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TOPIC: 50 years ago: a Proctor's wonderful journey...

Re: 50 years ago: a Proctor's wonderful journey... 4 years 7 months ago #31514

What a fantastic story and flight Ive only just caught up with it really great in that small aircraft good bit of flying as well.
Ive done a few flights across the world and put them in a forum and I congratulate you because there's a lot of work involved.

All the best on the remainder of the flight I'll be watching out for it ??:woohoo:

fred39
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<>
KEEP FLYING---->
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Re: 50 years ago: a Proctor's wonderful journey... 4 years 7 months ago #31516

  • LeifH
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Fred

Nikko has been diligent with this one

We are all guessing where he is going to!!


Feel free to put up anything similar

(as long as its British) ;)

Leif
<<In the early morning rain, with a dollar in my hand>>
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Re: 50 years ago: a Proctor's wonderful journey... 4 years 7 months ago #31537

  • Okami
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Hi all,

Thanks for the kind comments. I'm keeping the purpose of the boys' journey a secret for the moment, but I promise you'll soon find out.

On January 4th, 1961, the trio board their Proctor once again. Their next planned stop is at Hawash. However, they have pressing concerns. With Asmara being located at over 7500 feet above sea level, they are concerned about how their plane will handle the take-off, as well as some of the en-route parts. As such, they decide to leave some of their gear at Asmara, as well as carrying a minimum of fuel reserves.



The trio is cleared for take-off after a Saudi CV-340. After backtracking to the treshold, the trio throttle the Proctor up. They notice the engine gives decidedly less power at this altitude, and it needs a far longer take-off run than on any of the previous legs, but eventually they manage to get her into the sky.



Again referring to their Stanfords maps, the trio seek out for a visual reference point, and soon they notice the road to Mekele.



As they follow the road, the trio notice the terrain gets higher and higher... soon they pass a cruising altitude of 10000 feet. They notice their Proctor has some difficulties with the altitude, but it still seems to cope rather well.



After about an hour, they pass the city of Mekele. Rather worryingly, the nature of the terrain means they have lost contact with Asmara control, and with the mountains in front of them, they have no means to call Addis either.



Once past Mekele, the terrain becomes formidable. Inbetween them and their goal is a line of mountains the likes they haven't seen yet before. In order to clear them, the trio has to take their Proctor way up. Eventually, the Proctor manages to struggle up to 13000 feet, clearing the terrain below by about 500 feet...



Suddenly, the radio crackles back to life. But rather than Asmara or Addis, it is another callsign which comes over the waves. "Ethiopian 604 to Proctor GWA, urgent message from Asmara. Hawash airfield unservicable. Request you divert to Dessye."



The urgent message takes the trio by surprise. They hadn't planned for a diversion, and aren't familiar with Dessye. Some frantic moments later, Dessye is found on the maps, and a new course is set. By now, however, the weather has started changing. By the time they cross the ridge, they find themselves with less favourable weather conditions.



Luckily they find the right road, and track it towards Dessye. Even so, they aren't quite sure they are heading the right direction until they spot Lake Hayk.



About ten minutes later, they approach nearby Dessye, however the airfield proves rather difficult to spot. After a few nerve-wrecking minutes, they finally see the airfield - if that's what you can call it. It turns out it is nothing more than a dirtstrip situated somewhere below the town, on the side of a hill.



The approach proves to be even more challenging. They turn in for landing, but the wind forces them to approach the strip in the downhill direction. This proves to be a mistake: by the time they are three-quarters down the strip, they still haven't stopped. So they go around, and try a second landing, this time with a tailwind but uphill. This second attempt is succesful. Clearing the strip, the trio halt at the edge of the field. Their ordeal has left them rather exhausted, and they decide to remain at Dessye for the night.

To be continued...

Flight:
Leg 21: Kassala (HSKA) to Hawash (HAAW) Dessye (HADC)
Type: Percival Proctor Mk.II
Take-off: 14:16:08
Landing: 16:34:15
Flight time: 2 hour 18 minutes
Fuel used: 159.5 lbs
Last Edit: 4 years 7 months ago by Okami.
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Re: 50 years ago: a Proctor's wonderful journey... 4 years 7 months ago #31587

  • Okami
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January 5th, 1961, and our trio is still somewhat shaken from yesterday's near-disaster. After arriving at Dessye, they were told even more bad news: with the aircraft's payload and the runways condition, they would have to be up early, otherwise the air density would leave them unable to take off out of Dessye.

Well before dawn, the trio arrive at the strip, and are greeted by the armed guard they hired the day before. Whether to protect the aircraft from men or wild animals they weren't quite sure, but at just 3 Shillings for a night, it didn't really hurt their pockets.



After a bumpy ride, the aircraft lines up with the dirt strip, and the pilot throttles the Proctor up. At first the aircraft accellerates rather sluggishly, and by the time they are halfway the tail wheel is only just beginning to lift clear of the ground. For a moment the trio fears the worst, but just a couple of hundred feet before the end of the strip the Proctor lifts clear.



The trio breathes a sigh of relief. Soon they turn their plane, and start following the road. They know it will take them straight to their next destination, Addis Ababa, the capital of the Ethiopian Empire. At first they fly in near darkness, but soon the sun begins to rise, and its rays light up the landscape beneath them.



Despite the fact they have to deal with a rather rugged landscape, the cool morning air means their Proctor has a bit more power than it had the day before under the warm afternoon skies. Slightly easier than the day before, it carries them clear of the mountains below.



After clearing the mountains, the trio notice the clouds begin to build. However, they know they are flying higher than the terrain in front of them, so they should make it without any problem. Even so, they are on their guard: the events of the previous day still haunt their minds.



However, as the clouds begin to break up, they are greeted by a welcome sight: ahead of them is Addis Ababa. Without any difficulty, they manage to spot the capital's airport, and after radioing the tower they start their approach.



After touching down, they taxi to the terminal, where the customs officer awaits them with the usual paperwork. However, as they stop in front of his office, they notice the man looking strangely at them.

Stepping out of their aircraft, they ask him what is the matter, hoping there isn't a problem. "You the men from England?" he asks. "Yes, we are. Is there a problem, sir?" "Where is your plane?" "You're looking at it." "No, you can't be..." The man quickly looks down at his documents, and looks at the side of the plane. Slightly incredulously he looks down again, and after a moment he mumbles "You must be mad to fly all the way here with something like that..."

Flight:
Leg 22: Dessye (HADC) to Addis Ababa (HAAB)
Type: Percival Proctor Mk.II
Take-off: 05:02:37
Landing: 06:27:59
Flight time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Fuel used: 100.5 lbs
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Re: 50 years ago: a Proctor's wonderful journey... 4 years 7 months ago #31589

  • Okami
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After the necessary paperwork, the trio board their aircraft again some two hours after their arrival. It feels rather strange, but they are on their final leg. In less than an hour, they will know if this journey was worth all of their effort...



Having received clearance, the trio taxies their Proctor onto the runway, and moments later they are airborne. Even with their tanks less than half full, the little plane still takes up more runway than it would normally do, due to the height: Addis is some 8000 feet above sea level.



As they climb out of Addis, the trio hears an airliner contact the tower, announcing its approach. For a moment they wonder if it was the pilot that helped them the day before - they rather regret not being able to meet him...



But then again, it's just as likely it isn't him. Anyway, now they don't have to contend with mountains or perillous take-offs for a moment, the trio take a couple of minutes to enjoy their surroundings. The sights themselves are probably worth the journey in itself, but they are here for some rather more serious things. And within minutes, they can see their destination: Bishoftu airbase.



After establishing contact, the trio get cleared for their landing. They approach the base from over Bishoftu town itself. As the plane nears the runway, they see a number of aircraft lined up next to the runway - for a moment it looks like some kind of museum. Fairey Firefly fighters, Saab B17 attack aircraft... All looking rather antiquated in this era of supersonic military jets...



After having cleared the runway, the trio is led to the apron, where they shut down their Proctor. As the engine stutters to a halt, the trio are welcomed by an Ethiopian officer. "I gather you are the men who came for those Safir trainers we offered for sale?" "Yes," one of them answers, "can we see them?" "They're in that hangar over there, but, erm..."

Glancing at their Proctor, the officer's look turns rather worried. "How are you getting them out of here?" he asks them after some moments. "Well, in England they told us they were ready to be flown out. My friends here are pilots as well, in fact we took turns flying our plane here. Is there any problem, sir?" "Well... I'm afraid they've all been dismantled. They all needed a thorough check to start with, and we thought you would be coming with a cargo plane to pick them up..."

As they hear this, the three men look at one another. All of a sudden they get a sinking feeling...

Flight:
Leg 23: Addis Ababa (HAAB) to Bishoftu (HAHM)
Type: Percival Proctor Mk.II
Take-off: 08:27:46
Landing: 08:40:03
Flight time: 12 minutes
Fuel used: 13.1 lbs
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Re: 50 years ago: a Proctor's wonderful journey... 4 years 7 months ago #31591

  • LeifH
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Great Story Nikko

THank you for sharing


leif
<<In the early morning rain, with a dollar in my hand>>
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Re: 50 years ago: a Proctor's wonderful journey... 4 years 7 months ago #31848

This is a truely absorbing journey and it is a very safe bet that a number of us are going to replicate journey. Maybe we will select a different aircraft, but I'm sure that if it's G- registered that will be acceptable?
I would like to use a straight tail 172, but I don't think that I have a G registered repaint of it?
Would a G- registered Cessna 177B be O.K?

Tony
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Re: 50 years ago: a Proctor's wonderful journey... 4 years 7 months ago #31893

  • Okami
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Hi all,

Thanks, but there's still the return journey to be flown! I got a bit too distracted the last couple of days, though, for any flying: been far too busy with a little project...



I'll post the return pics as soon as I've flown them. :)
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Re: 50 years ago: a Proctor's wonderful journey... 4 years 7 months ago #31895

  • LeifH
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Nikko

You build scenery?

Leif
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Re: 50 years ago: a Proctor's wonderful journey... 4 years 7 months ago #31896

  • Okami
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Hi Leif,

Yup, I do, sometimes solo, but usually as part of a team. So far I've done Malmö/Bultofta 1963, London/Gatwick 1958, Memphis 1958, Des Moines 1956, Glasgow/Renfrew 1960, and a handful of the Calclassic Africa Scenery airports. But usually they were done with Instant Scenery - my current project is the first one for which I'm actually drawing my own buildings in Sketchup.

Far more usually, though, I'm coding flightplans for the Calclassic AI traffic. I should be using MRAI-compiler for it, but so far I've never have: I compile them by hand. Usually gives me a chance to remove typos and to compile the flightplans more efficiently than MRAI does it, but it can be a rather longwinded affair if you're talking about sets such as Air France 1959 (set of flightplans for 94 aircraft) or TWA 1962 (125 aircraft)...
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Re: 50 years ago: a Proctor's wonderful journey... 4 years 7 months ago #31901

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very nice :)

Umm we have a little project rebuilding some scenery thatw as started for Fs9 sometime ago....
Interested?

its two long disappeared airfields in SW England with some historic signifigance

Leif
<<In the early morning rain, with a dollar in my hand>>
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Re: 50 years ago: a Proctor's wonderful journey... 4 years 7 months ago #31909

  • Okami
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Hi Leif,

Right now I'm a bit occupied with the current project. It's... more than one airport, actually. But as soon as it's finished, I'll see what I can do. :)
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Re: 50 years ago: a Proctor's wonderful journey... 4 years 7 months ago #31910

  • LeifH
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Cheers Nikko

To give you an idea

Its the Gloster Aircraft Factory at Brockworth Gloucestershire and RAF Moreton Valence which was their depot
Toby Vickers started work on it years ago and we have all the date but nothing built,as I lost his original source files
in a HD crash :(


leif
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Re: 50 years ago: a Proctor's wonderful journey... 4 years 7 months ago #31958

nikko,

I only just did read the whole story. Very well layed out. There is a writer hiding in you! I can tell as a professional editor! Looking forward for the continuing story!

Jan
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Re: 50 years ago: a Proctor's wonderful journey... 4 years 7 months ago #32062

Hi Nikko,

I just finished reading the journey now. I've been away and the real world has been getting in the way of important things this week.

Thanks very much for posting this. I enjoyed it very much and look forward to the return flight when you get round to it.

Jon
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