Around the world in 175 days part 18: Vietnam, Hai Phong, Da Nang

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June 10, 1924: It was extremely hot as the flyers got there planes ready for the flight to Hai Phong, there route would take them over the Lanzhou peninsula that separated the South China Sea with the gulf of Tonkin, it was the shortest distance but it was covered by jungle that contained more tigers and leopards than any other place in China.  Also for a sea plane any mechanical problem would result in a crash in the Jungle.  They traveled down the coast and over the peninsula.  They flew at around 500 feet and could see the locals scattering in all directions as they passed over.  Wade wrote of the flight, remembering all the tiny islands that “rival our thousand islands if not surpassing them in beauty”.  They landed near the mouth of the Red River at sundown.  A group of french men and women came out to welcome them, one particular Frenchman tried several times to come aboard Chicago to give a welcoming speech, but Smith not done working on the engine pushed the boat away each time.  When the crews were done servicing there aircraft they finally came ashore and that Frenchman was still waiting for them, turns out it was the French Governor General who wanted to invite them to a formal reception.  Smith apologized for any unintentional discourtesy and accepted. 

August 5, 2017: For the next couple legs I will be flying the Grumman G-21 Goose.  The Goose first flew in 1937 and was intended as an eight passenger commuter aircraft for businessmen in the Long Island area and Grumman's first aircraft to be used in airline service.  It was used in world war 2 by the United States and many other nations as an effective light transport.  About 345 were built and at least 30 are still airworthy.  The model I am using for this flight is the one that comes default with FSX.  I know many of us discount the default aircraft but this one I has always been one of my favorites and I think it as good as many payware aircraft out there.  

My flight to Hai Phong was uneventful.  Weather was warm, few clouds at 2000 feet with 10 kn winds, and those clouds cleared half way into the flight.  I followed the coast till I reached the Lanzhou peninsula and crossing over to the gulf of Tonkin proceeded down the coast to Hai Phong.  The default airport there was just the runway and the tower so I taxied off into the grass and stopped, it probably would have been more fun to landed in river that was close by.  Here are a few pics from the flight.

Ready for takeoff.

Heading out over Zhujiang River Estuary

Glamour shots.

Lots of pretty islands.

More islands.

Not sure if this is supposed to be river sediment or polution.

City of Hai Phong and my destination.


June 11, 1924:  The next day they all had trouble getting airborne in the calm waters of Hai Phong's river, they zigzagged down the river trying to avoid all the Junks and sampans that kept trying to get in there way, they all got off but it took wade 12 miles at full throttle before the pontoons would break loose.  The 410 mile flight to Tourane French Indochina (Later Da Nang, Vietnam) was looking like it would be an easy one as they flew over the rice fields, jungles and out over the Gulf on Tonkin, but 30 miles off the coast Chicago's engine started to overheat, Smith quickly found a quiet lagoon where they could land and add water to the radiator.  They were off again but 30 minutes later there engine started to pound ominously, again they searched for a safe place to land and found another lagoon 3 miles inland.  This time they found a broken connecting rod sticking out the side of the crank case.  After seeing Smith signal that the engine could not be repaired both Wade and Nelson landed to give what help they could, they gave them all the food and water they could and promised to get a new engine to them as soon as they could, so New Orleans and Boston took off and proceed to Tourane to get help, leaving Smith and Arnold stranded on this small lake, far from any visible habitation.

August 6, 2017:  Continuing in the Grumman Goose, my flight from Hai Phong to Da Nang was much lest eventful than Smiths. The weather was good, a few clouds at 1800, 4kn wind, warm with temperature of 31C. Staying along the coast of the Gulf of Tonkin, I cruised at about 2400 feet until the city of Da Nang was in sight.  Rather than landing at the airport, I decided to put this sea plane to good use and landed in the River in the center of the city.  The river was only 2 miles from the airport and the FSAirlines client would record this as landing at that airport.  The 299 nm flight took me 2.4 hours.

Here are a few pics from the flight:

Ready to go at Hai Phong.

Climbing out of Hai Phong.


Rear view.

View of the coast.

Front view.

My destination, lets land in the river instead of the airport.

Landed at Da Nang.

For some reason I did not take any interior shots, sorry about that, good thing I did so on the last flight.

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Agree on the Goose....many generic FSX aircraft are very nice....tough luck for Smith and Arnold!


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And you didn't find that small pond to land where Chicago did?

Great pictures and story - as always!


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6 hours ago, HaraldG said:

And you didn't find that small pond to land where Chicago did?

Great pictures and story - as always!


That might have been fun, but I had a different idea for an excursion, which you will see in part 19 :-)

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