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joefremont

Around the world in 175 days part 21: Burma/Myanmar

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June 20, 1924: The flyers were given a tour of the city of Bangkok which included many temples and palaces, the king was out of town but they did meet the ranking prince. They were offered the opportunity to view a beheading bee but they declined that. Some of the flyers took advantage of the comfortable Royal Hotel of Bangkok, while the others decided to sleep on the Destroyer. The next major stop was to be Rangoon Burma, they decided to fly to Tavoy to refuel. A direct flight would require a 130 mile flight over the Malay Peninsula, the safer alternative would be to fly along the coast and around but that would require another two days of flying so Lt Smith decided to take the risk. The flight over the peninsula was not as easy as they expected, In trying to fly over one ridge New Orleans kept getting hit by dangerous down drafts that caused it to turn around try again.Several attempts were made before they finally made it over. After 200 miles of flying they arrived at the Tavoy, Burma where the destroyer USS Picard was waiting for them.

August 20, 2017: For the next leg I got ready the Lockheed L-18 Lodestar, The Lodestar was an enlarged version of the L-14 Super Electra, which was an enlarged version of the L-10 Electra. The Lodestar had two more rows of seats compared to the L-14 which gave it similar per seat cost to the DC-3 with better performance. Over 600 were built between 1940 and 1957. They aircraft I am using was made by Milton Shupe and is very nice, but it’s not V4 compatible. Tavoy is now Dawei, Myanmar. Weather for this leg was not bad, 4 knot winds with a few clouds at 4000 feet and a temperature of 28C/82F. The flight to Dawei was uneventful except that P3Dv3.4 crashed on me twice before I could finish the flight. I few most of the flight at 4000 feet and had to weave though the mountains near Dawei to stay below the clouds. My 141 nm flight took only 48 minutes.

Here are some pics:

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Ready for dawn takeoff.

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Flying over the Thai country side.

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Just a few hills/mountians to get through.

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Glamour Shots.

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Weaving through the mountians.

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Dawei ahead!

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Our destination is in sight!

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Landed!

June 20, 1924: The stop at Tavoy was only to refuel.  While the sailors of USS Picard where helping them refuel a monsoon wind suddenly engulfed them with high winds and rain.  As there were no sheltered coves nearby, Smith signaled the others that they should all take off.  As they were taking off Boston was hit by a big wave that caused one of the wing wires to break, Wade decided it was better to fly to Rangoon rather than risk landing.  In New Orleans two wing wires broke and Nelson decided it was better to taxi back and fix them, this took half an hour and they were then on there way behind the others.  They landed in the Irrawaddy River in Rangoon where the destroyer USS Pruitt was there to assist them.  They found the river as crowded with boats any other they had visited.  Arnold fell in the river as he was reaching for the buoy, Smith not noticing had to taxi away quickly to avoid being rammed by a boat but soon saw he was missing and taxied back so he could climb back on the pontoon.

August 20, 2017:  For the next leg I got ready the Lodestar’s military cousin the Lockheed PV-1 Ventura.  The Lodestar was developed into the Ventura as a replacement for Lockheed Hudson’s in service with the RAF, and was later developed into the B-34, B-37, PV-1 and PV-2 for use as both light and patrol bomber,  A total of 3028 were built.   The model I am using today is also one of Milton Shupe’s and is very nice but also not V4 compatible.  The weather started off nice, 4 knot winds with light rain, a few clouds at 11000 feet and a temperature of 25C/77F.  After switching planes we took off from the Dawei airport along the coast at about 2500 feet.  The clouds got heavier as we headed north, eventually having to drop to 1500 feet to stay out of the clouds, near Mawlamyine turned west out over the Gulf of Martaban. Once we reached the mouth of the Yangon river up to the city of Yangon (formerly Rangoon).  The clouds had built to the point where the city seamed fogged in but using the GPS to navigate we found the airport and made a safe landing.  The 206 nm flight had taken 1.4 hours.

Here are a few pics of the flight:

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Ready to go.

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Heading out over the coast.

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Glamour shots.

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Along the coast of the Andaman Sea.

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Low clouds ahead.

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The city of Yangon.

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Finally the airport.

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Landed.

Thanks for reading

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Amazing about the boat traffic and not being able to climb over mountains!

HLJAMES

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