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joefremont

Around the world in 175 days part 12. Atka, Attu, Komandorski

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May 9, 1924.  Wade asked an old trapper when the seasons changed, he replied “We have only two seasons here, winter and next winder”.  Having no word on what happened to Martin and Harvey, the flyer waited in Atka for fuel and for weather to ease, by the 9th weather was better and they started for Attu at 9am.  Winds from a williwaw hit just as they were taking off and almost caused Nelson to crash but they were soon all in the air.  The 555 mile flight was long and cold with occasional snow squalls, the only life they saw along the way were birds and whales, They arrived in Attu after 7 hours 52 minutes of flying.

May 10, 1924 Martin and Harvey walked out of the wilderness near the Port Moller Cannery.  On the 3rd they had been climbing in thick fog trying to get to Dutch Harbor.  Martin was thinking he should turn back but thought he saw water ahead so he pressed on, a moment later they crashed into a gentle slope on the side of a mountain and crunched to rest in the snow.  They were unhurt but the plane was a total wreck. They knew they in trouble as the area they were in was mostly uninhabited and for food all they had were two sandwiches made for them by Mrs Osborne in Chignik and two thermos bottles of condensed food they had bought in Los Angeles.  They wandered though the wilderness for several days until they found a campers cabin on the 7th that looked like it had been recently vacated. They rested there for three days, eating what food was in the cabin and then followed the beach until they saw the Cannery at Port Moller.  Martin sent a cable to General Patrick that they were safe and they stayed there till the 14th when they were given transport on the company steamer back to Bellingham Washington.

July 13, 2017.  Today we will be flying the Lockheed L-10 Electra.  The Electra was a twin engine all metal airliner that first flew in 1934.  It was built to compete with the Boeing 247 and Douglas DC-2.  The Electra was the type of aircraft used by Amelia Earhart on her ill-fated flight around the world.  The aircraft I will be using today was made by Just Flight and can now be found as a default aircraft in Prepar3D Version 4.  

The weather for my flight was overcast with a 2000 foot ceiling and winds around 12 kn.  I saw few of the scattered islands as I was heading in and out of the low clouds continually adjusting the Sperry autopilot to keep my altitude between the clouds and the sea but since there was not much to see I was mostly in the clouds over open ocean.  Those Islands I did see were were not much to look at (I have now left the land of ORBX).  I arrived at Attu after 2.8 hours of flying.  Here are a few pics from the flight.


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Ready for takeoff.

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Heading out from Akta Island.

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Most of the time it looked like this.

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Flying in and out of clouds.

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Islands along the way, definatly not the land of ORBX.

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The occasinal clear weather, time for a glamour shot.

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Our destination.

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Secured.

May 15, 1924.  The original plan was to fly 870 miles directly to Paramushiru, Japan, a flight that under normal conditions would take 10 hours.  But there was concern as very rough weather was expected so the flyers decided to fly to the Russian island of Komandorski instead.  The Russians had denied the Americans permission to fly through their territory but it was felt that the risk of being arrested by the Soviets was better than flying through the storm.  Bureau of Fisheries boat Eider proceeded to Komandorski to wait for the flyers off shore. They were ready on the 12th but high winds, snow and fog prevented there leaving.  Finally on the 15th Eider signaled that conditions at Komandorski were favorable and the flyers departed.  “For three hours we flew out of sight of land, wondering all the time what the Russians would think when they saw three giant planes swoop down out of the sky in this remote region where even ships come about once a year”.  They arrived around 2:30 in the afternoon. Eider had secretly placed buoys for them out of sight of land.  As they landed a small boat came out with five people, two in uniform with rifles as soon but there was no hostility.  The Russians informed them they would have to stay on the ship and could not come ashore and offered them a flagon of Vodka.  The flyers settled in on the Eider for the night.

July 15, 2017:  Originally I wanted to use Polikarpov Po-2 by Swingman which is a very nice plane and I thought it would be good to fly into Russian territory in a Russian aircraft, but became concerned that the flight from Attu to Komandorski was just at the limit of the Po-2’s range, then discovered that neither FSX or P3D had the Komandorski island airport.  I created a seaplane airport with a water runway and a USCG cutter to mark it using Airport Design Editor by ScruffyDuck software. Since I don’t have a float plane version of the Po-2 its out.  

Instead we will be using the Beechcraft Model 18.  Beech built over 9000 model 18’s between 1937 and 1969 and they were used worldwide in many different roles, many are still in use today.  I will be using an amphibious version of the D18s created by and recently updated to FSX native by Milton Shupe.  

Weather was not the best, 300 foot ceiling with fog that kept moving in and out. I waited till I could see the end of the runway and took off and was almost immediately in the clouds.  I tried to fly straight out at a consistent climb and heading until I was sure it was safe to turn west.  Once up at 8000 feet we navigated to Komandorski.  As the island came into view we descended through a break in the clouds and proceeded up the coast until we found the cutter, safely landing next to it after 1.8 hours of flying.

Here are a few pics from the flight.

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Ready to go at Attu, but the weather is not.

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Now we are ready.

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Climbing out through the clouds.

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Finally above the clouds.

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Glamour shots.

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Komandorski in sight!

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Our destination.

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Landed.

 

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Flying over the weather now an option....the Liberty 12 was the standard for a long time!

HLJAMES

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Yeah, going above the weather is an option, but I felt guilty doing it.  I figure I should try to fly using VFR rules since that's basically what they did, but its going to get harder as the aircraft get more capable.

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