Don't worry about Easynavs, Bill. I simply cannot find any kind of guide on how to use it online, which seems pretty remarkable, but I am not really a great back-dater of navaids and I am happy to have extended the range of the Ocean Stations with Afcad. When I do the return crossing it will be interesting to see how much difference it makes, although I note the figures you gave above.
BOAC Flight 13A was scheduled to leave Gander at 08:45 Local Time (UTC -2:30) and arrive at New York at 12:30 Local Time (UTC - 4), and the Flight report on the 1946 proving flight (Flight, July 11th 1946, p. 29) has a small map showing the route as Sydney, Dartmouth, Yarmouth, Boston, Hartford and La Guardia. The track through Nova Scotia thus passed along Radio Range Route Red 3 and on arriving at the Radio Range station at Boston routed through that at Hartford to New York. All these stations are represented in the Radio Range 4 download created by members of DC-3 Airways in 2007 and available only for FS9. I have hesitated to install it hitherto partly because some of the documentation suggests that the volume control for the Morse signals does not work, whereas in fact it works perfectly. Radio Range was originally intended for aircraft which had radio receivers but no radio compasses, but these were standard on the Constellations and in the Connie Team aircraft if the radio compasses are switched to ADF rather than VOR the needle does point at the station, which is very useful but does make the Morse signals redundant. I assume this replicates the actual situation, but am of course subject to correction. Anyone wanting the full audio experience, however, needs only to switch the compasses to VOR and the needles will remain inert. It is a pity that these Range stations are not picked up by Plan G and cannot therefore be inserted directly into its flight plans.
Flight for 8th August 1946 carried a long article on the situation at La Guardia, because they were aware that the extent of the congestion there might seriously impinge on BOAC operations. On 24th May 1946, a peak day, there had been 796 landings and take-offs at La Guardia, nearly all during daylight. Washington was having similar problems and claimed it had been found possible to handle three aircraft per minute, although at La Guardia peak loads for any period of 60 minutes were reckoned to be 67 aircraft. Idlewild was under construction but not yet in service. Hence BOAC scheduling of the flight from Gander may have been influenced by the possibility of delays in being given to clearance to land at New York. Or it might not, because my flight arrived late without encountering any delays on landing. This was because of the weather. My experience of Gander to New York is that sometimes the westerly winds move into the NW and might even become tail winds, whereas sometimes they remain westerly or south-westerly and are therefore headwinds throughout the flight. The latter was what happened in the present case. The flight to Gander had been characterised by a descent to FL80 from FL180 in its later stages and when I looked at the weather report for this leg I concluded that it would be best flown at FL80 throughout, although even at that height the winds were going to be strong - 218/58 at Yarmouth, 215/52 at Boston and 209/57 at Hartford. At a KTAS of 230 this meant my groundspeed would not be more than 180 knots for much of the flight. The net result of this was that I took off 4 minutes late and landed 29 minutes late.
In terms of navigation I practiced with the Range stations with the Morse sounds on but also the ADF needles in use until I passed Boston (there is no Radio Range track as such between Yarmouth and Boston, just as there is none between Gander and Sydney). I then turned off the radio compasses and attempted to navigate to Hartford by sound alone, unsuccessfully, because I ended up well to the east of it. It may help that I have now downloaded different and I think clearer Morse sounds for the Letters A and N to the ones supplied in the Radio Range package; it will be interesting to see whether future flights are any easier as a result. This flight was an anti-climax compared to Shannon to Gander, but probably it was always likely that it would be.
Taxiing in to the Marine Terminal at La Guardia, the one used for transatlantic flights such as those done by BOAC. Airport scenery by Cal Classic.
Last Edit: Oct 13, 2019 9:33:09 GMT -5 by connieguy
Thank you both. I might perhaps say that although I may not get to California when simming it is the only part of the USA I have actually visited, one of my nephews having married a Californian girl in San Francisco some years ago, Ken
This really interesting thread raises quite a few issues and my comments are purely for guidance, and no way a critisism.
You say, "...there is no Radio Range track as such between Yarmouth and Boston, just as there is none between Gander and Sydney.."
Not sure why. In the real world the south west A-N leg of Yarmouth RR took you via Control Area 1141 to the NE leg of Squantum RR, just south of the Boston RR. And the SW leg of Gander led to the NE leg of Sydney.
And whether or not there's a pre-ADF rotating loop aerial version (as the 1946 Connie would have had) available for FS9, at least the download RR can be used as NDB's. But you say that your Plan G doesn't pick them up. That's odd, because FS Navigator finds all these add-on navaids. Did you load as addon scenery?
Your contributions are always welcome Bill, not least because I am well aware that not everything I am saying is necessarily correct and part of the purpose of this operation is that I and the readers of the thread learn things that we did not know before. Do not, therefore, feel inhibited in making comments. On Plan G, yes I did put Radio Range into Add On Scenery but it may be that my Plan G installation has become corrupted, because it is quite an old one and is no longer picking up one of my add-on airports which it used to pick up. Hence I will try reinstalling. At the time I started using it I believed FS Navigator to be no longer available, although I now see that it can be downloaded from DC-3 Airways.
On the airways between Gander and Sydney and Yarmouth and Boston, my statements were partly influenced by the overlay which the Radio Range people supplied for Google Earth, which does not show them. Their documentation gives the To magnetic headings for Gander as 165, 283, 343, and 106, and the From as 345, 103, 163 and 286. None of these are anywhere near the direct magnetic heading of 259 (235 True) from Gander to Sydney as given by Plan G. I assume therefore that aircraft were supposed to use 286 and then pick up the incoming 225 magnetic for Sydney at some point along it, thus doing a dog-leg? This phenomenon is explained in the Radio Range documentation and implied by your 'And the SW leg of Gander led to the NE leg of Sydney'. In that case the 103 and 163 tracks would be for aircraft coming from the south east, for example the Azores? The dog legs would have involved more fuel and more time and in the case of Gander Sydney I wonder whether aircraft were sometimes tempted to fly a more direct route before picking up the Sydney range, especially in conditions of good visibility? Or would they have been prohibited from doing this? Still, when I used the phrase 'no Radio Range track as such' I meant no direct route rather than a dog leg, although this was certainly insufficiently precise, did not show a sufficient appreciation of how Radio Range worked even though I did actually understand it, and was likely to lead to confusion.
There is an FS9 loop aerial which 'includes the gauges and documentation to replace the ADF with a simulated manually steered loop antenna for those who may wish to simulate the very early Radio Navigation flights' by Dave Bitzer on Flightsim at the link below, although I will admit that I thought these had been replaced by 1945. Thanks again.
If you can find FSNavigator then I thoroughly recommend it. Don't understand the Plan G problem finding navaids unless you have to specify their location. By default all navaids are in the main Scenery folder (Eure,Eurw,Namc etc) but if it finds the ocean ships or any other AFCAD's then it must work with Addon too.
There were no dog legs and the Gander SW from leg was indeed 235 true, 265 magnetic in 1950. I think the RR team tried to set the early 40's magnetic but they might not have had access to all the charts we now have available. I'll email you the parts from the NOAA historic collection.
And you're right about the Connie's ADF. Early photos show quite modern semi flush aerials, not even the more common tear drops.
Many thanks, Bill. That sorts out the Gander - Sydney issue. I'm fairly sure that the Plan G problem is with my installation rather than Plan G itself, but I will certainly try FS Navigator anyway as I like the look of the interface and the fact that it works within FS9 rather than as a separate program. If it doesn't give a breadcrumb trail, which can be useful for understanding what has actually happened with navigation, I can still get that from Plsn G if I want to.
Hi Erik, Good to hear from you. Yes, I did rebuild the scenery files and since then I have reinstalled Plan G and it has made no difference. I think it must be something to do with the Radio Range files, whose stations show up in FS Navigator, which apparently operates in a slightly different way. I planned the return flight KLGA to CYQX in Fs Navigator and then saved it as an FS9 flight plan. However, when I loaded it into Plan G two of the Radio Range waypoints were many miles away from their true position. The Radio Range people do say that they changed some frequencies to avoid duplication with FS9 frequencies, but I think duplication of some kind must remain and that FS Navigator can deal with this and Plan G cannot. I shall therefore probably end up using both flight planners for different purposes. I don't think (I may be wrong) that FS Navigator can give me a breadcrumb trail but also it does not provide Latitude and Longitude coordinates for the waypoints, and having those is essential when using the sextant, Ken
Last Edit: Oct 18, 2019 4:14:21 GMT -5 by connieguy
In FSNav to create a fix you click on the map and drag it up to the plan table. It then shows coordinates both on the plan and the map tooltip. Also if you enable intersections and zoom in it shows a fix point every degree of lat/long.
Many thanks, Bill, this has givem me a better understanding of it. If I drag an NDB to the flight plan it is identified by its name without any coordinates but if I drag an anonymous point (such as over the Atlantic or a desert) the point is identified by its coordinates. However, if you hover the mouse over any point on the map, NDB, VOR, airport or whatever, the tooltip always shows the coordinates, as you say. This will give me what I want. What I do not want is the map showing me where I am, because that would be like using a GPS and defeat the point of period navigation, but I can hide the aircraft by clicking on the relevant button and I can also uncouple the centre of the map from my aircraft's position. Hence I will be able to look at the full flight plan and see the coordinates of all the points on it without it giving away my real position. It is true that there is in any case little need for coordinates with things that are not anonymous points. Fs Navigator is an impressive program, not difficult to learn, and distinctly elegant. Ken