Around the world in 175 days part 37: Washington DC, Dayton Ohio

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September 9, 1924:  After refueling at Aberdeen, they flyers and there escorts were off again for Bolling field, Washington DC.  Eight miles south of Baltimore the engine on New Orleans suddenly quit and Nelson made a smooth forced landing in a pasture.  General Patrick and several of the escorts landed while the other two cruisers circled.   Knowing the president and cabinet were waiting at Bolling field had Nelson take the escort carrying his brother in the passenger seat while Harding would stay with New Orleans.  

The President Coolidge had been waiting with his wife and most of the cabinet in the rain since 11am, when one of them suggested they leave he said “Not on your life, I will wait all day if necessary”.  It was still raining when they arrived over Bolling field.  The cruisers circled a couple time and landed, followed by there escorts.  They were warmly greeted by the President  who asked many questions of the flyers.  Overnight Harding was able to repair New Orleans and it flown to Bolling field the next day.  The flyers would stay in Washington for the next three days to grant interviews, meet with Generals and officials, and participate in the Defense day activities September 12th. 

October 10, 2017:  For the next leg I will be using the Aero Commander 500.  The Aero commander is a series of twin engine utility and business aircraft that were introduced in 1952.  Over 3100 of all variants were built before production ended in 1986.  The model I am using was made by Milton Shupe and is one of my favorites.  I was planning on flying to Washington the same day as Aberdeen but decided against it after landing in the fog.  The weather the next day was better, Broken clouds at 3500 feet, no wind and a temperature of 20C/68F.  The flight was uneventful, I stayed between 1000 and 2000 feet before arriving over the capitol.  Bolling field is long gone, but right across the river from its former site is Reagan national airport so thats where I landed.  The 55nm flight too 27 minutes.

Here are the pics:

Ready to go.

Heading out over Baltimore.

Just a few clouds.

Chesapeake Bay.

Just afew more clouds.

The capitol ahead.

I probably could not fly here in real life.


September 13, 1924:  The previous day they had flown over the city and taken part in the parade of troops in the Defense Day activities. “The reception and applause given to us all along the line of march was wonderful.” Arnold wrote. “And to be so received by our own people thrilled us all, it was probably the greatest moment in our lives.”  The weather was marginal the day they departed for Dayton Ohio, but they were fatigued by all the attention they had received and were ready to press on.  Five escorting planes joined them but they left when they ran into near Harpers Ferry.  The flyers continued on, flying low over the telephone poles and tree tops as they followed the rail road through the valley.  About 80 miles from Dayton the first planes joined them, there numbers increased to about 20 flying information into McCook Field, then the Air Services major aircraft evaluation center.  A crowd of nearly 10,000 waited at the airfield to greet them,  Two men quickly emerged from the crowd to extend there congratulations, Major Martin and Sgt Harvey, who had piloted Seattle before they crashed in Alaska.  For the next two days in shifts, mechanics went over every part of the aircraft and replaced anything that showed any wear or tear, it was the first time the flyers had allowed anyone to work on the aircraft without them being present since the flight started.

October 13, 2017: For the next leg I will be using the Hawker Siddeley HS-748.  The HS-748 is a medium size turboprop airliner originally designed by Avro as a replacement for aging DC-3’s.  With good STOL performance it found a dedicated market, About 380 aircraft were built between 1961 and 1988.  The aircraft is by JustFlight/Aeroplane Heaven.  Weather was not the best, cloudy with 6 knot winds a temperature of 17C/63F and clouds from 700 feet extending up to about 6000 feet.  Knowing  I had to fly over the Appalachian Mountains I climbed up to 8000 feet and headed west over the clouds.  McCook field closed in 1927; instead I landed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, about 7 miles to the east.  The 331 nm flight took 1.4 hours.

Here are the pics:

Ready to go.
Climbing out of DC.
Climbing up over the clouds.
Over the Appalachian Mountains
Crossing the Ohio river.
Coming into Dayton.

Thanks for reading

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Wonderful account of aviation the details!


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Nice aircraft!  You have to be careful flying over DC....  Get clearance or their ground to air missiles might lock on to you!


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