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CV60

Virtual Grand Tour of the Continental USA in a Piper Cub

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2 hours ago, J G said:

Any chance we can see the progress you are making on a map? 

Here's something I might be able to do.  Using "FS Flight Control" I can generate a GoogleEarth flight path with all the data from the flight: altitude, heading, excessive bank/pitch angle, etc.  I can periodically upload those kmz files, so people who are interested can download them.  The would look something like this, except they would be zoomable (The attached image if from my flight out of Carrizo, NM to the Trinity site):

KAB6a51.jpg

Full disclosure: You will see all of my mistakes, navigation errors and just plain messing around.  (You will also see those point were I'm trying to land at a misaligned airport that looks like the cover of a "Yes" album, causing me no end of difficulty on the approach.....) .  However, forcing me to admit to these errors in my write ups may make them more interesting.  It also will force me to fly a bit more realistically, which I haven't in some instances.  Is this something that would be of interest to ya'll?

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Yes it is of interest. I don't know the USA at all having only spent a week in Florida and about 20 mins on the US side of Niagra Falls having crossed over from Canada.

Some time last century I studied US geography at school but it would be interesting to see the topography of the various you visit and how it changes as you proceed along your journey. 

What I have seen on your travels so far has been stunning and rugged, and it is good to see real photos of the places you pass. I look forward to seeing more of what the USA has to offer.

J. G.

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Here are some real world images of some of the sites visited the last couple of legs:

 

Iron Mountain, near Marathon, TX (Flown on Leg 8B, 2 March) Credit: Danny Self

 EzrCNnM.jpg

 

Alpine, Texas (Leg 8b):

275991_original.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by CV60

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Leg 9B Pre-flight -04 March 2019 Terrell County (K6R6) to Real County Airport (K49R)

I'm going to make a push to get to the Hill Country today, after being defeated by the weather yesterday.  The flight plan is very simple: head  east for 2 hours:

3qOFbUI.jpg

 

There won't be many roads or landmarks on this leg.  I've identified a couple of checkpoints (circled in blue), but aside from the Nix River Ranch airstrip, the remainder are railroads or roads, so none of them will adequately identify if I'm off course.  Instead, they can only tell me if I am ahead or behind schedule.

 

The weather looks okay.  It was MVFR in the morning, but the ceilings have gradually lifted to about 4000 feet, with the ceilings being higher in the east, where I will be flying.  The winds are approximately 10 knots from the north.  It has gotten colder, with temperatures have dropped to about 35 degrees F (2 degrees C) at ground level.  Fortunately, there is no precipitation expected, but I will have to ensure that I don't fly into any clouds, or icing will be a problem.  The weather service forecast is copied below:  

 VFR conditions are expected across the area terminals for the
    forecast period. A low cloud deck around 4 Kft is expected to linger
    around through late this afternoon, however, area forecast soundings
    suggest for clouds to scatter out this evening into Tuesday morning.
    North winds of 10 to 15 knots are expected to prevail across all
    area airports through late this afternoon and decreasing to 10 knots
    or less this evening and overnight period. For KDRT, north winds are
    forecast to shift to the northeast this evening and to the east
    overnight with speeds of 5 knots or less. 

 

Image 1 Aviation Forecast

yORFlL7.jpg

Image 2 METAR

eDrLloz.jpg

 

 

Edited by CV60

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Leg 9B Flight -04 March 2019 Terrell County (K6R6) to Real County Airport (K49R)
 

I took off at 2102Z, and flew east at 3500 feet.  There was an approximate 15 knot crosswind from the northeast, but it was fairly consistent, making navigation easy. During the first half of the flight, there was some gusting wind, which caused moderate buffeting of the cub, but otherwise the flight was uneventful.  (Note: when checking the .KMZ file, I discovered the wind is listed as only 9 knots, so apparently I miscalculated it.  The wet compass on the J3 is only marked in 5 degree increments, so even determining your heading requires a bit of estimation.  This is one of the reasons I like A2A's cub-it really does give you a "seat of the pants" type experience).  The  overcast was at 4000 feet, as predicted and lifted higher as a got closer to Real County.  When I got to Real County, I discovered there is a hill located at about the TPA for the left hand pattern for Runway 33.  I should have probably just continued south for 2 miles, then turned north for a straight in approach to Runway 33.  However, that plan was foiled by my real life dog, who clearly informed me that he needed his walk NOW.  So I probably overstressed the airframe when cranking the J3 over to quickly land on Runway 33 (Note: if you look at the .kmz file, it looks like I missed the runway by 100 yards or so.  I actually did hit it in the simulator).

 I had another mis-aligned airport on my scenery program, which caused some problems on approach.  I'm going to have to play around with the program to see if I can resolve these alignment issues.   The .kmz file for this flight is hosted on wetransfer.com.  The link is below:

https://we.tl/t-Foj6a1WAdb

 

 Image 1. 1nm SE of Dryden, TX 2111Z

14sntqP.png

Image 2.5 nm W of Pumpville, TX  2122Z.  4000 foot overcast

uQf8R6M.png

Image 3   13 m ESE of Nix River airfield 2208Z

FdTHosk.png

 

Image 4 Crossing US 377 2244Z

o5trDZa.png

Image 5 Crossing Nueces River 7nm N of Camp Wood, 2300Z

k2QDLI9.png

 

Edited by CV60
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Quick question: I'm having a little trouble with FSX-SE the past week.  Basically, it doesn't want to work anymore.  I'm not sure if this is because of a recent update to Windows or not.  I'm going to continue to play with it a bit and see if I can get it to work.  However, all is not lost if I fail to get it to work.  I also own P3D4, so I can continue to fly the US-I just can't do it in the  A2A Piper Cub.  If I have to switch to P3D4 does anyone have an opinion on what I should use for the remainder of this journey?  The choices are:

1) P3D4 Piper Cub ( a definitely inferior model when compared to A2A.  But it is a Cub...)

2) Golden Age's Model 75 Stearman (Very basic aircraft and comparable to the Cub in terms of avionics, albeit with a bit more power)

3) A2A C172  (A very nice virtual aircraft.  But I really would like to do this trip in something more basic)

4) Other sugesstions???

Edited by CV60

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Have you thought about:

Just Flight's DHC-1 Chipmunk

Compatibility: Flight Simulator X, FSX: Steam Edition, P3D v4, P3D v3, P3D v2, P3D v1

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I hadn't really thought about the Chipmunk.  I was hoping to use something a little more basic.  Hence the Piper Cub and Stearman.  I might go to the C172, only because I already own it, and A2A's attention to detail would make the trip more realistic.  But I really wanted to fly with just a very basic, even rudimentary aircraft.   (I actually even considered the Nieuport 17, but I thought that was a little too basic).  I'm hoping my reinstall of FSX-SE will solve the problem.  I will hopefully know tomorrow.  If not, I'm leaning to the Stearman-It has slightly more power, but a basic set of instrumentation, so it might be as close to the Cub I can get in P3D4  with the currently available set of aircraft.

 

Recently in the US, we have been experiencing a "Cyclone Bomb", an area of intense low pressure.  It looks like this:

TWggf8j.png

I've saved some weather information from the last couple of days, and will use that info to fly my Texas Hill country flights when I'm back up and running.  It won't be real time weather, but it might make for interesting flights in a low tech aircraft

Edited by CV60

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13 hours ago, CV60 said:

I hadn't really thought about the Chipmunk.  I was hoping to use something a little more basic.  

The Chipmunk is very basic, but a joy as well.  I love it.

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This has been great.  There really is no replacement for the A2A Cub but if you have to...

If you are considering the GAS Super Stearman, I've done considerable work on the StearMiss, including a first cut at an Accu-Engine.  The engine will hesitate if you get it very much lean of peak, and I'm currently working on making the oil pressure vary with oil temperature and the oil temp has been fine tuned a bit.  All the engine gauges read correctly and are calibrated.  Minor tuning on the flight model and some graphics changes to make it look more like the original StearMiss which is no longer available from GAS.

I'm currently flying Stephen Coonts' "Cannibal Queen" route for the third time;  this is the first time with the new StearMiss and P3Dv4.  I'm already in New York.  I just need a Cannibal Queen paint;  I had one for the old version of the plane.

But really, you'd be better off getting FSX:SE working and continuing in the A2A Cub.  Look me up on the Steam FSX:SE forum in the General Discussion forum.

Hook

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3 hours ago, Hook said:

This has been great.  There really is no replacement for the A2A Cub but if you have to...

If you are considering the GAS Super Stearman, I've done considerable work on the StearMiss, including a first cut at an Accu-Engine.  The engine will hesitate if you get it very much lean of peak, and I'm currently working on making the oil pressure vary with oil temperature and the oil temp has been fine tuned a bit.  All the engine gauges read correctly and are calibrated.  Minor tuning on the flight model and some graphics changes to make it look more like the original StearMiss which is no longer available from GAS.

I'm currently flying Stephen Coonts' "Cannibal Queen" route for the third time;  this is the first time with the new StearMiss and P3Dv4.  I'm already in New York.  I just need a Cannibal Queen paint;  I had one for the old version of the plane.

But really, you'd be better off getting FSX:SE working and continuing in the A2A Cub.  Look me up on the Steam FSX:SE forum in the General Discussion forum.

Hook

Hook-Thanks for the offer.  I'm wondering if a recent Windows update killed FSX-SE.  I actually uninstalled and then reinstalled FSX-SE, to no avail.  That is making me think it is Windows itself.  I will look you up in Steam FSX:SE forums, as I really want to do this in the A2A Piper Cub.  Frankly, the A2A Cub was the only reason I still had FSX-SE on my computer.  With all the hand holding that FSX requires, and the availability of P3D4,  I was transitioning away from FSX-SE, except for the A2A Cub.

 

As far as this particular virtual adventure: I may continue to play with FSX-SE and try to get it to work, but I want to get back to flying, as the interesting spring weather is really getting started, and that was one of my reasons for beginning this trip at this time.  So for right now, I've decided to switch to P3D4.  If I can get FSX-SE to work, I'll transition back to it and the A2A Cub J-3.  As far as the aircraft I'l be using:  FIrst of all, thanks to everyone who voiced an opinion on the aircraft.  I looked at and considered all the suggestions.     My objectives in flying this tour are to have it be a good VFR aircraft, minimal electronics and  a challenge to fly over the wide range of conditions in this trans-continental tour.  WIth a 70mph cruise speed, 400 fpm climb and 11,000 foot ceiling the J-3 was perfect for these objectives, The closest aircraft I've found to these criteria is the "Just Flight" L-5 Stimpson.  It has a 115 mph cruise, 600 fpm climb and a 16,000 foot ceiling. However, I also purchased the GAS Stearman, as it's specs are fairly close to the J-3:  96 mph cruise, and a ceiling of 13,200 ft.  The Stearman also would allow me to recreate  Coonts' flight, which I may do in a subsequent trip.  I may also use it for this trip, if the L-5 is unsatisfactory.  The Stearman only lost out to the L-5 because of the reported difficulty in landing it in a cross-wind.  Because of the weather I'm choosing to fly in, and my lack of virtual piloting skills, I wanted something a bit easier to handle.      As an aside, I also purchased GAS's Luscombe Phantom, and an early access version of the Lockheed Vega by Wings42. ( https://wing42.com/en/ )  (which would allow me to recreate the around the world flight by Wiley Post).  

 

As far as my plan for moving forward on this tour: I have weather files and flight plans saved for flights on 11 and 14 March, when the "Cyclone Bomb" was creating MVFR conditions in the Hill Country area.  After I get a bit more familiar with the L-5, I will fly these flights in the L-5 using the historical weather and plans.  I will then transition back to using the real time weather for the day of the flight.

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If you post in the Steam FSX:SE General Discussion forum, I'll find you there.  I follow it closely.  Someone there should be able to help you with the problems in any case... I'm not an expert in it.

The L-5 is a good choice, basically the same aircraft.  You might be able to de-tune it to get standard Cub performance if you are handy with config files.

Hook

 

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Well, I played around with the L-5.  It isn't going to work for me.  The flight model seems wrong-the aircraft has significantly more power, more speed, and a better climb rate than it should.  At sea level, I was easily climbing at 1000 feet/min and hitting 140 mph without difficulty.  Looks like I'll be transitioning to the Stearman.  I will continue to try to get my beloved A2A Cub working, but FSX has been irritating me for some time, so my patience with it is wearing thin..... 

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Leg 10 Pre-flight and flight -12 March 2019 Real County Airport (K49R) to Hondo Municipal (KHDO)

 

This flight is to help get me familiar with my new aircraft, a PT-17 Stearman biplane.  Because of this, it will be just a short hop to Hondo Municipal, located WSW of San Antonio.  The flight will include a brief flyover of the Lost Maples State natural area.  Tomorrow, I hope to fly around the Hill Country area of Texas, ending up in Horsehoe Bay Airpark.  Today's flight to Hondo will consist of the first two legs of the route below:

Dg01Snk.jpg

  

The weather today was rainy and cloudy.  However, by1900Z, when I took off, it was clearing.  albeit with some gusting wind:

aP73bOV.jpg

 

The flight was uneventful.  I missed the turn SE to Hondo, realizing my error only when I crossed the Sabinal River north of Vanderpool, Texas. (Image 1)

 

Image 1.  Crossing the Sabinal River

2tBo5yK.png

 

Continuing southeast, the Hill Country gives way to the gulf coastal plains of Texas  (Image 2).  I was a bit concerned that the gusting winds would create a problem for me in landing the Stearman.  Fortunately, KHDO has a runway that was oriented almost directly into the wind, eliminating the crosswind, making the landing easy. 

Image 2 North of Hondo, TX

s2TMfOK.png

 

Image 3.  North of Vandepool, TX

L51eEXt.png

Note: I haven't yet figured out  how to make my flights in P3D4 transfer to GoogeEarth. I will post the .kmz files as soon as I do.

Edited by CV60

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Here are some real world images of this leg:

Lost Maples State Park

Lost-Maples-State-Park-in-Texas_114547.j

3009038295_f8d2bb1a5f_z.jpg

 

The Big Valley  © 2012 Jeff Lynch Photography, Ltd.Note: this photo is copyrighted, so I'm not going to post it, but below is the link: 

 

https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8083/8355423499_6cec0cd6f0_b.jpg

 

Vanderpool, TX 

lost-maples-state-natural.jpg

 

Edited by CV60

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Leg 11 Pre-flight and flight -13 March 2019 Hondo Municipal (KHDO) to Horseshoe Bay Airpark (4XS7)


    The southern leg of the "Cyclone Bomb" blew through the San Antonio area earlier in the morning.  By 1600Z, when I was doing my flight planning, the bad weather had moved to the east, and the warm front behind it was bringing clear skies and gusty wind conditions:

Image 1 National WX 

oOwYlU2.jpg

Image 2 METAR and Radar in San Antonio Area 13 March 1600Z

EfgY41h.jpg

Although the winds are relatively calm at 1600Z,  the NWS says that for the Hill country area,  "Mixing and a restrengthening of the surface pressure
gradient will then allow for some 20-25 knot gusts through mid-afternoon."  This outlook is reflected in the TAFs, which show wind gusts in the 20+ mph at my expected landing time:

Image 3 Terminal Area Forecast 1900Z

Uoi3KVr.jpg

My take off at 1700Z is uneventful.  The skies are clear,  Cruising at 4500 feet MSL gave a nice view of the country, and minimized the buffeting from the westerly winds I was experiencing at this altitude.  The wind gusts were a problem landing, nearly causing me to ground loop  the Stearman shortly after touchdown.  Fortunately, I caught it in time, but I almost had to replace my left wingtip.  See attached images of the leg:

Image 4  Eleven nm E of Medina Lake Dam

ZipplVz.png

 

Image 5 Utopia TX looking SW

8SSR6Bh.png

Image 6 Garner State Park

BcG5FR7.png

 

Image 7 Vanderpool TX

uPR45ne.png

 

Image 8 Sandy Creek near Enchanted Rock Park

zO8iHaV.png

 

Image 9 Enchanted Rock SP

aS6x6y4.png

 

Image 10 Approaching Horseshoe Bay Airpark

aIiksuz.png

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Real World Images from Leg 11

 

Image 1 Enchanted Rock State Park

erock_7008.jpg

 

Image 2 Enchanted Rock Panorama

1920px-Enchanted_Rock_Panorama_2012.jpg

 

Image 3  Garner State Park

GARNER-SP_HDR_3941.jpg

 

 

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Leg 12 Pre-Flight -28 March 2019 Horseshoe Bay (KDZB) to South Texas International (KEBG)

Today's flight is to position me back on the Texas-Mexican border, preparatory to flying up the Texas gulf coast, along the Padre Island National Seashore and on to Louisiana.  

6edqIgn.jpg

The weather outlook looks good.  I am planning on taking off at 1815Z.  At that time, there  a few clouds at 3300 feet.  The wind gusts on take off shouldn't be bad-19 knots, but they are down the runway, so there will be virtually no crosswind.  The weather guessers are  predicting a 20 knot wind from the SSW at 3000 feet.  At 6000 feet it becomes a 30 knot headwind.  Because of this , and the clouds at 3300 feet, I will fly the route below 3500 feet.  Nevertheless, I will be fighting  a significant headwind all the way to my destination.

 

METAR 281753Z March 19

8VtONpg.jpg

Winds at 3000 feet

9JRxfep.jpg

 

The Terminal Area Forecast shows that the winds around Brownsville will be 20 with gusts to 25, giving me a more challenging landing.

bYGa7Lq.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by CV60
Incorrect calculation of Zulu time

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Leg 12 Flight -28 March 2019 Horseshoe Bay (KDZB) to South Texas International (KEBG)

I took off from Horseshoe Bay at 1838Z.  My take off was a bit sloppy, as I had too much right rudder as I lifted off, than overcorrected to the left.  North of New Braunfels , the cloud base lowered to 2500 feet, requiring me to drop to 2000 feet, which is the MEF for the area.  However, that was (barely) the safe altitude above the various towers near my flight path, and visibility was 6+ miles, so I was not too concerned about descending that low.   Shortly after passing New Braunfels, the cloud base increased to over 4000 feet, allowing me to climb back up to my planned altitude of 4500 feet.

 

As predicted, the headwinds were about 20 knots.  My slower groundspeed caused me some real life problems, as I had to pick up my daughter.  The forced me change my destination from South Texas International (KEBG) at McAllen, TX  to Alice International (KALI), located  40 nm WSW of Corpus Christi, TX. The winds at KALI were 140 at 18, gusting to 26, giving me up to a 13 knot crosswind.  This caused me to concentrate so much on keeping my wings level to not ground loop, that I ended up high, resulting in my bouncing 3 times on landing.  Now I'm trying to figure out how to log that-is it one landing or 2 touch and goes and a full stop?   ;-)

The .kmz of this leg can be downloaded from here:

https://we.tl/t-gfapwiSIO8

 

Image 1 1846Z 2nm E of Round Mtn TX

45bUINF.png

 

Image 2   1852Z North of Pedernales River Falls

ZAsBkoB.png

 

 

Image 3  1857Z lowering clouds

A7P83hb.png

 

Image 4 1922Z Canyon Lake

zC39SZd.png

 

Image 5 1925Z North of New Braunfels TX

CWKcZ10.png

Image 6 1955Z Stockdale TX

0EvcFP4.png

Image 7 2026Z 11nm NNE of Choke Canyon Reservoir

4msRoUF.png

 

Edited by CV60

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Leg 13 pre-flight and flight -29 March 2019 Alice International (KALI) to Kransas County (KRKP)

 

I decided to cut short the leg to the Mexican border, and instead cut across to Padre Island, and then north to Corpus Christi  This route will take me over the Padre Island National Seashore.  I also hope to do a flyby the USS LEXINGTON (AVT-16) ex-(CV-16), which is now a museum ship docked in Corpus Christi, TX.  The route is below:

rabQFHf.jpg

 

My take off is scheduled for 2045Z.  Weather looks good, with scattered clouds at around 5000 feet.  I can expect gusts of up to 30 knots  at my destination by 2300Z.  However, I should be on the ground by approximately 22455, so it shouldn't be a problem.  Radar shows a small line of showers off the coast may create some localized rain by the time I get to Aransas County, but they shouldn't cause me any problem.  At worst, they may cause a localized IFR conditions, which I can easily mitigate by going inland and landing at an alternate airfield.  

METAR

ha8WL9J.jpg

Terminal Area Forecast 2343Z

oZBCMAK.jpg

 

The flight was pleasant.  I experienced light buffeting throughout the flight from the southeasterly 20-25 knot wind.  I also had lowering ceilings and haze from the light rain showers coming in from the Gulf of Mexico as I was transiting across Baffin Bay and north of Corpus Christi.  However, weather conditions did not deteriorate to  IFR.    The landing at KRKP was easy, as the runway was oriented directly into the prevailing 25 knot wind. Unfortunately, my detour into Corpus Christi  was unsuccessful, as my graphics program did not correctly interpret the USS Lexington.  I also had an operator error, and failed to save a .kmz file of the trip.

Image 1 Kleberg County Airport 2103Z

 

yKtd8Kn.png

 

Image 2    2110Z approaching Loyola Beach

wH3SiVA.png

Image 3   2114Z Baffin Bay.  The afternoon rain showers are coming in

 

fGu0XiR.png

 

Image 4.  Baffin Bay west of Neubaur Rock

d7qyiuS.png

 

Image 5 Approaching Padre Island

I8QrOhY.png

 

Image 6 looking south at Padre Is and Baffin Bay

BJyjZ1n.png

 

Image 7 Heading north above Padre Island National Seashore

Cs3yLC1.png

 

Edited by CV60

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