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HighBypass

Flying the hump route(s)

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Playing about with a freeware C-46 piqued my interest about "the Hump" so I generated a quick & dirty FSX plan from Chabua to Wujiaba (Kunming's airport up until 2012) just going from the available NDBs and VORs in the sim. This should give me a "feel" for flying over the inhospitable terrain I think. I've no idea which beacons were available near the close of WWII, but surely some form of direction finding was used - it wasn't all on a paper map which is no use in IMC :happy:

Ignore the fuel burn - that's for the default Cessna!

Humproute.jpg

 

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15 hours ago, HighBypass said:

I've no idea which beacons were available near the close of WWII, but surely some form of direction finding was used - it wasn't all on a paper map which is no use in IMC :happy:

 

According to the China-Burma-India Hump Pilot Association:

'The Hump initially contained few enroute navigational aids. Enroute communications were poor, and air traffic control, except for local control towers, did not exist. Aeronautical charts were very unreliable and weather reporting was very poor. These conditions slowly improved after the arrival of the U. S. Army Airways Communications Service (AACS) in August 1943.

Homing beacons existed at each airfield in India and China. These homers were severely affected by weather, night effect, and static electricity that built up on aircraft. Airport instrument approaches were normally conducted to airports on homing beacons and were non-precision approaches.'

More info on the comms and navaids (or rather the lack of them lol), etc, can be found along with a fairly comprehensive overview of the historical operations by the U. S. Army Air Force in WW2 at the link below, this website includes route maps, aircraft cargo details etc, so is probably worth a good look:

https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/AAF/VII/index.html#contents

It's worth noting with the CBI routes that although the route was difficult and dangerous, with not only the terrain, weather and lack of nav aids and adequate charts to worry about, but also Japanese fighters, it was nevertheless not a long route, so a C-46 could apparently make it carrying about four tons of cargo (approximately 8,000lbs), since it had a range of over 3,000 miles and would not have needed anywhere near its maximum fuel load to complete a 500 mile leg.

 

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