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Mithras

Amy Johnson - London to Australia Attempt

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Some people say I have too much free time ... I'm thinking about putting my flight simulator to work to replicate Amy Johnson's 1930 flight to Australia. She is a local hero in Bridlington, with a road named after her and her museum here. She lived in nearby Hull, but visited her grandparents here in Bridlington many times.

 

It would all be real time, in the same aircraft (Jason, her Gipsy Moth), no radios, no autopilot, navigating with a map and looking out of the cockpit for lakes, roads and railway lines. It took her around 130 hours of flying in 8-9 hour sessions, but my version of the Gipsy Moth can only fly for 3 hours, so I would have to land after 3 hours. So where she made 17 flights, I would have to make 3x that, around 60 flights.... I know I have some free time, but that much free time?

 

I'm still weighing it up, though I've planned out the first six flights to Istanbul.

 

EDIT: just flown my first leg from London (Biggin Hill, not Croydon) to Liege. Getting to Calais was easy using Orbx, but navigating across Belgium was tough, all those towns and canals and lakes and motorways looked the same! But I touched down at Liege with 20% of my fuel left. I can't believe she flew London to Vienna on her first day!

 

My inspiration is Ari's experiences documented in his flight across Africa: http://www.piloting-across-africa.info/journal/practical-tips.html

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Good for you, Paul!

 

It's interesting to note that with many of these early long distance flights, the Moth series was the airplane of choice! Amy had hers, and so did Jean Batten on her attempts.

 

:blink:


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I know I have some free time, but that much free time?
Should that be an objection?

If you already regularly spend time on flightsimming then it wouldn't matter if that time is spent on several flights with no relation to eachother or a big journey of many flights.

 

Anyway, good luck with it.

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Good luck with it!  I wish more people would attempt such flights.  You learn a lot about aviation that way.

 

Hook


Larry Hookins

 

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

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It looks like I've made a good start, if I can just get to Constantinople, then I'll have a fighting chance, I love flying in the Middle East and South East Asia. My main worry is that boredom will get me and I wont complete it, which means hours 'wasted'.

 

So far, great landings at Liege and Nuremburg. Navigating across Germany was much easier than Belgium, the big rivers and autobahns cutting through forested mountains are good landmarks. But the weather was BAD and I had to fly under 1000 feet to maintain eye contact with the highway. Slipping in and out of rainclouds, with forested mountains all around makes for harrowing flying..... that and the fear of running out of fuel - should you get lost. At Vienna, which is so easy to locate, I forward slipped, gaining time while 3 airliners took off from the main runway. But then had a bloomin prop strike! The Lufthansa crew preparing to take off behind me were pleased, I'm sure! No radio and ATC means I have to determine my own runway headings and slot in between any traffic.

 

Currently at a small town in the middle of Hungary, a crosswind tipped my plane over as I slowed on landing, technically a crash, but Amy had much worse and flew on the next day!

 

I really like this kind of flying, it is seat of the pants, constantly changing altitude to see landmarks, avoid cloud, climb to get a good view forward and so on. Getting lost is a constant fear, and you get very good a comparing landmarks to shapes on the map! Lakes are a Godsend. Every one looks different, a bit like fingerprints, whereas everything else in the FSX world is one of many. Helping navigation significantly is the stability of my freeware Gipsy Moth, point it at a heading and off it will go, no aileron or rudder trim needed. On the down side, the compass is arcane and tricky to use at first. It does not point north, nor does it point in the direction you are going ... But, it gets you there!

 

Not sure if screenshots are allowed in this forum, but here are a couple from my first European leg:

 

2014-8-31_13-57-2-156_zps02d7c261.png

Jason - a second hand De Havilland Gypsy Moth, ready to fly to Australia.

 

2014-8-31_14-55-14-119_zpsde9aff5d.png

Goodbye Blighty, will I ever see you again?

 

2014-9-1_10-8-25-912_zpsfba1ae5b.png

Foul German weather .. Flying at a few hundred feet to keep the road in sight.

Navigating east across Europe gets alot easier once you find the Danube!

 

2014-9-1_11-43-32-91_zps67fa9c15.png

I'm reading her biography at the moment, and I have a day off work tomorrow which means either Constantinople (!) or a visit to the Amy Johnson museum, up the road ...

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Getting lost is a constant fear, and you get very good a comparing landmarks to shapes on the map!

 

It's enough to make you feel sorry for people who never fly without a GPS! :D

 

Hook


Larry Hookins

 

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

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If you're flying fairly low, look at the ground.  If you're drifting, it will be obvious as you look over each side of the aircraft.  Guestimate a correction.  Sometimes you can see yourself drifting as you look over the nose.  There will be a line where the ground moves directly toward your aircraft.  On the left of this line the ground will move left, and on the right of the line the ground will move right.  Turn the plane so the line is in the direction you want to go.  Double check it often as the wind can change.

 

Another way is to fly your preferred compass course, and look at some terrain feature directly in front of the aircraft.  If you're drifting, and flying the same compass course, the terrain feature will move to one side or the other.  Correct your compass course accordingly and try to fly directly over the terrain feature when you get to it.

 

Remember, you're an aviator from the earliest days of flying and you're making it up as you go.  Have fun!

 

Hook


Larry Hookins

 

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

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Thanks for that Larry, I did run through various lessons in the Real World Training for FSX book 

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Microsoft-Flight-Simulator-Pilots-Training/dp/0764588222

 

But I just plain forgot to put this into practice because I was so absorbed by navigation (that's my excuse, anyway). I'll try your practical advice tonight (I had to save the flight in the air, which I hate doing) when I try to reach Constantinople .. but I fear I may run out of fuel and force to make a forced landing in a field. 

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Great advice, flying from Istanbul to Ankara in quite heavy cloud, dodging mountain peaks, I compensated for wind (which I had displayed using Shift + Z - cheat, I know). I hit my waypoint of lakes dead on after 30 mins and hit Ankara dead on after 45 mins of dead reckoning. At one point in the flight the winds moved slowly from 20 degrees all the way around to 250 degrees in the space of half an hour, but again, I compensated by eye,m for the shift. Neat!! 

 

A view up the Bosphorus as Amy flies from Europe to Asia: 

 

2014-9-4_20-16-13-459_zpse0e80270.jpg

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Keep on Truckin', Paul! Or, should I say... Amy? :P

 

Personally I wouldn't say Shift-Z is a 'cheat'; more like a 'guidebook' of sorts.

 

In any event, I like reading your Trip Reports... very inspiring!


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This is a very interesting thread, I hope you continue to update it!

 

cheers

-E


Enrique Vaamonde

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