joefremont

Around the World in 175 Days Part 22: Bangladesh, Kolkata India.

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June 25, 1924:  The river traffic at Rangoon nearly ended their flight that night, a large river boat under full sail, apparently sailed by a careless helmsman was heading right for the cruisers, but the Navy was there to save the day.  Sailors from the destroyer that were guarding the planes boarded the wayward hulk, clipped the helmsman in the jaw and took charge, The resulting collision ended up being fairly gentle but New Orleans required five days to repair the damage before they could leave for there next destination.  They left on the 25th for Akyab, Burma and the Bay of Bengal.  En route they flew through one of the heaviest rain storms they ever experienced.  They arrived in Akyab seaport and hurriedly refueled, they wanted to leave as soon as possible as the area had the distinction of averaging over 400 inches of rain a year but they got a message that the moorings at there next stop were not ready so they would have to wait till the next day.

August 22, 2017:  For the next flight I got ready the de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito. The Mossie was another of those legendary aircraft that should need not introduction.  It first flew in 1940 with an airframe made almost entirely of wood and when it was introduced was one of the fastest aircraft in the world.  It was used as a bomber, day and night fighter, photo-recon and fast transport for up to one passenger.  Over 7,700 were built before production ended in 1950.  For this flight I will be using an aircraft with the colours of the RAF India and was produced by JustFlight and Aeroplane Heaven.

Akyab Burma is now Sittwe Myanmar.  Weather for the flight started off less than promising. 4 knot winds, broken clouds at 1500 feet and 30C temperature but pretty hazy/foggy, with only 4 mile visibility.  I headed mostly west at 1000 feet until I reached the coast, as we approached the shore the clouds let up.  Climbing to 2500 feet to get over the coastal hills we turned north and followed the coast in great weather until we reached Sittwe, making a safe landing at there airport.  The 269 nm flight took 1.3 hours.  Here are some screen shots.

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Ready for takeoff.

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Low clouds over the city.

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Weather improves at the coast.

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Turning north to Sittwe.

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Cruisin.

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Nice weather now.

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The city of Sittwe, todays destination.

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Secured.

June 26, 1924:  Despite the heavy rain at Akyab the flyers were in the air at 7am for Chittagong Burma.  They noticed the rain was heaviest at the shore so they ended up flying 15 miles out in the Bay of 
Bengal.  They landed in the Chittagong river and were quickly refueled by the destroyer USS Preston. They were soon in the air again bound for Calcutta India.  This was going to be a more dangerous leg as they had to take a compass heading over the delta of the River Ganges, . overhaul there craft and swap the large floats for wheels before continuing on there journey.12

August 24, 2017:  The next couple legs were the last before they switched from sea planes to land planes so I wanted to use an amphibian so I chose the Grumman G-44 Widgeon.  The Widgeon first flew in 1940 and was designed for the civil market, smaller but similar to the Goose.  During World War 2 it was used as a small patrol and utility aircraft by the USN, Coast Guard and Royal Navy.  317 were built before production ended in 1955.  The aircraft I am using today is by FlySimWare in civilian colors.  

We started at Sittwe airport with a 7am departure for Chittagong Bangladesh.  The weather was great, clear below 20,000 feet, 4 knot winds and a temperature of 29.7C/85F.  We followed the coast of the Bay of Bengal north at 3000 feet. As we approached our destination it suddenly became quite cloudy with 3 mile visibility.  We found the mouth of the Chittagong River and landed.  For some reason when I landed the engines stopped and I could not restart them.  So I switched aircraft, now using the G-44 in US Navy colors, did a quick refuel and was off.  The weather was now calm, 3.1 mile visibility with clouds at 1800 feet.  We were now back in the air and off for Calcutta India, now called Kolkata.  Apparently it was always pronounced that way and in 2001 the spelling was officially changed to match.  This time we flew at 1500 feet on compass heading directly for the city of Kolkata.  As we few over the Bay of Bengal the weather improved and we soon had blue skies again.  Once over the city we found the main river and headed north to the Barrackpore Air Force Station.  Since I was in the amphibian we landed in the Hooghly River right next to the airport.  Again the engines stopped and I could not restart them, but since I did not need to go further it was ok.  The 334 nm flights had taken 2.5 hours of flying.

At this point I have finished what they called the “Third Division” of the flight.  I have flown 11024 nm with 81.3 hours of flight time.  Based on start dates I am 10 days ahead of them.

Normally I do 8 images per flight, since I am combining two legs I did 6 from each, here they are.


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Ready to go in Sittwe Myanmar

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Kutubdia Island.

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Flying along the Bay of Bengal 

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Glamour Shots.

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Suddenly Fog.

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Landed in Chittagong Bangladesh

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Switch to the Navy paint scheme.

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Off into the fog.

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Glamour shots.

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Flying over the country side.

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Over Kolkata, think I will land in the river near the airport.

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Landed.

Thanks again for reading, as always your comments are welcome.

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I put together a couple maps showing my flights.  On FSAirlines you can export a google earth KML file showing your flights, which I then used to create these images.  Here are the maps of my progress so far.

wc_part1_crop.jpg

wc_part2_crop.jpg
 

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Marvelous account of aviation history....very nice screenshots!

HLJAMES

 

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Thanks for the Complements James.

Somehow as I wrote this I mangled the first paragraph, AVSim has an oppressively short period of time you can edit posts so I can't go back and fix it.  It should read as follows.

June 26, 1924:  Despite the heavy rain at Akyab the flyers were in the air at 7am for Chittagong Burma.  They noticed the rain was heaviest at the shore so they ended up flying 15 miles out in the Bay of Bengal.  They landed in the Chittagong river and were quickly refueled by the destroyer USS Preston. They were soon in the air again bound for Calcutta India.  This was going to be a more dangerous leg as they had to take a compass heading over the delta of the River Ganges, known to be inhabited by Tigers and Crocodiles, If a plane went down it might take months to locate.  They spotted the Hooghly river and followed it 80 miles to the city of Calcutta, then the second largest city in the British Empire. They then flew sixteen miles north of the city, to an area they hoped would have less boat traffic, landed and tied up to moorings used by ocean going ships.  Here they would overhaul there craft and swap the large floats for wheels before continuing on there journey.

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Very nice.  I am not a vintage planes guy but your historic flight legs inspire me to repeat them some days with more modern aircraft.

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