked Shocked i am speechless! Excellent!

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks Wes.... can I call you that for short? Glad to have you following my exploits. I just keep plugging away. This was only 1931 and I still have plenty of history to revisit.

Pro Member Captain
Duncan (Razgr1z912) Captain

Please do more! That's awesome! How do you fly with 6-9fps though?

Pro Member Captain
Westernstyle Captain

SpiderWings wrote:

Thanks Wes.... can I call you that for short? Glad to have you following my exploits. I just keep plugging away. This was only 1931 and I still have plenty of history to revisit.

Absolutely, everyone calls me that! Very Happy

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Razgr1z912 wrote:

Please do more! That's awesome! How do you fly with 6-9fps though?

I sure will Razgrlz. The way I live with those frame rates is that I've seldom seen better and its really not jerky to my eye.... when I see posts here citing 60-70 fps I am amazed.

Also... its all relative. I started FS in 1987 so I think what I've got to day is amazing.

Yeah... when I see screenies here on newer systems it does blow me away but hey... for me its about flying first, story telling next, and I'll leave the fantastic quality shots to you all.

Thanks for following this thread.

Pro Member First Officer
honuala First Officer

very nice i allways wanted to to that trip now after seeing yours i just might.....

Pro Member Chief Captain
Drew B (belgeode) Chief Captain

Spider... My hat is off to you sir... that was the most AMAZING story I have ever read. From start to finish it had everything... excitement, adventure, disappointment and success!

You REALLY need to make this a permanent fixture on the internet so everyone can read it regardless of being on flyaway or not!

Best aviation tale I ever read sir...

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!

Pro Member Chief Captain
Welshflyer Chief Captain

I can but only agree with bel on this Spider Very Happy , your historical recreations are simply amazing and an inspiration! Your attention to detail is second to none amongst any other re-created flights i have ever seen, everytime i view one of your posts i am left simply amazed and humbled by your attention to all the aspects of the flight. If there were a few more people like yourself that took the time to research these fantastic feats and portray them to us as you do then, perhaps,there would be a lot less people (myself included) haring around in jets, and more looking into the history of aviation and the achievements of the pioneers!

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks so much for your kind words Bel and Welsh. It makes it nice to hear such things - especially from you two that can tell stories so very well! I have indeed been having a great time with the historic flights and have learned a lot! I appreciate your following me. I will be heading off for the next one soon. Sorry to be so slow replying to your very kind words.

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Welsh, its funny you should mention hanging around in jets. Because that’s precisely what I did on my transition to the next historic event.

Flight #1682 - Farmingdale, New York (KFRG) to St. John’s, Newfoundland - eta 2 hours est fuel 75%

New aircraft: slr plane #118 - Northrop/Canadair F-5B (VF-5D) Zancudo by Claudio Sanchez - simviation
from the top of my yet to be flown list

TRANISITION FLIGHT to next historic re-creation: Amelia Earhart’s 1932 Solo Atlantic Crossing.

The weather didn’t look promising as I was about to take my first flight in an F-5B Zancudo.

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There was a second purpose to this transition flight besides just getting to Newfoundland. I made this flight back in March and this forum’s screenshot contest for that month was military aircraft at sunset.

I couldn’t think of a better setting for such a shot than the skyline of Manhattan.

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I checked out some obvious backdrops.

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… some low flybys with the skyline between me and the sun.

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Then decided to try some shots with the low sun behind the camera.

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Then with a bit more altitude.

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Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Even more altitude... this baby can climb!

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The sun had set or become so covered with clouds, I figured picture time was over and turned toward my course.

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But as I did and gained even more altitude, the sun came out from the clouds again and I decided to get some shots on the way out of town.

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I felt like I was onto something good.

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In fact that’s when I found my favorite which I submitted to the contest.

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Then it was time to get out of Dodge and back to the real purpose of the trip. I hoped I could get to Newfoundland without flying in the dark too much of the way.

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Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

I pointed the Zancudo toward Orient Point at the end of Long Island. I’d made this trip between New York City and Newfoundland several times before while working on the historic flights project, but I am pretty sure this would be the quickest one by far. Especially faster than the very first which was the first part of the 1927 Charles Lindburgh flight across the Atlantic in the Spirit of St. Louis.

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By the time I was over Cape Cod, Massachussets, daylight had all but vanished.

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The rest of the trip was dark and uneventful except for a fairly long encounter with a 777 along the same course line which eventually turned north for Gander.

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Then came the exciting, fast paced ATC instructed approach into St. Johns. I wasn’t sure what the stall speed of the Zancudo was, so came in kinda hot.

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On short final, I figured out how much flaps and spoiler I could deploy and still stay in control. I made a fairly good landing for my first time in this bird. The fighters always scare the dickens out of me when landing.

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I parked in a dark corner and found a cot in a hanger to sleep on for the night. Tomorrow, I’d slow things down a bit and get back into another Vega to fly across the pond - 1932 style.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Cheeks Chief Captain

Im just speechless, litereally. To think you have done this whole thing around the world. I would rarely do 1000+ miles without time compression Rolling Eyes Kudos to you my friend, and I totally agree with Bel and Welsh. Absoloutely BRILLIANT, you are a true great sir! Very Happy

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Many thanks for the kind words Cheeks.

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

May 20th (Re-creating 1932 flight) - Flight #1683 - CYYT Grace Harbor, St. Johns, Newfoundland to EGAE, Eglington, Londondary, Northern Ireland.

Re-create Amelia Earhart's 1932 solo Atlantic Crossing

slr plane #48 - Lockheed Vega 5B (Amelia Earhart's)

eta 11 hours - est fuel 50%

Almost two full days after arriving in St. Johns, I was ready for the next historic re-creation.

I don’t know why Amelia Earhart decided to do most of the flight overnight. I suspect it might be that its easier to hold a bearing looking at a star, and then another, and another, each time choosing one that is in line with your desired course, than comparing time and direction with the movements of the sun during the day. Or perhaps it was in hopes of better lift in cooler night time air. Perhaps both. I probably should see if I can research that on-line, but this time I’ll leave that up to you if you’d like to know more.

At 1749 I was ready to go. I had a chart showing my scheduled heading changes which was based on a list in the sim’s briefing for this mission. Calm winds would make it much easier to stay on course.

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This would be my fifth Atlantic Crossing with the historic flights. The four previous, had all either departed from, or crossed over St. Johns. On the first two I missed my targets for coming ashore in Europe by hundreds of miles having only the clock and a chart of times to adjust headings. I’d done much better on the 3rd and 4th crossings…. the 4th being the start of the trip around the world just completed with the Winnie Mae version of the same aircraft I’d be flying this time.

And again with the sextant to be able to check my position from time to time, I foresaw a rather routine flight. I wanted to nail my landfall at the exact proper spot. I also hoped I’d not experience the icing that Earhart had, nor the fatigue.

As I taxied toward runway 16, I hoped that the fog bank on the ground was not very tall.

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At 1757 I was ready and cleared for takeoff.

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And took my last look at land for the next 10 hours or so.

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I started out with a tail wind pushing at my 7 o’clock and used my manual flight calculator to make the proper adjustment to the left.

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I slowly climbed through mostly clear skies with a scattering of tall cumulus clouds here and there. I spotted an occasional lighting burst below some of those.

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

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An hour out the sun was getting low and I readied myself for the darkness to come, while enjoying the beautiful sunset and keeping my concentration on making the heading adjustments on schedule and making allowances for the strong wind still out of my 7 o’clock.

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Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Darkness came and I didn’t take any pictures. I just kept my eyes on one star after another as they popped up on the horizon in line with my desired bearings.

Seven hours into the flight, I started seeing the first signs of dawn. I was only two thirds of the way across the ocean and realized I’d be flying in daylight again soon.

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11 hours into the flight, at 0802 local time, I spotted land ahead and figured I was right on course. And 10 minutes ahead of schedule.

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I now pulled out my charts for the area around Londonderry and for the airport, needing to use my pilotage skills to be historically correct in finding my way. Again, no GPS or ATC.

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Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Once again I’d decided to stay high in order to have a better chance of spotting the correct airport down through the scattered clouds. Once I confirmed I had the correct one in view, I turned on the radio and requested landing from the tower. And began a fun steep descent.

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And was soon cleared to land on RW 26

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I beat Earhart’s time by over two and a half hours. As I taxied toward the terminal, I could see that I had a hardy crowd of aviation enthusiasts to greet me (even though they are invisible to the simulator.)

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Compared to the trip around the world this flight had been rather simple and straightforward. I’d stay pretty close to on course the whole time.

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I wondered what the next historic event would be. I never peek ahead.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Cheeks Chief Captain

Keep em coming, they are a very interesting read, so much that your starting to tempt me to do some of those historical flights Very Happy

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Cheeks wrote:

Keep em coming, they are a very interesting read, so much that your starting to tempt me to do some of those historical flights Very Happy

Thanks Cheeks, I highly recommend them and the default KIOSK flights in FS9. I have learned a lot about flying with the older aircraft... probably a lot of what a pilot would learn in ground school... but I have yet to take any lessons other than self discovery.

Some of the flights can be real tedious unless you accelerate time but then its hard to control the craft because they don't have auto pilot. But I still recommend some just to gain an appreciation of old time navigationtion, dead reckoning, and pilotage.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Welshflyer Chief Captain

A fantastic account once again Spider Very Happy and a pleasure to view as was the transition flight, in regards to fighters scaring you on landing...that's normal for me too Very Happy . Keep up the great work, i look forward to your flights.

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks Welsh. Its really good to know that my anxiety for landing fighters isn't unique to me. Especially knowing an old pro like you still gets a bit nervous with them.

And with my next transistion flight I had to learn how to "sorta fly" yet another intimidating military aircraft - the Harrier. My goodness, what a challenge that was.

This next flight isn't really even a transistion flight, its just a training flight.

May 07 - Flight #1684 - Londonderry, North Ireland, UK (EGAE)

Stay in pattern while learning to fly the new aircraft - slr plane #119 - BAe Harrier by Kazunori Ito - simviation - that will be used in the transition flight to the next historic re-creation.

It seems that the transition flights are becoming more challenging as I continue to work my way through my spreadsheet of “Yet To Be Flown” downloaded aircraft.

01

Normally, I just hop in, have a look at the controls, slowly learn to taxi and then head on out for takeoff, figuring I’ll learn how to handle the new aircraft on the way to the next destination.

But for this one, the Harrier, I thought I’d better just see if I can get it up and back down again.

I practiced for quite a while on the tarmac, just lifting off a few feet and settling back down again. And then doing the same while adding a bit of forward motion. My concentration on those tasks was so intense, I forgot to get any screen shots.

So here are the first shots after taking off and learning how to "handle" this thing.

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After a while I got a bit better at it and decided to test its maximum attainable altitude.

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Then put her in a steep dive to test its maximum speed.

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And actually made it back on the ground… safely after an hour of learning.

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Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

May 19 - Flight #1685 - Londonderry, Northern Ireland, UK to Corby, Northhampton, England (Mildenhall AB - EGUN)

TRANSITION FLIGHT to starting point of next historic flight.

slr plane #119 - BAe Harrier by Kazunori Ito - simviation

eta 1 hour - est fuel 10%

Having “mastered” (hardly) the controls of the Bae Harrier, I decided to go ahead and use it for the transition flight.

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The flight went well, but I was pretty nervous bringing the Harrier in for a landing.

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I wanted to use its vertical landing capabilities rather than a typical landing.

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Made it at just 13 knots.

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Then I taxied in and got a look at the aircraft for the next historic flight re-creation.

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Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

May 28 - Flight #1686 - Mildenhall AB, England to Anchorage, Alaska - eta 6.5 hours - est fuel 200%

slr plane #120 - Mikoyan MiG-35 Fulcrum by Tuomas Närväinen - flyaway

I had four months on my hands in England because the dates corresponding to the next historic flight were in October. So I had to find some other things to occupy my time.

I visited London where I saw all the sights and museums, several plays and concerts. And did a little bit of flying outside the scope of this historic project.

I hesitate to put it in this thread, but since this thread pretty much records all the flying I’ve done since starting it, I decided to go ahead. Besides there is a bit of history involved.

I had downloaded the ai-dc-3 add-on by Trev Morson and Don Ray and wanted to try flying in tandem with another DC-3. Somewhere in reading up on the download, I came to know that there would be some of those grand old planes in the Alaska area. So, since I had plenty of time on my hands I decided to head for Anchorage.

And keeping true to form, I went to my spreadsheet and picked the next “yet to be flown” aircraft that would get me there as fast as possible - the MiG 35.

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I figured on at least one mid-air refueling thanks to the USAF in Greenland.

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The MiG handled well on the ground. Now it was time to see how she’d do up in the air.

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So far so good…. already upt to 351 kias! Nice.

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The flight went smoothly. Here I am a while after getting some fuel from the boys from Greenland. They’d come to meet me over Iceland.

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Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

A while later, I had crossed over Greenland and met up with another KC-135 out of Thule. I was only down to 45% but figured topping off now would get me all the way to Anchorage.

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Six hours from Mildenhall, I got ATC instructions for a landing approach to Anchorage.

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On short final, I was happy to see a beautiful yellow and red DC-3 waiting to taxi into position, once I got out of his way. And there was another DC-3 taxiing up to the end of the runway.

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In spite of taking several glances at the old birds, I made a very good landing. Not at all bad for first time in the MiG!

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Oooopsss…. I celebrated too early. Apparently I blew a tire on the left gear. I was lucky to get clear of the runway. Talk about embarrassing as yet another DC-3 taxied by right in front of my crippled craft. I realized that I had some work cut out for me if I was going to gain the trust of these DC-3 pilots, 3 of whom just got a close up look at my boo - boo.

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Of course I knew the DC-3 was one of the easiest aircraft I’ve ever flown. I’d guess any of their pilots would think twice before climbing into the seat of this MiG.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Drew B (belgeode) Chief Captain

HAHAHAHAHA I love it! A little shaky on that landing there Spider!

Yet another series of enjoyable stories! I love that harrier! I should get that one also.

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

May 29th - Flight 1687 - Anchorage to Juneau, Alaska - eta 5.5 hours - est fuel 75%

slr plane #50 Douglas DC-3 (Emerald Harbour Air)

Mission - Tandem flight with another EHA aircraft carrying cargo to Juneau.

(This really isn't one of the pre-programmed historic flights in FS9, but it does represent some very important aviation history. The first DC-3 flew in 1935 and it was used greatly through the 1940's... and some are still in service today. I even see one occasionally if the US Forest Service brings a team of smoke jumpers into our area to fight a wild fire. I haven't looked ahead to see if there is a DC-3 default historic flight - I sure hope there is one or more - but after downloading the DC-3 package mentioned at the top of my previous post, I just couldn't wait to fly with them.)

In spite of my blunder with the MiG 35 landing, I was still granted a flight in one of Emerald Harbour Air’s DC-3’s the next day. I would be flying in tandem with another DC-3. I’ve never spent much time trying to keep close to another aircraft for very long, so this might be a bit challenging for me to keep up without overtaking him, or losing him either above or below me.

I’m sorry that I didn’t catch any screenshots of the take off. I must have had my hands, and mind full, trying not to get left behind by my twin.

But here we are after climbing out and getting on course. That’s me, behind and above. The first officer seems to finally believe I know what I’m doing.

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It was indeed a bit tricky trying to match the other DC-3’s altitude and speed. Here I am falling below and getting a bit ahead with my extra speed as he seems to be climbing still. Notice the mountains hiding in the haze.

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Okay… maybe I’ll just keep him on the upper edge of my windshield.

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Or not. Actually, I was getting the hang of it as we approached the halfway point of our trip near Yakutat.

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About that time, we noticed there was yet another DC-3 about 9 miles behind us.

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I had to be careful to watch my leader’s subtle movements instead of just gawking at the scenery.

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As we got closer to Juneau, we saw another DC-3 climbing out. Meanwhile, we were holding our altitude right around FL90 and I started to wonder if we were really going to land here.

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(continued to the next page)



Last edited by Steve (SpiderWings) on Sun Oct 19, 2008 9:03 pm, edited 1 time in total
Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

(Flight continued from previous page - you need to read the intro to really appreciate what this flight is all about.)

Within minutes my leader turned to the south and I thought maybe we were entering the pattern.

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In order to take off quickly behind the leading DC-3 for this flight, I just taxied out and took off right behind him without clearance from the tower. I didn’t know how else to start this. But the result left me with no radio contact with anyone. Guess the landing will be just as questionable.

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I guess the guy that had been following us was heading further south.

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I stayed close to my leader as we turned to right base. This was getting pretty exciting. I was very confident in flying the aircraft, but was nervous about doing it right behind the leader.

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Here we go!

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Here’s the tower view of us coming their way.

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Last edited by Steve (SpiderWings) on Sun Oct 19, 2008 9:05 pm, edited 2 times in total
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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Oh boy!???

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It was hard to stay behind.

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Short final - another DC-3 holding for us. This really is DC-3 country with the new download!

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Okay… get down and slow down…. don’t run over him!

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Not tooooo bad! That was very fun!

Is that Governor Sarah up on that balcony?

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Now just to park and shut down.

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He went into the hanger and out the other end to take off again. Guess I’ll just park here.

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Here comes the guy that landed behind us. He also turned into the hanger and out again. I guess there is no rest for the AI.

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Note: This was one of my favorite flights in terms of fun. I’m not sophisticated enough to know how to make it happen with proper clearances. It makes me want to get together on-line with some of you other members for some flights. But that will have to wait. I’ve already deviated from my history project a bit more than I’d like to have done. And I still have to get back to Mildenhall for the next event.

Pro Member Captain
Duncan (Razgr1z912) Captain

Great job, it just gets better and better.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Welshflyer Chief Captain

Great recap Spider, it's not easy to fly formation with AI as they tend to have higher speeds than the aircraft you use (especially the take off and climb rate)but you handled it superbly Very Happy . I've found that if you wait for the proper clearance to take off, the AI aircraft will be long gone and you'll never catch it so you did the right thing!
Very nicely done Spider Very Happy ,shame about the tyre on the Mig Shocked .

Pro Member Chief Captain
Drew B (belgeode) Chief Captain

I am still laughing about the MiG.... hahahaa.

The DC3 was an awesome run though! Nice big fat tires too!

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Razgr1z912 wrote:

Great job, it just gets better and better.

Thanks for following the fun Raz (can I call you that?)

Welshflyer wrote:

Great recap Spider, it's not easy to fly formation with AI as they tend to have higher speeds than the aircraft you use (especially the take off and climb rate)but you handled it superbly Very Happy . I've found that if you wait for the proper clearance to take off, the AI aircraft will be long gone and you'll never catch it so you did the right thing!
Very nicely done Spider Very Happy ,shame about the tyre on the Mig Shocked .

Now I feel vindicated. Whistle Thanks Welsh. Its too bad that it works that way though. Maybe if I programmed my own AI. I think I've seen talk about doing that on here.

belgeode wrote:

I am still laughing about the MiG.... hahahaa.

The DC3 was an awesome run though! Nice big fat tires too!

You are never gonna let me live that down huh Bel? Laughing But you can because if you wait long enough I'll do another just as bad or worse.... Confused

In fact check out my IFR/ATC approach savy on this flight when I expect instructions and don't get them..... doh! Rolling Eyes

May 30th - Flight #1688 - Juneau, Alaska to Thule Greenland - 1st of 2 legs to Mildenhall AB, England - ETA 4.5 hours - fuel 90%

slr plane #121 Embraer ERJ-190 Airliner by Hernan Anibarro - flightsim

Even though I still had months to kill, I headed back to England the very next day, using the next fast aircraft on my list. (When I need something with long range capabilities, I don’t always take the next aircraft in the list, but will skip to the first one that will fit the bill.)

I figured the ERJ-190 would get me there in two legs, with a stop in Thule for fuel. The total distance would be only slightly more.

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I wanted to take advantage of as much daylight as possible so decided to take off before dawn so we’d be in the air to watch the sunrise. We pushed back at 0330.

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Even at the early hour, I was pleased to see one of the DC-3’s taxiing out behind us.

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We were cleared and off in no time.

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I may have underestimated the anticipated dawn. It stayed dark a while longer than I expected and we missed a lot of the Alaskan Scenery.

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Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

But about the time we reached southeastern Yukon Territories, the sun came up and we were presented with a beautiful scene of white puffy clouds.

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Four hours after leaving Juneau, we started our descent into Thule, expecting to receive landing instructions from ATC

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After descending from FL240 to FL140, and arriving nearly over the airport I had yet to hear from ATC.

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Finally, ATC contacted me with what I thought would be the approach procedures.

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I pulled up a chart for BGTL and from my instructions gathered that we’d be landing on RW 33.

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I had already turned back to the west on my own and now he had me heading back to the east.

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Then something dawned on me. I had filed the plan all the way from Juneua to Mildenhall. ATC was just getting me back on course. I hurried and changed the plane for Thule and was promptly cleared.

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As I turned back toward Thule I was over 60 miles out.

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I realized I might also be having a fuel problem.

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Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

IFR instructions were for a landing into the east but I didn’t have enough fuel to go out past the far end of the airport and decided I had to land into the west on RW 33. I cancelled IFR and went VFR.

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I watched the fuel indicator dropping faster than I cared for as we anxiously looked for the airport and watched the miles on the GPS dropping off slowly one by one.

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Finally at about 4 miles out, we spotted the runway through the light fog. And we realized why they would have liked us to land from the west. There is a slight hill on this end.

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The hill made it impossible to line up with the runway very far out. This was going to be a fun one.

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But I nailed it anyway.

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Four and a half hours out of Juneau we were waiting to be refueled for leg two.

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Pro Member Chief Captain
Welshflyer Chief Captain

OOOOOhhh that was tense Very Happy , iffy weather, low fuel and a VFR approach, that could've been nasty Shocked , but handled very nicely, a great recap Spider i really enjoyed this leg and am looking forward to the next one!

Pro Member Chief Captain
Drew B (belgeode) Chief Captain

I love Embraer... my fave though is the E170... 190 is like a little too much plane for me.

If i had the lottery winnings I would buy one as my personal plane/apartment and just live in it hahahaha.

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Welshflyer wrote:

OOOOOhhh that was tense Very Happy , iffy weather, low fuel and a VFR approach, that could've been nasty Shocked , but handled very nicely, a great recap Spider i really enjoyed this leg and am looking forward to the next one!

Thanks Welsh.... its a good thing I figured out my mistake when I did huh? I was going to post my next leg tonight but I'm on my brother in law's laptop and even though I have my narrative in the zip drive... his computer doesn't have MS Works.... argggggg.

belgeode wrote:

I love Embraer... my fave though is the E170... 190 is like a little too much plane for me.

If i had the lottery winnings I would buy one as my personal plane/apartment and just live in it hahahaha.

Doesn't Steeler Air have a Embraer Bel? I don't know if I have a 170 or not.... would look on my spreadsheet if this laptop had works.... Confused

The 190 was pretty good to fly on this trip.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Drew B (belgeode) Chief Captain

Nope no Embraers in Steeler Air.

Come to think of it... no more Steeler Air at the moment.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Welshflyer Chief Captain

belgeode wrote:

I love Embraer... my fave though is the E170... 190 is like a little too much plane for me.

If i had the lottery winnings I would buy one as my personal plane/apartment and just live in it hahahaha.

Then you'd be just like Bill Bixby in The Magician Very Happy !

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

How come no more Steeler Air Bel? I'm behind on my reading.... did I miss something? Hope you are just taking a break and will continue on.

Speaking of breaks.... I really got behind this week due to a nasty sinus infection that has had me asleep most of the week under the effects of pain pills. Hopefully, its ending - at least today I'm able to do a bit of writing so here is the second half of my return to England.

May 30th - Flight #1689 - Thule Greenland to Mildenhall AB, England - ETA 4.5 hours - fuel 90% - 2nd leg from Juneau

slr plane #121 Embraer ERJ-190 Airliner by Hernan Anibarro - flightsim

An hour later we were back in the air for the 2nd leg to Mildenhall.

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The skies were perfectly clear as we flew across Greenland

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We did start seeing some scattered clouds as we arrived on the east coast. They stayed with us as we crossed the Atlantic.

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We made landfall just as it was getting dark over northern Scotland.

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Even though I’d landed here just a few days ago, I still pulled up the chart to get a clear picture of the airport in my mind as we approached Mildenhall.

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I made a pretty good landing just as we got over the pavement.

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Then taxied to parking. Guess I’d be doing some more sightseeing in London and Southern England for a while yet. Maybe even take a train through the Chunnel to see Paris.

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Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

October 20th (Re-creating 1934 flight) - Flight #1690 - Corby, Northhampton, England to Baghdad, Iraq - eta 13 hours est fuel 90%

Finally, I’m back to re-creating history after my little side trip to Alaska for the DC-3’s.

The next re-creation is a race from England to Australia. Here’s the sim’s rundown on it.

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It involves one of my less favored aircraft because I find it difficult to taxi and to keep straight and level in flight. Perhaps over this long run, I’d become better at it.

Plane #59 - de Havilland DH-88 Comet - Red Grosvenor House - FS9 Default A/C

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This is the first of six legs.

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Ready to go right on schedule.

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And to replicate 1934 conditions, I went radio silent.

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I’ll let the pictures, and the notes on them, tell the story unless I think of something to add.

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(this flight continues to the next page)



Last edited by Steve (SpiderWings) on Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:27 pm, edited 1 time in total
Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

(continuation of flight from previous page)

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Last edited by Steve (SpiderWings) on Mon Oct 27, 2008 10:41 pm, edited 1 time in total
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Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

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The real world weather had me in some thick clouds over Turkey and while daylight was starting to dwindle.

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Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

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As I got closer to Bagdad, I pulled out the chart for the airport so I’d be able to make sure I was at the right one before breaking radio silence for landing clearence.

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Pro Member Chief Captain
Drew B (belgeode) Chief Captain

SpiderWings wrote:

How come no more Steeler Air Bel? I'm behind on my reading.... did I miss something? Hope you are just taking a break and will continue on.

No not continuing on just now. US AIR TALES took its place... as I am sure you noticed a lot of the cast of characters is the same.

Ultimately what I would like to do is to create a new airline that does not have any real world ties, and transalate all the stories I have told to that. Then I can write a book haha.

BTW That flight was interesting... What was your final time?

Something about that aircraft looks cool!

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