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P_7878

Air West F-27 Friendship (Bella Coola -> Vancouver)

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Posted (edited)

[Note: There was a comment on my (earlier) An-24 post that reminded me about the (contemporary, but a few years ahead of An-24) Fokker-27 also being an (iconic) favorite twin turboprop for some of us, so, here we go...]

Just Flight has a simulation of the F-27 Friendship, which I'd purchased, during one of their ("multiple"-for-the-price-of one) or some such Sale. I do like to fly this SIM once in a while. Although, the majority of JF's (own) products, in their early times, were on the "Lite" side, they have since made great strides, in recent years, and some of their latest products can match the best of our expectations from the SIM. Also, if you ask me, JF provides many (classic) aircraft SIMs (including civil and military) that are of (historic and nostalgic) interest to many of us, but, would be hard to find (or expect to be developed elsewhere by the premier developers, not their priority so-to-speak), so, currently, these are available, to us, in the various libraries, only as FW uploads from the volunteer contributors. Anyway, back to this post, about the (now defunct) Dutch manufacturer's F-27 Friendship, which would go on to become the most numerous post-war aircraft manufactured in the Netherlands; and, also, one of the most successful (and modern) European airliners of its era.

Designed in the 1950's, the first prototype flew on 24th November 1955. Aer Lingus was the first airline to operate the aircraft in 1958 (however, you'll see, below, that a little-known U.S. airline, across the pond, in the West Coast, would beat Aer Lingus, by just a few of months of head-start, to actually introduce this aircraft first into service). The aircraft were powered by variants of the (famous and pioneering) Rolls Royce Dart turboprop, that had also powered the first Vickers Viscount's maiden flight in 1948. On 29 July 1948, a flight between Northolt (a historic town in the London Borough of Ealing, London, England) and Paris–Le Bourget Airport, with 14 paying passengers, in a Dart-powered Viscount, was the first ever scheduled airline flight by any turbine-powered aircraft! And, the (same) Dart-powered F-27, would also be the first serious contender for the replacement of the supposedly "irreplaceable" and ubiquitous (but, piston-powered) Douglas DC-3!

Fokker had signed an agreement with Fairchild of U.S. (for licensed-production) that would see Friendships built in North America as the F-27 (more correctly called the Fairchild F-27, to avoid confusion). The first aircraft of either manufacturer to enter service in the U.S. was, in fact, a Fairchild-built F-27, with West Coast Airlines. Several other U.S. Airlines will soon follow suit. There is a link between "West Coast Airlines" and the subject Airline of my post, here, "Air West", as you'll see below. Fokker's first F27 Friendship entered service with Aer Lingus in December 1958, but Fairchild had been a little quicker off the mark, its F-27 entering service, in U.S., with West Coast Airlines three months earlier, in September 1958. Despite numerous improvements in the F-27, many other (newer) turboprops were introduced after the F27, and, after nearly 30 years of continuous production, F27 program would eventually cease in 1986. By then, the combined (Fokker/Fairchild) companies had sold ~800 aircraft. Do not, however, expect to see them much in the air, these days, as only a handful of units (about 10 or so, worldwide) are now in operation. Therefore, the F27 makes an interesting choice to fly in the SIM. Plus, as a turboprop, the F27 had clearly set the standards for other to follow!

Now, a bit, about my choice of Airline Livery (Air West in Pink) - In 1968, three "local" (but "historic") service airlines (Pacific Air Lines, Bonanza Air Lines, and West Coast Airlines) in the western U.S. merged to form Air West. All these three airlines, were some of the earliest (and major) U.S. operators of the F-27. In 1968, TWA's former owner (and business magnate) Howard Hughes acquired Air West, and the airline was renamed Hughes Air West (later, Hughes Airwest). Republic Airlines took over Hughes Airwest in 1980. Republic Airlines later merged with Northwest Airlines in 1986 (you may refer back to the interesting recollections by NWATech in my (recent) Convair post). And, finally, NWA would merge with Delta in 2008...thus completing the lineage, from West Coast Airlines to current Delta...!

I invite you to enjoy the images below, of this trend-setting but, now, almost forgotten, aircraft. As a bonus suggestion, I also invite you, here, to (separately view) an excellent (and short) 3-min video of this plane, along with its (characteristic) RR Dart engines (please search for "Fokker F-27 Friendship landing with sound of Rolls Royce Dart engines"). Although the touch-down (the first ~1 min) looks impressive, do stay on till the end, to enjoy the "whine" of the Dart pitching up and down (music, is it?)...certainly, classic aero-engine, at its best! Overall, the F-27, indeed, seems, like a leader aircraft for its times!

Finally about this SIM: I've done my due diligence, here, to follow the Cold & Dark engine-start-up (Tutorial) procedures, as provided in the (JF) manual. Obviously, the level of complexity (and realism) of these procedures, is not what one would expect from that of a premier developer's jetliner, but, I can say, speaking, here, of course, as a (non-pilot) simmer, it's reasonably complex, and there are e.g. enough indicator lights and dial gauges etc., showing life, during these steps, to make it all quite an enjoyable challenge and experience, at least, from my perspective!

So, please find below a set of pictures for the (bygone airline) Air West's F-27 (with its (colorful) pink and red tail) flying the West Coast, from Bella Coola (CYBD) to Vancouver (CYVR), 200+ miles, down south across (and over) the rugged (but beautiful) mountainous terrains of the Pacific Range and their glaciers (a couple of glacier shots included)...(BTW, I admit I barely made it out of Bella Coola's Runway...but, fortunately, without any untoward incidence,...🙂..)

It was good fun, and hope you enjoy too! Thanks for your interest.

[JF(F27)/Orbx(PNW)/REX]

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Edited by P_7878
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Brings back memories. I used to fly on Bonanza F27s KLAX-KLAS in the early 1960s. 

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Posted (edited)

Love your choice of aircraft to highlight. Flew on one of these once...and once only...when USAir did a last minute substitution/reroute for a cancelled DC-9 flight out of Allentown (mid 80's). Quite a surprise!

John

Edited by John F
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Wonderful set! I think it was me who mentioned the F-27 in your An-24 post.

My first memory of flight in an aircraft is a Nigeria Airways F27. I was blown away by the beauty and sound of this aircraft. By age 11 it was the first half (internal flight) to my boarding school in England....The second half (international) was a Nigeria Airways Boeing 707 the first time, from then on BCal and KLM.  

The Norwich Air Museum has a lovely Air UK F-27. I made arrangements with the chap who looks after her to come and photograph the cockpit. 

You are so lucky to have the Just Flight model. I think it looks very good but they did not model it for FS9.

I am grateful to Mike Stone for accepting my request to model the F-27 but it is not quite as nice as yours.

Having said that I do like my photoreal cockpit. 

 

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In the movie "Miracle" about the US/Soviet Olympic hockey matchup, there is a great scene where the US team has to get out and push an FH-227 back to the ramp after striking a moose on the runway.

John 

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About 40 years ago in Saskatchewan Canada there was an airline called Norcanair that operated them. I flew with them several times. The engines had a cool sound. Little did I know that about 20 years later having switched to flying fixed wing I'd be flying the Dart on the HS748. It was an interesting engine. My memories are of it being pretty reliable. Cool sound when using water/alcohol injection which gave an extra 300 hp. Having seen these pics I will check out this machine for P3d.

How accurate on the whole are the engines modeled I wonder?

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Just watched the above video and engine modeling seemed pretty good though it's been over 20 years.

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Posted (edited)

Les, John, Ed, and Dbw, and Folks:

Greatly appreciated the comments and wonderful memories...this is what, IMO, makes the fun more worthwhile...! Some memories are about the Airline(s) shown or mentioned, and some about the Airliner itself...!

John: Somehow you have had a knack...🙂...of getting on some of the classic planes we miss today. I recall, at least, B727 and B720, that you'd mentioned, and, now, the F27...nice...!

Reference to FH-227 is a worthy point here. In fact, I'd thought of adding a bit about that in the main text, but, thought that would add a few extra lines...Fairchild (a good aircraft company, that certainly was!) had subsequently manufactured the stretched version of the F-27 being designated FH-227 which was operated by many U.S. air carriers such as, Delta Air Lines, Mohawk Airlines, Northeast Airlines, Ozark Air Lines, Piedmont Airlines and Wien Air Alaska (some gone and some still here..)...! Fokker had kept pace with this enhancement with their own (Friendship Mk 500) for EU customers. These two companies had good working agreements, it seems like, but, eventually, and, unfortunately, that would break apart, which would lead to discontinuation of this iconic aircraft's production...both in EU and NAR...

Also, great reference to the movie Miracle, I'd seen it a long while ago...will look for that scene with FH-227...!

 

Les: Glad it brought back some memories. In fact, my post could have been very well about any of those 3 constituent airlines, including Bonanza...(it came close, let me add..🙂...). After all, they all operated early-production F27s...

 

Ed: Great memories too..! Yes, F27 was a good-looking aircraft for its time. And, Mike Stone, I clearly recall, opened up the frontiers, for the un-initiated, to an amazing range of aircraft...one of the earliest (dedicated and serious) contributors to the Libraries. I also share your opinions about JF...they have contributed a lot to nurturing our aviation interests. Of course, it will be hard to match your "customized" cockpit adornments, no matter what plane it is...🙂...

BTW, very nice video...with excellent (interior) paneling work...!

 

Dbw: Good to know about Norcanair. And, thanks for the Dart notes...including flying (RW) the Dart on the HS748, another Classic plane...(JF has a SIM for it, I recall)...

Regarding Engine Modelling, I could not be too sure about JF's modelling, myself, being a non-pilot, but JF is enhancing many of their products to higher (Professional) standards..so, you may check with them or/and contribute suggestions...Their current SIM meets my need, but, you may require/expect more realism in the (overall) modelling...

And, please note, the above Video, by Ed, uses his own customized paneling and modelling, separate from the (P3D/FSX) JF version, I've shown here. I believe Ed says, above, he has utilized Mike Stone's FS9 (Freeware) model, as his base...he could supply more notes about your query...

Edited by P_7878

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2 hours ago, dbw1 said:

Just watched the above video and engine modeling seemed pretty good though it's been over 20 years.

Hello

Although the panel and gauge bitmaps and some coding are by me on this panel. A lot of the systems and certainly the engine modelling is by a chap called Fraser Mckay.

When I downloaded his F27 panel I was struck by what a good job he had done with the engine modelling and that was what inspired me to make my version. I think this is his original version: https://www.fs2000.org/2011/05/23/fs2004-fokker-f-27-panel/

 

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Posted (edited)

These wonderful posts are now inspiring me to get out my Just Flight version for P3Dv4. First time I flew an F27 was an Air UK to Amsterdam, and a KLM back way back when. The Dutch did produce some wonderful aircraft..

Superb video, Ed

Edited by vc10man
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Rick Almeida

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