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joefremont

Around the world in 175 days part 20: Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand

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June 18, 1924:  As they continued there adventure the flyers did not bring there dress uniforms with them in there cramped aircraft, instead they would usually they would be lent cloths by the officers on the Navy ship that was there to help them.  They would borrow shirts, socks, pants and ties, but not Jackets, since those would have Navy insignia on them and they were members of the Army.  In Saigon this led to a less than friendly reception from a very french waiter at a street side cafe who despite there explanations, would not serve them because they were not wearing jackets.  There destination for the day was Bangkok Siam (Thailand), They could have saved 100 miles if they had flown across the souther part of Indochina (now Vietnam) but felt continuing along the coast while longer would be much safer with the many lagoons they could land on in emergency.  To avoid the long take off runs in the crowded rivers they decided to not leave with full fuel and fly 410 miles to Kampong Som Bay (Cambodia) before continuing to Bangkok. They flight was uneventful, they landed in the Kampong Som river which was protected from the high winds and were refueled with the help of the crew from the destroyer.

August 15, 2017:  I had originally wanted to use Virtavia's Heinkel He 111 but discovered the empty weight was was off by about 1/3 so the FSAirlines tracking client would not accept it unless I fixed it, plus it is one of the worst I have seen for nosing over when you hit the breaks.  Not wanting to mess up the flight characteristics by increasing the weight I switched instead to the Hawker Hurricane.  The Hurricane is one of those legionary aircraft that should need to introduction, it first flew in 1935 and formed the bulk of the RAF fighter force in the early parts of the second world war, over 14,000 were built before production ended in 1944.  It accounted for 60% of the victories in the Battle of Britain and it served in every major theater of the war. I am using the Just Flight Battle of Britain package and am using a Hurricane Ia, which looks and flies great but I had a big problem with fuel usage during the flight. The weather was not bad, 6 knot winds, broken clouds at 1500 feet, Temperature of 30C.  I intended to follow there path down the coast of the South China Sea and around but as I approached the mouth of the Mekong river I noticed I was already down to 80% fuel,  I reset the engine to a lower power setting and turned due west across the countryside to head directly for Sihanukville, Cambodia, the closest airport to where I think they originally landed.  By the time I reached the west coast of Vietnam I still had 100 miles to go and was down to 25% fuel.  Looking for the closest airport I landed at Rach Gia airport, refueled and was on my way again.  The clouds got a bit thicker as I approached my destination but made a safe landing and taxied off the runway to stop in the grass with 50% fuel remaining.  My 200 miles of flying had taken me 1.7 hours.

Here are a few pics:

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Ready at sunrise

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Sunrise over Ho Chi Minh City.

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Flying along the coast.

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Low on fuel, landed at Rach Gia

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Refueled and off again.

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Flying along the coast in the Gulf of Thailand.

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Just a little rain.

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Landed at Sihanukville, Cambodia.

June 18, 1924: After refueling at Kampongson bay they flyers continued along the coast of the Gulf of Siam for 245 miles until they reached Bangkok and landed in the Menam river. Again they had to dodge junks, sampans and houseboats to get to there moorings.  The heat and humidity wad debilitating as they serviced there craft.  They continually had to try to protect the cruisers from being rammed by wayward boats until the Siamese police strung a circle of boats around each cruiser.

August 16, 2017: After the fuel problems with the JF Hurricane decided to switch to something else for the 268 nm flight to Bangkok Thailand, the Messerschmitt Bf-109.  The 109 is another aircraft that should need to introduction,  first flown in 1935 it was one of the most advanced of its day with all metal construction, an enclosed cockpit and retractable gear.  Serving in the Spanish civil war and then world war 2.  Almost 34,000 were made and it was in service until 1965.  The three top German aces of the war all few the 109 and between them had 926 victories.  The aircraft I am flying today is also from the JustFlight Battle of Britain collection and is very nice.  In Sihanukville I switched planes and was off again for Thailand.  Weather was not the best, Clouds at 1500 feet and light rain, I continued up the coast of the Gulf of Thailand at 1000 feet, gradually the weather improved and I climbed up 2500 feet as we continued our easy flight landing at Don Mueang International airport after 1.4 hours of flying.

Here are a few pics:

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New plane, full fuel, ready to go.

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Climbing out.

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Not the prettyest, but flys well.

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Coast of the Gulf of Thailand.

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Island hoping.

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Selfie!

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I think Bangkok is in site.

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Landed.

Thanks for reading, off for a road trip so no more flights for at least a week.

Hope you have enjoyed these so far, your comments are always welcome.

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I Had read elsewhere over the years that the Hurricane did most of the work during the BoB (and later) but that the "Spit" had gotten all the glory for some reason.  Nice to see the Hawker mentioned.

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7 hours ago, woodhick said:

I Had read elsewhere over the years that the Hurricane did most of the work during the BoB (and later) but that the "Spit" had gotten all the glory for some reason.  Nice to see the Hawker mentioned.

Yes, even at the time the Spit got all the glory.  Both the Hurricane and the 109 were both overshadowed by later aircraft (spit and fw190) but each carried much of the load in the earlier years.  At least with the 109 they kept upgrading it and it stayed competitive until the end while the hurricane gradually got relegated to ground attack roles.

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