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hurricanemk1c

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Posts posted by hurricanemk1c

  1. After Mike's rather fast and hot ride into Istanbul, it was time to find a suitably fast aircraft myself. Unfortunately there seemed to be a rather small number of such aircraft, namely the one that just left back to the States. Frustrated, it was time to trawl through the classified ads around Istanbul, barter a bit and see what came out as a result of said negoitaions.

    The problem was, it seemed to be well known that the challenge required speed, thus the price for even simple aircraft went sky high. Not wanting to punish the boss any further (especially the credit card facility.....), I had a wander around the local airfields and see what, if anything, could be found at a reasonable price. Even then it took a day or two longer than expected, before finally coming across something useful, and cheap.

    Cheap mainly because the owners wanted rid of it, as it was way too large for them. A ferry flight from the local airport to Atarurk was organised to get some type training before being unleashed on Greece.

    With a first flight 8,018 days before the last aircraft used in this challenge, the Constellation fires up for one more flight at least

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    At least the weather is nice this morning, with the sun glinting off the bare metal fuselage.

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    With the full length of the runway available, the throttles start to get pushed forward

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    The characteristic flames from the Wright Cyclone engines brightens up the morning

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    Starting to climb away from the airport and tucking the gear in

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    Cold engines worked hard for the first time in a long time equals plenty of smoke!

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    All tidied up, we settle in to a gentle cruise climb to around 14,000ft for the 450nm hop to Greece

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    Breakfast is served

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    Chugging along in the cruise

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    We decided to overfly the airport to see what we were up against. Bags of room......

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    I do really really like the water effects in P3D!

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    After one aborted approach, we steady ourselves for the arrival

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    The tower starts to be evacuated, with them seemingly thinking I was going to hit them....

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    Not a bad touchdown for someone who is horrendously out of practice!

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    Rolling out past the tower, making sure not to scratch the wing off it!

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    And finally shut down next to the tower. Now, how to get out?

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    Steph - over to you if I can get out!

    Sim used: Prepar3D V4, default Constellation

  2. Having relatively covertly picked up the baton from Tim (as much as you can with an orange hi-vis bag - well, I did come from work!), it was time to find a set of wings to get out of here. Plan A was something fast and small, preferably single seat. I'm not the best of people to be around in a hot environment, more suited to the frozen wastes of Russia than the hot plains of Africa, Ah well.

    Unfortunately, the plan failed. After scratching around for a week, the best I could come up with was a brightly-coloured PC-9

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    I was to travel with the company test pilot who was transiting back to Switzerland after a sales tour. Me in the front seat as the 'trainee'. Engine turning and starting to get cool air in

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    As a demonstrator trainer aircraft, a special "tail cam" was installed to give a view of all the aircraft

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    Lined up on the runway, I pushed the throttle to the red zone

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    Due to the altitude, it was a slow enough roll and rotation

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    But we were rapidly turning onto course

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    For the next three hours there wasn't exactly a lot to look at. An initial cruise of 15,000ft was selected, then a 'cruise-climb' at 100ft/min up to 25,000ft was selected.

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    Eventually, with fuel getting lower, our destination was in sight, but 25,000ft below us. Time to go down!

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    Breaking around the airfield

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    Having flew along the length of the runway, the instructor was getting a bit worried as to what I was up to

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    He was even more worried when I pulled the stick back, and half way around started putting the gear and flaps out!

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    But in perfect position. Ish

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    A good roll out

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    And open up to the heat

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    Now, if anyone needs me, I'll be flying the local 'club' aircraft

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    Aircraft used: IRIS PC-9 and Just Flight Hunter

  3. One I think we can all relate to one way or another

     

    After a tiring day, Zoe settled down in a seat on her train and closed her eyes. As the train rolled out of the station, the guy sitting next to her pulled out his mobile phone and started talking in a loud voice.

    “Hi sweetheart. It’s Gavin. I’m on the train.

    “Yes, I know it’s the 6:30 and not the 4:30, but I had a long meeting.

    “No, honey, not with that blonde from the accounts office. It was with the boss.

    “No sweetheart, you’re the only one in my life.

    “Yes, I promise, cross my heart.”

    Fifteen minutes later, he was still talking loudly. When Zoe, exasperated, had had enough, she leaned over and said into the phone, “Gavin, hang up the phone and come back to bed.”

    Red-faced and absolutely shocked, he shut off his phone and didn’t say a single word for the rest of the train ride.

    Gavin doesn’t use his mobile phone in public any longer. And Zoe finally got some well-deserved shut-eye.

    • Haha 3
  4. A friend of mine in the same college course as me did his dissertation on alternative fuel vehicles (I just went round and round with rail wheels!). He came to the conclusion that electric is dead - it costs too much, has range uncertainty and damages the environment only slightly less than fossil fuels (when you consider battery and electricity production). Japan is already using hydrogen in road vehicles (both private and commercial), and Alstom have produced a hydrogen fuel cell powered train.

     

    I'm not sure what way aviation will go though. For rail it makes sense to go for mass electrification (providing the source is decent). An analysis recently suggested that hydrogen is surprisingly inefficient overall from fuel generation to use [Modern Railways, Informed Sources, May 2018], making hydrogen not particularly attractive over long distances. If I can find said article I'll fill in the exact figures. There's also the historical mindset of hydrogen = Hindenburg (on a simple level)

  5. The challenge so far has been anything but quiet. Remember when it was a simple case of where would Sharon turn up? Now, thanks to a few interesting characters that (in retrospect) were foolishly allowed to fly the baton around the world, we have a multi-national maniac chasing after us, for reasons still really unknown. Various rumours have flown around with the baton, as to what it contains. 

     

    This would be my 33rd time flying the baton (twice in ATWC 1, 5 in ATWC 2, 4 in ATWC 3, 3 in ATWC 4, 6 in ATWC 5, 11 in ATWC 6 and 4 previous legs in this challenge). Never before has the pressure been so high. At every turn there may be a gun, and it appears far closer to me that I would ever like over the course of the next flight......

     

    Picking up the baton from Mike in the arrivals hall, I wonder what to do. Of course, I had already sampled Toronto's railway system (all in a professional capacity observing timetable operation, of course. I didn't like the job at all...........), but that didn't provide me with a ride out to La Guardia. There were plenty of commercial options from Pearson, but that felt like cheating. Plus I wouldn't be in command. Late one night, a message appeared in my inbox

     

    Quote

    I hear you are looking for an aircraft to go to La Guardia. I have the perfect thing. Meet at 0800 CYTZ.

     

    Now, considering how the challenge has been going so far, I was convinced of a set up. Who would just randomly e-mail a guy waiting for a lift? A bit of digging revealed the sender of the email: David Dufrenois (Google him). Interesting.

     

    At 0800 punctually (see, being a professional timetable writer allows you to plan properly!) I arrive at Toronto City airport. There is M. Dufrenois with a couple of other gentlemen, whom I will call William and Ernest. They were coming for the trip back to New York, where they would carry on to Washington for some 'business'.

     

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    My ride would be the CS-300, recently renamed as the Airbus A220-300 to reflect the change in programme ownership. A big aircraft for a small airport. Luckily we were lightly loaded. Although all the ground handling equipment was impressive!

     

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    Rapidly all of this was got rid of and we started push and start

     

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    Being a FTV (Flight Test Vehicle), various additional cameras were fitted

     

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    While taxiing out, we came across the more regular aircraft in Toronto, although it had a little accident.....

     

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    A quick press photo by a random photographer

     

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    We had requested a tug to follow us and push us to the edge of the concrete

     

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    Although surprisingly it was quick to accelerate!

     

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    "Rocketship departure. NOW!"

     

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    Passing the Rogers Centre stadium

     

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    With the airport a couple of miles behind us, I was instructed to attain a more normal ascent altitude

     

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    Turning over Toronto

     

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    During the cruise, I asked William why he wanted me to do such a departure. The stare I got back suggested he didn't want to talk about it. Shame

     

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    The Eastern Coast of the USA filled the windscreen as we followed ATC instructions down through one of the busiest pieces of airspace around

     

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    During the descent, Ernst came up to the cockpit. "We are going to buzz Newark. Now". Hold on a minute, just dropping out of the sky would land me in trouble. David, who must have known what was coming, didn't seem worried. Verbally, I told Ernst to go forth and reproduce (although not quite like that!). A jabbing feeling in my ribs forced the control stick forward. "I did say now. Do it".

     

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    It felt that being in a Stuka rather than a civilian airliner. I was sure that a few F-22s would appear in moments, although ATC were strangely quiet

     

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    Starting to pull out

     

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    "See that bridge there? Go under it". Considering what happened last time I refused, I did what I was told

     

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    We then headed for La Guardia, gaining the escort of an A320 in the process

     

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    A rather firm touchdown was followed by rapid deceleration.

     

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    With a United retro-jet taking off after us. Just

     

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    Taxiing in behind a MD-80 series aircraft. I was sure there would be a welcome committee

     

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    And indeed there was

     

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    As I was escorted away, William and Ernst were discussing matters. I overheard "this would be good for..........."

     

    JG - I'm in the clinker. Not hard to find, I'm the one with an Iron Maiden t-shirt and hi-vis orange trousers (don't ask!)

     

    Aircraft used: Camsim C-Series

     

     

  6. Some of the best aircraft I have used were freeware, often rivalling top-end payware (at the time - about 3-4 years since I was majorly active in simming). The DM Flight Sim stuff, and the CL-44 project that met an untimely end when the creator sadly passed away far too early were complex yet fun. Some of the Russian stuff too was incredibly complex (not helped by having the manuals in Russian as well as all the gauges!)

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