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Around the world in 175 days part 24: Pakistan! Multan and Karachi

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July 3, 1924:  That night in Ambala the temperature stayed between 102 and 106 and the flyers got very little sleep despite the Indian servants waving “Punkas” over them all night. The British pilots, concerned about the Americans and there flying suits gave them RAF pith helmets and British shorts and light shirts which the fliers would use until they left the desert countries.  In the morning they left for Multan and climbed to 6000 feet to escape the heat, following the railroad tracks to guide them.  They soon encountered a sandstorm that completely obscured both the earth and the railroad, they descended to 50 feet to keep the tracks in sight. The sand stung their eyes and sifted through their clothes.  They flew right over Multan without seeing it, when Smith noticed they had passed the airport they returned to the area, made several passes over head and landed.  Once they had parked there planes the men had difficulty getting out of there planes.  As Colonel Butler, the British commander, shook the hand of each of the lobster-red faces, bloodshot eyed man, he handed them a glass of Ice cold lemonade that Arnold wrote was  one of the most delicious drinks in his life. 

September 2, 2017: For the next flight I got ready the Hawker Typhoon. Designed as a successor to the Hawker Hurricane but had several design problems that delayed its introduction. When the FW-190 was introduced the Typhoon was the only aircraft that could catch it at low altitude and the Tiffy went on to become one of the most successful ground attack aircraft of WW2. The aircraft I am using today as recently released by Aeroplane heaven and is very nice. With it I am using the ‘Silver Bullet’ repaint by Peter Watkins. The flight to Multan, Pakistan started with great weather, 5 knot winds, Scattered clouds at 8800 feet and a temperature of 25.5C/78F. The flight was fairly easy, flying at 4000 feet, the Typhoon made short work of the 280 nm flight, cruising at just over 300 knots. Things were going well until 15 miles from the destination the visibility dropped to about 4 miles and I had difficulty finding the airport, I actually few over it before spotting it and circling back to make a safe landing. The trip had taken 1 hour to complete. Here are some pics.

Ready for takeoff.

Flying out over Ambala.

Glamour Shots.

Flying over the Indian countryside.  Does not look much like desert.


Nice flying weather.

Visiblity drops as we get close to Multan.


Safely on the ground.

July 4, 1924:  It was 120 degrees in Multan; Arnold thought the name should be Molten instead. The reporter Wells who was following the flight reported that “No sensible person would ever go there voluntarily” and “only the constant threat of revolt by fanatical, unfriendly Indians makes the place endurable”.  They were off the ground a 6am headed for Karachi.  They flew over the Sind Desert this time there were no sand storms although they could see them swirling in the distance.  They were cruising at 4000 feet to escape the heat when about a hour out of Karachi the engine in New Orleans started to rattle and bang as if it was coming apart.  White smoke trailed the aircraft as oil spewed dpwm the sides of the engine and pieces of the engine itself started being ejected from under the cowling and ripping holes in the fabric of the aircraft.  But the engine continued to respond and Nelson later reported that it continued “to run very nicely on eleven cylinders”  He was able to nurse it all the way to the RAF field in Karachi, home of the best repair depots in the world at that time.  

September 3, 2017:  For the next leg I got ready the Grumman TBF Avenger.  The Avenger first flew in 1941 and was designed as torpedo bomber, first seeing action at the Battle of Midway, and despite the fact that 5 of the 6 Avengers there were lost, it survived in service to become one of the outstanding torpedo bombers of World War II. Greatly modified after the war, it remained in use until the 1960s.  Over 9800 were built.  The aircraft I am using today was made by Vertigo Studios and is nice but the engine is a bit touchy if you run it at full power for too long.  The weather was not the best when I started, 4 knot winds, 3.1 mile visibility, and scattered clouds at 4000 with a temperature of 33C/91C.  We started off at 2000 feet to keep the ground in view but the clouds soon cleared up and we had great visibility.  I climbed to 4000 feet and followed the Indus river valley, the clouds got a bit thicker as we approached the coast and we dropped to 2000 feet to stay under them but visibility stayed good.  At some point I accidently hit the throttle lever on the joystick and before I knew it the engine was stuttering and trailing white smoke behind it, I decreased the throttle and tried to keep it in the air long enough for the engine to cool down and keep flying, almost crashed a couple times it finally recovered and I was able to follow the coast to Masroor Air Base in Karachi.  The 398 nm flight took 3.1 hours of flying.  Here are a few pics:

Ready for takeoff.

The visiblility is a little limited.

Glamour shots over the River Indus.

Following the Indus River Valley.

You can see the desert beyond.

Finally reached the coast.

Karachi and my destination.


Thanks for reading! ATB

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Typhoon was used to shoot down V1 rockets....great story lines on the world flight!


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On 9/5/2017 at 1:22 PM, HLJames said:

Typhoon was used to shoot down V1 rockets....great story lines on the world flight!


Interesting, I know they used the Tempest but I was not aware that Typhoons was also used.

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