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  1. ........plus 1 day! I can clearly remember events on the 29th of June 1962, 60 years ago. The time would have been around 17:00 and we were sat having dinner around our large square table. We lived in a big house in the Surrey countryside about 8 miles from Guildford. We had a very strict upbringing and meal times were no exception. We were used to glares of disgust from our parents when we held our cutlery the wrong way or other heinous mealtime crimes! Then we heard a different sound and as one, without any word of permission, we jumped up and ran out to the back step and looked up. There was the Vickers VC-10 on it's maiden flight from Brooklands to Wisley. We had seen the prototype,G-ARTA, a few weeks before when a friend of the family took us to the Vickers factory. It was to be a familiar sight over the next few years, along with the Super VC-10 and a Ghana Airways plane which were also tested at Wisley. This is how I remember my first view of the VC-10 flying. 1. As there is no Brooklands airport in P3D, the JF VC-10 is taking off from nearby Dunsfold and as probably in the real flight, no payload and little fuel. 2. Now to some XP views and as XP doesn't have a VC-10 I am flying the JF PA-28 in BOAC colours. Brooklands is where the VC-10 made it's maiden flight from. You can make out the old runway going roughly in the direction the top left corner. The short runway meant that only a take off was possible. The prewar motor racing circuit can be made out too, roughly a tear drop shape. 3. This is what is left of the Vickers test facility at Wisley. I lived only 5km from here to the left of screen and Brooklands, which is the light patch top right, was another 5km in the opposite direction. 4. As you can see, I have to make a lot of adjustments to XP. I made the mistake of doing an update and lost all my settings. I am a day late with this post as I had to rush the missus to ER last night after she had a very bad allergic reaction to some shellfish she had for tea. She is on the mend now but the doctor told me it was a very serious attack. A big thanks to the staff at GV Health, who as usual provided first class care.
  2. Back into future travels this means. Hopefully this is going to be a soon-to-become real trip: With a late evening start out of Hanover... ... heading south over Germany... ... towards Zurich. The outside view shows Lake Zurich better. As this one shows Zurich airport, with its terminals B, A and E (from right to left). And here, the expected service:
  3. Part of the Airdrie Airpark scenery is the enhanced city centre of Calgary. It has stood the test of time well, especially in the sunshine.
  4. One of the most scenic locations in the Orbx world.
  5. Good weather, some work and private life have kept me away from the sim for some weeks. Well, being stuck in Heraklion / Crete is not that bad - even if only in my virtual travels. Today we get on, with just a short hop from the Cretan capital... ... northbound over the Aegean Sea. Santorini to our right... ... and very soon the Greek mainland ahead. A view to Athens in the morning sun... ... not so sunny on this early May morning. But successfully landing in LGAV, ready to change planes.
  6. Continuing travels we were pushed back at Athens LGAV... ... to capture a view of the city shortly after. Levelled off over the Albanian coast... ... it was time to get my caffeine level also adjusted. That´s what I really, really like on a plane. The alps in the distance... ... or a bit closer. And here we begin the descend around Fulda... ... into Hanover, ... ... perfectly aligned. No troubles. And here is the obligatory service.
  7. Approaching Liverpool John Lennon Airport. Passing over the Silver Jubilee Bridge and the Runcorn Railway Bridge that span the River Mersey at the Runcorn Gap between Runcorn and WIdnes.
  8. This flight is a shortcut between two places I will visit this summer. From Barcelona... ... over the southern tip of Sardegna, ... ... to Calabria (with a slight view of Sicily to the right). Then passing south of the Pelopannes... ... and towards the western beaches of Crete. Descending along the islands southwestern coast with its famous gorges, ... and the long Komos beach, ... ... crossing northwards within reach of the Psiloritis mountain... ... to Heraklion city. LGIR has tricky RNAV approaches, and the runway is significantly above sea level. Don´t trust your eyes! So it needs experience to "hit" the runway (nearly) correct.
  9. Like many of us, I haven´t done a business flight since March 2020. And now it is scheduled... so I need to look ahead what is waiting outside. Off from Hanover... ... with a view back towards the city. The Rhine is crossed at the Deutsches Eck of Koblenz. Soon the Alps come into view, ... .... before passing Geneva. Impressive even from FL350. We pass Grenoble, ... ... and Marseille, ... ... before we reach the spanish coast at the Golfo de Rosas. Downwind past Barcelona... ... and into the 07L. Here we are, ready to explore the city!
  10. Not with a massage, as this is not the Alaskan Mule Team Services. I took off from Hanover, a good portation of rather old FSX software, ... ... climbed out over the Steinhuder Meer... ... and the fields of Lower Saxony. The GPS got hot during this flight. Which ended peacefully downwind... ... and final into the 27R. No doubt I know this runway very well. I did some turns today, as you can see from the executed flight plan. Perhaps you can see it better with the planned version merged. Or without my amateur steering skills.
  11. ... and just a tiny one. Out of Frankfurt... ... over the Edertalsperre, ... ... descending over the Weser river at Hameln... ... and just minutes later downwind into Hanover. Here I am again, virtually back after months! That feels good...
  12. Coming from Tahiti the ongoing connection out of Houson is not an extraordinary long flight, but still lets us cross many countries and places. But first let´s get ready: Boarding, ... ... pushback, ... ... takeoff, ... ... and climbout. Here we cross a green north Texas... ... to the Sam Rayburn reservoir. We go on (into the night and) over the southeastern states, New England, Newfoundland. Which is, in total, nearly the same distance as the hop over the Atlantic towards the Irish coast with the morning sun. Soon the southeast of Ireland is reached, with Wales already in sight. London, mostly hiding itself. Calais and Dunkerque at the French coast. Brussels, you can spot the airport below. And no, Belgium is not a city. Here we reach the Rhine near Andernach. There must be the famous Loreley rock watching over the river - but I can´t recognize it from this altitude. What I can recognize is runway 07R ... ... of Frankfurt airport. When I left the real plane of the first picture of this post (some years ago), this was our neighbor.
  13. This is going to be just a short flight, I had to use the occasion that I could spend some virtual days at these remote islands. And some more exceptions to my usual posts: We´ll see some photos from a picture book of my library. And I get you the orientation right at the beginning of this post: We take off from NTAA Tahiti, ... ... make a short hop over the sea to Moorea, ... ... and have to climb quite a lot to cross Mt. Tohiva. Directly after we can descend to the north coast of Moorea. For comparison the same descend taken from Matevz Lenarcic in his book "Wasserwelten" (don´t know how the title is in Slovenik or English). A fantastic inspiration for us pilots, and a great book to read, btw. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matevž_Lenarčič Heading back to Tahiti with Temae airport behind. An approach over the north coast of Tahiti already gives a hint of the sharp mountains, ... ... which look even sharper when you cross the island. On final back into NTAA we cross some bigger settlements, namely Mahina and Papeete. And here we are back again on the international airport of Faa.
  14. After some days in Tahiti it was time to get a widebody ready. Leaving Papeete, where obviously a huge number of tourists arrive by ship. Looking back to Tahiti, ... ... the sunset over Moorea, ... ... and Rangiroa. Then came the night, and until now you may only guess from the livery where this flight was heading to. Hard to spot: The sunrise over Baja California. Easy to spot: Full moon over Cabo San Lucas. The rugged hills of the Sinaloa province in western Mexico. Here we crossed the Rio Grande at Laredo... ... before we came to Nueces Bay, at the Gulf. Corpus Christi from above... ... and from the ground. Port Aransas and North Padre Island, ... ... with its long beach. After a long flight we turned into our approach, southwest of Houston... ... before we could already spot the CBD. Here we are, finally on final... ... into the 09. Time to strech our legs and wave goodbye to the plane, ... ... carefully parked and getting ready for the next flight. The equator gave me a little lack of precision in the flight plan, but I did not change the route.
  15. Testing my modded B350i (new engines (Blackhawk PT-6-67A), flight model, GTN 750 and various other changes / fixes), with a flight along the South Eastern side of Africa (also with Orbx's openLC Africa). Here's the GTN Also tweeking the cloud shader as I go, I want those shadows to be just right. The African lc is pretty reasonable overall. There were a few thunderstorms along the way, quite a lot of turbulance and the plane was rocken and rollen all over the place. Further cloud tweeking, this time the shading of the far distance clouds, making them just a tad redder. Where I am. And that's all folks :-) Good flight, corrected a few niggling issues with the B350i and adjusted the cloud shader, and will probably make further changes once I better understand what does what in the shader code. Cheers
  16. Some famous islands in the southern sea will be touched in this freight delivery tour from Pago Pago. The fire brigade is ready to help, but not required, luckily. So we get out into the clouds. The sky gets blue over Raiatea, ... ... Moorea... ... and Tahiti, our destination. A straight approach, ... ... an easy landing. And the ground crew is already waiting to get off the supplies. Whatever these may be?
  17. Travel agencies, at least in my country, use to offer stopovers after NZL roundtrips. Well, if you went there with a 35 h-flight, such an offer may sound interesting. However, I tried to avoid the risky Cessna-strike before that flight... ... out of Auckland. Still climbing north we pass Whangarei... ... and then the northern tip of New Zealand. The Southern Sea - or how is it called in English? After about 3 hours we approach Fiji... ... at the coast & forests of Viti Levu. IFR. At the Queens Road. Someone has nicely cut a runway into the jungle, ... ... which is long enough for heavy birds. Let´s get the towels & briefs out for some days of lazyness!
  18. For my next flight out of Fiji I could not make a VFR flight plan in Plan-G, as its map ends at the date line: I had to fly IFR, and therefore chose the Airbus. And I thought a colourful plane would be the right one to continue. A nice green wall ahead... ... nearly touched... ... but following the road helped. Climbing across Lautoka city... ... and into the clouds. Feeling like a sandwich... At least ATC chose an altitude where I could see a little bit. Not always: The descend required trust into the instruments. But soon another island came into view. Have you all been there virtually? Turning around the eastern tip... ... towards the harbour... ... of Pago Pago. Not many sights and waypoints on the way, but as some people like orientation:
  19. ... with a little Auckland tour, starting at Mechanics Bay heliport, just at the (Pacific) waterside. By boat, and even more by helicopter, it is just a short hop over the water to Devonport, which gives you this perspective... ... of the CBD. Surely not as realistic as with other simulators (or with a handcrafted cityscape). Here we have the view from Mt. Eden... ... and this is One Tree Hill, with the international airport already waiting in the background for our next flight.
  20. After some excursions of the geological features of Rotorua and some dives into the Maori culture, we continue northbound on NZNI. At Te Werati I did NOT spot the proposed radar station, but an impressive change from forested hills to the lowlands. Small things part 1: Near Matamata should be the remainders of the Hobbiton movie set. Obviously too small to be seen from above. So we went on to Hamilton... ... and here we can spot some coulourful dots near the lake. Small things part 2: A lovely collection of balloons! I find the representation of the flat land quite impressive as well. At Glenbrook we reach Manakau Harbour, ... ... where we approach... ... NZAA. Ready to explore Auckland!
  21. For all of us who always suffered in boring geological lessons in school: We make it a bit more lively today. But first some Kiwi camouflage in Wellington. Into the clouds... ... over Windy Wellington... ... and along the path on Mt. Victoria. Heading north along the west coast we come to Kapiti Island. Due to the lack of european predators one of the few places where Kiwi birds and other ground-living animals can live undisturbed. The region around Taihape looks as if sheep could also live undisturbed here. The geo lesson begins: As part of the Pacific Ring of Fire NZL has some impressive volcanoes, like Mt. Ruapehu, ... ... Mt. Ngauruhoe, ... ... and Mt. Tongariro. As we continue along Lake Taupo, we could see some geothermal fields and power stations. I did not check, but Mt. Tarawera is probably also volcanic. And approaching over Lake Rototi... ... we reach Rotorua, famous for hot springs and geysirs. Quite the distance today - a tourist on the ground could spend a week for this tour.
  22. After a good and long breakfast we had to check out at our hotel in Nelson and hurry on. Too late to use a car, so we went to the airport. We leaft eastbound, with Tasman Bay behind and Nelson underneath us. Following Maitai and Pelorus River... ... and passing Havelock... ... we reached Picton, with the ferry piers below, abandoned. So we went along Queen Charlotte Sound... ... and there we met the Aratere, finally. That´s the price for the long breakfast, we had missed our ship. Good that we did not pay in advance. At least we could overlook the northern peninsulas of NZSI... ... and stay in the Dornier for the hop over Cook Strait. Turning into Wellington is a nice approach as well... ... and the runway is easy to spot. Plus, it is long enough for a smooth landing. Maybe even smoother that the waves during the ferry ride... Documentation: Check.
  23. When taking off from Greymouth we encountered some cloudy conditions. At least the forests around Runanga were clearly visible, ... ... as well as the Punakaiki Rocks below. But turning inland made the situation a bit more tricky... ... with only limited space between the cloud layer and the "scientific mountains". Look at these names: Ramsay, Dewar, Priestley, Curie, Mendel, Pasteur, Einstein, Rutherford and Euclid. Quite the educational trip if you type these names in wikipedia. And quite the uncomfortable trip if you continue in VFR. At least we discover Buller River, ... ... Murchison, ... ... and finally a window opened towards Tasman Bay. A great scenery, ... ... at the Moutere region... ... and downwind into... ... Motueka. The proof.
  24. On this nice autumn day we make a little tour around the NP, starting from Motueka... ... passing other potential accomodations at Kaiteriteri... ... and "kayak" along Adele Island... ... towards Pitt Head. We make our way towards the shores of the Golden Bay near Takaka, ... ... climb back over the Kahurangi Hills... ... across our starting point, Motueka... ... and over the bay... ... into Nelson. The grass runway 20R is hard to spot. But it works!
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