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Around the World (the Hard Way) Tour

Guest Ed Guest

Hi all,

For the past couple of weeks I've been working on an Around the World Tour, flying south over the South Pole, then continuing north over the North Pole. I call it "the hard way" because flying over the poles involves some very long distances without any chance to land, and navigation over the poles presents some problems in FS09.

I started at Los Angeles International Airport (KLAX) because that was the last place I landed when the tour came to mind. I'm flying my old fave, the Lear Jet 45. The advantage of the Lear for a trip like this is that it's reasonably fast, but can take off and land on a fairly short runway. In really remote regions, that's a big advantage. The drawback, of course, is that the range is only about 2500 nm, not really enough to cross the polar regions without a bit of cheating. So I cheated. So sue me. 😉

I decided to fly south along the western coast of South America, because I had done the eastern coast a couple of times recently. From Punta Arenas (SCCI) near the southern tip of Chile, it's several hundred miles across the Southern Ocean to the nearest sizeable airport on Antarctica, at Base Marambio (SAWB). That's a very strange little airport, a gravel runway sitting on top of a plateau, 760' above sea level. What's strange is that due to one of FS09's "geographical discontinuities," the first 100' or so of runway is UNDER WATER, although it's high above the surrounding ocean. You've got to see it to understand what I mean, but you don't dare land right at the threshhold, or you'll get a "water crash." Weird.

From Base Marambio and south, it gets really strange. Flying in the extreme polar regions in FS09 is a very strange trip, indeed. I think that in FS09, the world is not round, it's modeled on a flat surface. That means that space is very distorted when you get near the poles.

Since it's not possible to fly in a straight line and wind up where you want to go, I just picked a spot 180 degrees away in longitude and let the autopilot figure out how to get there. That spot happened to be the town of Albany, in southwestern Australia. And that happens to be more than 4000 nm away, hence the necessity to cheat-- I gave the Lear unlimited fuel to get me over the Antarctic continent.

The first several hundred miles was normal enough, but the closer you get to the south pole, the more "crooked" space becomes. The plot of the course on the map looks like a big flattened "U," even though you are theoretically flying a straight line (a Great Circle, more or less over the South Pole). But when you get way far south, you are flying diagonally relative to the ground-- the terrain appears to pass under the plane at an angle, not from the front of the plane to the rear, but from front-left to right-rear. And the terrain blinks on and off. And sometimes the plane just starts flying big S-curves. It's just weird.

So I finally made it over to Australia, and continued north, first landing in northwestern Australia, then Brunei, and most recently in Hong Kong.

I think I will hug the Pacific Coast of Asia as I continue north, because I learned on my Around the Arctic tour that there is a whole lot of nuthin' in the far northern regions of central Asia. That was the first place I ever opened the Nearest Airport menu in the GPS, and it was BLANK. I opened the map to find an airport and the nearest one I could land at was over 1200 nm away! Not the place to run out of fuel.

So I think I will stay to the east, maybe drop in on my friends Olga and Ekaterina at that lonely airport on the Kamchatka Peninsula, then continue over the North Pole to Canada, and south to sunny California.

Ed

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

Keep us posted, and don't pick up any strange packages from a "new friend" to deliver as a favor.

Radar

Guest Ed Guest

I completed the Around the World (the Hard Way) tour this evening. As I said in my last post, I continued north from Hong Kong along the eastern coast of Asia, crossed the Arctic Ocean to Thule AFB on Greenland, then south and west back to Los Angeles. There was a magnificient Aurora Borealis west of Greenland at about 8 PM yesterday (in sim time).

For those of you keeping score, here is the complete itinerary. I didn't always record the name of the city, sometimes I just wrote down the airport ID:

Southbound--
KLAX Los Angeles, California
MM0F Cabo San Lucas, Baja California, Mexico
MPTO Panama City, Panama
SPHI
SCDA
SCTE
SCCI Punta Arenas, Chile
SAWB Base Marambio, on an island off Antarctica

Over Antarctica, then Northbound--
YABA, Albany, Australia
YPLM, Learmouth, Australia
WBSB, Brunei
VHHH, Hong Kong
ZYTL, Zoushuizi, Peoples Republic of China
UHPP, Yelizovo on the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia
UHMP, Pevek, Russia (on the Arctic Ocean)

Over the Arctic Ocean, then South bound again:
BGTL, Thule AB, Greenland
CYOD, Cold Lake, Canada
KLAX, Los Angeles, Home Sweet Home.

Okay, now I'm ready for some low 'n' slow flying! 😂

Ed

Pro Member Chief Captain
liam (Liono) Chief Captain

Ed it's always a pleasure to read your tours.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Insight Chief Captain

huh

slightly off topic but this post made me think about it..

Does FS9 make odd things happen in the Bermuda Triangle?

Pro Member First Officer
michlin First Officer

Insight wrote:

huh

slightly off topic but this post made me think about it..

Does FS9 make odd things happen in the Bermuda Triangle?

Huh? What topics are you referring to?

and no.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Insight Chief Captain

I was saying.. the question I was about to make was off topic.. but <insert off topic question about bermuda triangle here>

🙂

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