Around the world in 175 days part 38: Chicago and Omaha

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September 15, 1924:  The three cruisers left McCook field for Chicago and followed the railroad lines that all seemed to point in the direction of their destination. A huge crowd had seen them off and an even larger crowd was waiting for them at the Maywood Airmail field outside the city.  They were taken by limousine with motorcycle escort to the Drake hotel where a large banquet was planned for that evening.

October 14, 2017:  For the next leg I will be using the Boeing 737-200.  Originally planned as a smaller twin engine airliner derived from the 707 and 727, it has become the best selling commercial airliner in history with over 9700 delivered by 2017 with over 4000 still on order.  The 737 was one of the first airliners I remember flying on, as a young lad I was very impressed by the air-stairs that came out of the fuselage from under the door.  The model I am using was made by Captain Sim and is quite nice.

The weather started off nice, clear with 6 knot winds and a temperature of 26C/79F.  Maywood Airmail field closed in 1927, so instead I will fly to Midway, which opened around the time Maywood closed and is the closest airport that can handle the 737. I climbed out of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and headed to Chicago at 9200 feet, trying to stay plausibly VFR.  The clouds started to build as I neared Chicago and thunder clouds hung around the city.  About 15 miles out I ran into clouds that went to below 2000 feet, I had to use the ILS to find the correct path to the runway and made a respectable landing.  The 206nm flight took 54 minutes. 

Here are the pics.

Ready for takeoff.

Climbing out of Dayton.

Just a few clouds.

Lots of farmland.

Is that lightning?

Can't see much in these clouds, better get lower.

Airport found, on final! Yes I noticed that I need more flaps.


September 17, 1924: They had hoped to get off early the day but heavy fog lasted all day.  The next morning they were off for Omaha Nebraska, landing at Jarvis Offutt field at Fort Crook.   Again crowds converged on the flyers, being held off by solders. Again there was a dinner with speeches by local dignitaries, but this time the citizens of Omaha chose a queen and five ladies in waiting who were to be the flyers hostesses for the evening.  Instead of shaking hands and expressing thanks for the welcome for hours, they got to hold one hand the whole evening and communicate “in the more eloquent language of eyes”, the idea met with their enthusiastic approval.

October 15, 2017:  For the next leg I will be using the BAe Hawk T1.  The hawk is a single engine advanced trainer used by the RAF and many other nations.  It first flew in 1974 and is still in production with over 1000 being built.  The flight to Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha was uneventful.  Weather was cloudy with 13 knot winds gusting to 23, overcast at 3900 feet and a temperature of 12C/43F.  I climbed up to 3500 feet and headed west.  I was cruising along happily at 440 knots when my fuel calculations told me I would not make it the 370 miles (I should have installed the drop tanks) so I slowed down to 240 knots.  The weather cleared up as I got to Omaha and I landed after flying 1.5 hours with plenty of fuel remaining.  

Here are the pics:

Ready to go.

Climbing out of Chicago.

Heading west.

It all sort of looks the same.

Over a lake some where.

Our destination is in sight.

On final.


Thanks for reading.

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Great looking shots of the mid west....navigation by follow the rail road!


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