Return of the Mac.

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Paul K
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Re: Return of the Mac.

Post by Paul K »

Leg 21; Newcastle Waters to Cloncurry.

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Take-off from RW 29 at Newcastle Waters, about 9 a.m.

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Turning onto a heading of 115, and a last look back. I'm still amazed that this humble airfield, in middle of nowhere, was a stop on the route between London and Sydney, jointly run by Imperial Airways and Qantas Empire Airways.

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Very shortly after leaving Newcastle Waters, I cross the curving Stuart Highway, which runs 1,690 miles from Darwin to Port Augusta on the south coast.

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No navaid signals yet, so the northern tip of Lake Tarrabool provides a good fix. MSFS flatters it somewhat - in reality, it's predominantly dried up lake bed with brackish pools. Nearby Lake Corella is very similar.

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Heading out over the Great Australian F**k All (GAFA) :lol:. Occasionally, the dirt roads and tracks show up on Little Nav Map, but not often enough to be relied upon for VFR.

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These circular features keep popping up, and I wonder if they are water bore-holes for cattle. Perhaps one of our southern colonists can let us know. ;)

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After many miles of GAFA, this is Mount Isa, and its huge Black Star open-cast mine. To the right can be seen the spoil tip, forming an artificial plateau. There are deep mines here too, for lead, zinc, copper and silver.

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57 nautical miles on, and Cloncurry airport, my destination. It has a very significant place in Australian aviation history. QANTAS' first scheduled fare-paying passenger, 84 year-old Alexander Kennedy, landed here in 1922, holding Ticket #1. Then, in 1928, the Australian Inland Mission (AIM) Aerial Medical Service, later to become the Royal Flying Doctor Service, was established here.

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On finals for Cloncurry's RW 12.

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Taxying in.

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Parked up in the shade of QANTAS' historic first hangar. I feel highly honoured.

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Cloncurry airport for MSFS https://flightsim.to/file/26515/cloncurry-yccy


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FlyTexas
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Re: Return of the Mac.

Post by FlyTexas »

"GAFA". I like that! :lol: :lol: Years ago I had a coworker who spent a few months in Alice Springs. The pics she showed me were amazing. B-)

Brian

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Paul K
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Re: Return of the Mac.

Post by Paul K »

FlyTexas wrote:
18 Jul 2022, 18:53
"GAFA". I like that! :lol: :lol:
Terminology courtesy of Dave (dfarrow). :lol:

I never got to Alice Springs when I lived in Australia - I'd like to have seen it.

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Paul K
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Re: Return of the Mac.

Post by Paul K »

Leg 22; Cloncurry to Charleville.

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Leaving Cloncurry behind and heading south east. This leg is as much about Qantas as the MacRobertson race. Rather than fly the direct route, I'm going to follow the Qantas mail service between Cloncurry and Charleville, via Winton, McKinlay and Longreach, first flown on 2nd November 1922.

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First, McKinlay with its dirt runway. In 2016 the town had a population of only 178, but its Walkabout Creek Hotel gained fame in the movie 'Crocodile Dundee'.

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Off the navaid piste, and onto VFR over GAFA. Sometimes the only feature is a dried-up river bed, or a solitary paved road or railway line. There is a Google Earth satellite map for LNM which helps, but you still have to stay on top of where you are - a few moments lapse in concentration and you're lost.

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The second mail-run stop, Winton, which owes its prosperity to sheep and cattle. In June 1942, a certain US Congressman stayed at Winton's North Gregory Hotel - his name was Lyndon B. Johnson.

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Longreach, and a stop-over to visit the Qantas museum.

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Some views around the museum. Unfortunately, the MSFS 'showcase' drone camera can't get in under the canopy for a closer look.

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Time to continue my flight. Taxiing out, I pass the old Qantas hangar, which is part of the museum. Given Longreach's isolation in the Queensland outback, it is amazing that such a museum is located here. The town is closely associated with the airline's history, but how many visitors does it get, I wonder.

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After another 200 miles of almost featureless outback, I'm on finals for Charleville RW 12.

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Taxiing in.

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Parked at Charleville. The Arrow's wingspan is slightly too long for that little hangar. During the war, Charleville was at the end of a ferry route for heavy bombers from the USA. The hut where the top-secret Norden bombsights were stored still exists, and is a little museum.

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Charleville scenery: https://flightsim.to/file/23865/charleville-ybcv

Qantas Founders Museum aircraft collection: https://qfom.com.au/about/qantas-founde ... ollection/



:cheers:

Vc Ten
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Re: Return of the Mac.

Post by Vc Ten »

Great Paul 👍Are the kids in the back asking are we there yet? :lol: Ive said it before I love the history lesson behind the journey. Who the hell are these people that make the scenery for these far flung, unlikely locations ? Trying to find scenery for somewhere slightly off the beaten track in Fsx was like pulling teeth, but 2020 there seems to be nowhere that's not upgraded. Great init
Dale
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Paul K
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Re: Return of the Mac.

Post by Paul K »

Dale, after those endless miles of outback, even I was shouting ' Are we there yet ? ' :lol: But of course, because I'm seeing what would be seen in real life, it is made tolerable. I know what you mean about the out-of-the-way airports, particularly in Australia. I suppose it's because they are famous in making the country's vast interior accessible. I'm thinking of doing an airport myself, but I'll wait till I've finished this trip. :)

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FlyTexas
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Re: Return of the Mac.

Post by FlyTexas »

That Norden bombsight museum looks amazingly realistic. ;) You're really getting close to the end of your adventure, Paul. Hopefully you'll be flying Concorde back home. :lol:

Brian

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Paul K
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Re: Return of the Mac.

Post by Paul K »

FlyTexas wrote:
28 Jul 2022, 00:28
That Norden bombsight museum looks amazingly realistic. ;) You're really getting close to the end of your adventure, Paul. Hopefully you'll be flying Concorde back home. :lol:

Brian
:lol: I couldn't find out where the Norden hut stands on the real-world airport, so I was unable to pin down which one represents it in MSFS. Yes, very close to the end now, and starting to wonder about getting home - seems a shame to come all this way, and not carry on eastwards back to the UK. I'll have to have a long think about that. ;)

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Paul K
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Re: Return of the Mac.

Post by Paul K »

Leg 23; Charleville to Narrowmine.
(Actually, Narromine, without the 'W'.)

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Goodbye to Charleville, firstly looping north, then south south-east directly over the NDB (CV) in order to get an exact fix and start the clock. No VORs at all on this flight, and large gaps in the NDB coverage on the way.

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Initially, the distinctive shapes of old lake beds provide a good visual reference for Little Nav Map's Google terrain overlay - close enough to Bing maps to be very useful.

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Crossing the state line from Queensland's FA to that of New South Wales. The nature of the land has changed, and the distinctive lake beds are no more. Once Charleville's NDB peters out, it's a bugger to keep tabs on my position. There's very little worth taking a picture of, either. Eventually, Walgett's NDB (WLG) pipes up, and I find I'm still nicely on course.

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After 238 nautical miles, and a few corrections for drift, I pass over Walgett only three minutes late, and then put on a heading of 167. Walgett takes its name from an Aboriginal word meaning 'the meeting place of two rivers' - in this case the Rivers Barwon and Namoi.

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On time, and finals for RW 29 at Narromine. It's interesting to see how the earth has changed from the red soil around Charleville to the khaki here.

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Parked up at Narromine.

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:cheers:

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Paul K
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Re: Return of the Mac.

Post by Paul K »

Leg 24; Narrowmine to Melbourne.

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Leaving Narromine and heading south to the first turn at Parkes.

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After Parkes, onwards to the best named place in Australia - Wagga Wagga. The combined RAAF base and airport has street names that commemorate Victoria Cross holders from WW1 and WW2 - (Mick) Mannock Street for example. Other streets commemorate Billy Bishop, James McCudden, Leonard Cheshire, Bill Reid, David Lord, Donald Garland, William George Barker, Leonard Trent, James Brindley Nicholson, Ron Middleton, Leslie Manser, James Ward and John Hannah - all Commonwealth aircrew recipients of the Victoria Cross.

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Crossing the state border from New South Wales into Victoria near Albury and Wodonga. Lake Hume to the upper right.

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Well into Victoria, near Mansfield, and MSFS scenery at its best - quite a relief after the flat, parched Outback.

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Melbourne at last.

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Flemington racecourse in Melbourne. This was the finish line for the MacRobertson race, and had to be crossed at 200 feet or less. Not quite so low for me.

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The designated airfield for landing was Laverton, but the runways there have since been dug up and built over. The RAAF still uses the buildings, however, and it is part of nearby RAAF Williams at Point Cook.

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Parked at Williams, Point Cook. It is the world's oldest continually operated military airfield, and the spiritual home of the Royal Australian Air Force. A fitting place to end this journey, I think.

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D.H 88 Comet G-ACSR. While the other two Comets in the race were officially christened ( Black Magic and Grosvenor House ) G-ACSR was known only as the green 'un. I believe that only Black Magic ( G-ACSP ) flew directly from Mildenhall to Baghdad, so which intermediate stop G-ACSR used isn't clear - does anyone know ?

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Owen Cathcart-Jones (left) and Ken Waller, photographed earlier at Charleville. Quite the correct aviation attire too ; pith helmet, cricketing pullover and tweed jacket. None of this bomber jacket, baseball cap and Ray-Ban nonsense :lol: . It would be nice to think that the folded paper in Owen's hand is the map that prefaces all my posts.

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Now back to the UK ! :doh: :lol:

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